This week, the Obama Administration celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program. This program, administered by the Department of Education, mandates that all Federal properties give priority to blind entrepreneurs for vending facilities. Today, this program provides opportunities for over 2,500 people who are blind, who in turn provide employment opportunities for thousands of others, many of whom have disabilities. Through this program thousands of creative and talented individuals with disabilities have received training in business and management arenas.
As part of this celebration, the Obama Administration released a Presidential Memorandum which called attention to the success of this program, which has provided opportunities for education, entrepreneurial and economic success for so many small business operators and managers. In addition, President Obama used this memorandum to call for increased cooperation and support for the spirit of this law by directing all agencies with a property management function to ensure that when creating vending facilities, permits and contracts are issued in cooperation with the Randolph-Sheppard Program. He also directed the Secretary of Education, through the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, to submit a report on the success of this directive no later than a year from the Memorandum’s issue-date on January 20, 2010.