WASHINGTON -- On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program, President Obama has sent a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies in support of the program.
The program is run by the U.S. Department of Education and provides management training and business skills to individuals who are blind. The Randolph-Sheppard Act, which became law in 1936, created the Vending Facility Program requiring qualified individuals who are blind to be given priority to operate vending facilities on federal properties. The act defines "vending facilities" to include cafeterias, snack bars and military dining halls, in addition to vending machines.
The President's memorandum credits the program for providing entrepreneurial opportunities to more than 2,500 people who are blind and thousands of workers they have hired, many of whom also have disabilities.
In addition, the President used the memorandum to call for increased cooperation with and support for the law by directing all agencies with a property management function to ensure that when creating vending facilities, permits and contracts are issued in accord with the Randolph-Sheppard Program.
He also directed the Secretary of Education to submit a report on the success of the directive by next January.