The entity was born in 1979, as a result of the need of a group of parents, workers of an automobile company, who had children with disabilities that at that time were finishing their schooling.
Given that at that stage there was a very important social mass, they got together to create an Association. It should be noted that some of these founding members are still in the governing bodies of the entity.
At that time we started to work with 6 users in an assistance stage, in a small place until we reached what is currently the Asproseat Grup.
The year of the creation of the Occupational Center 1981 was also the International Year of Disabled Persons. As stated at the time, the United Nations campaign for that year was to be based on “the full integration and equal rights of the disabled people in all areas of life”.
The historical objective as an Occupational Center has always been to provide users, through day care, their maximum social integration, especially in the neighborhood where the center is located. This objective was especially difficult to achieve given the structure of the Zona Franca neighborhood.
From the beginning, there was a strong emphasis on being able to use the services and resources offered by the community.
A remarkable fact was the use of the canteen service “El Casino” -then SEAT’s social canteen-. Thus, the members of the organization became the first customers it had.
Years later, the need for a residential resource was detected -since this service did not exist in the District- and responding to the demand of the parents, the association decided to create a home-residence that gave the option of having this service mainly to those mentally handicapped people most in need, either for lack of family or for problems in it that discouraged the coexistence in the family nucleus.
From the beginning it was foreseen that it would provide a response to those users who requested it as a living option in the more or less immediate future. In 1986 two adjoining flats were bought, at 165-167 Paseo de la Zona Franca, still under construction at that time.
The idea of inserting small units of handicapped workers under the care of a professional in ordinary companies continued to be, for the entity, the most normalizing proposal. The enclave that was integrated in a company in El Prat arose as a result of a counter-proposal made to the company that hired us. At first the company wanted the association to do the work in our workshop. After several conversations it started with three handicapped workers and a professional doing the industrial cleaning of a whole factory that manufactured seats, headrests and ailerons for different firms of the automobile sector. This experience began in 1987 and ended in December 2003.
As a result of this insertion and a request from the company for the APTSHD to also take care of the factory’s gardening, a gardening technician was hired and two of the workers were trained in this area. Over time, this section was expanded and it was necessary to hire specialized handicapped personnel, as well as to extend the gardener’s hours. This is how the gardening section was born.
Subsequently, the idea of the Special Work Center changed. The purpose became to create it in a building acquired in 1992, where manipulated items and castings were made. The center has grown to what it is today.
We want to go far, but not any which way. It is not worth having a lot or being very big if you are not really one of the best. Not for much quantity there is better quality. Evolving fast does not mean the foundations are better.
It is not by chance that our Occupational Center is called like that At that time – we are talking about 1981 – they were called “workshops” and the decree was made in 1987. Nor is it by chance that our professionals were called “educators” or that we talked about teamwork, therapeutic couples or enclaves in the ordinary company. Nor is it by chance that we believe more in people than in establishments.
Our future is full of hope and objectivesin a new dimension of social services entities, and more specifically in the world of people with disabilities.