The Vending Facility Program, authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act, provides individuals who are blind with remunerative employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on federal and other property.
The program, enacted into law in 1936, was intended to enhance employment opportunities for trained, licensed blind individuals to operate facilities. The law was subsequently amended in 1954 amended again in 1974 to ultimately ensure individuals who are blind a priority in the operation of vending facilities, which included cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines, on federal property.
The program has broadened from federal locations to also include state, county, municipal and private installations. However, the priority provisions of the act apply only to the operation of vending facilities on federal and state property. Under the Randolph-Sheppard Program, state licensing agencies recruit, train and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on federal, state, and other properties. The act authorizes a particular blind individual to conduct specified activities in a particular location through a license granted by the state. To learn more about the Randolph Sheppard Act click on the