As is typical in the Nordic welfare states, voluntary organizations have generally received little attention in Norway. Because the founding fathers of the Norwegian welfare state did not create an ideological space for voluntarism, as William Beveridge did in England, the role of voluntary organizations was almost totally neglected in political planning. Organizations for the disabled also trace their roots back to the 1850s. The first school for the deaf and mute was established in 1848, and the first association for the blind in 1858. Public policy concerning organizations varies according to the sub-sector. Cultural, athletic, youth, and political organizations have mainly been funded since the 1970s through block grants. The amount of support has depended on their purpose, number of members, and democratic structure. In the past, Norwegian governments never tried to formulate an explicit policy toward the welfare-providing voluntary organizations.