Kentucky Business Enterprise Training Program

​​The purpose of the training program is to train blind consumers through the combined efforts of the Division of Field Services, Kentucky Business Enterprises (KBE), and the Committee of Blind Vendors.

Kentucky Business Enterprise uses the comprehensive Lighthouse of Chicago, self-paced, online training course for all new blind vendors, as well as on-the-job training with established KBE vendors in current vending locations. Once a candidate has been approved by the Screening Committee and has completed their evaluation at the McDowell Center, they will be enrolled in the online training.  

Eligibility Criteria for Admission

  • Meet a visual diagnosis as defined in the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Act at 20 USC 107e(1) and the definition of blindness established ​​​in 34 CFR 395.(c)I;
  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be certified to meet the general criteria of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation;
  • Have received a high school diploma or GED certification;
  • Have financial skills necessary for operating a vending business;
  • Have math skills of at least an eight grade level
  • Have good verbal and communication skills;
  • Have public relations skills;
  • Have good personal hygiene and appearance for meeting the public;
  • Be independent in performing daily living activities; 
  • Have mobility skills; and
  • Have reached the age of majority.
Assessment may be conducted at the Charles McDowell Rehabilitation Center, or may be provided or arranged by an Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist, Independent Living Specialist, or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The confidentiality requirements enumerated at 34 C.F.R. 361.49 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, will be applied in this procedure.

For more information about the rules and regulations concerning Kentucky Business Enterprise, including training and licensing, click here​

Screening Committee

The applicants will be interviewed and selected by a screening panel composed of:
  • Kentucky Business Enterprise Director or designee;
  • Kentucky Business Enterprise Assistant Director or the designee
  • Chair of the Committee of Blind Vendors or designee;
  • KBE vendor (s) appointed by the Chair of the Committee of Blind Vendors; and the
  • Director of OVR Field Services or designee

On the Job Training

The training vendor(s) shall submit to the Kentucky Business Enterprise Director, a weekly evaluation reporting the progress of the trainee in the following areas:
  • Financial skills needed to operate an independent business;
  • Verbal and communication skills;
  • Public relation skills;
  • Personal hygiene and appearance for meeting the public;
  • Management skills, including marketing and purchasing;
  • Work skills; and
  • Work habits
If at any time during the training program, it becomes apparent that the trainee is not going to complete the program successfully, the counselor will be notified, and the trainee removed from the program.

Upon completion of vendor training, the trainees will be awarded a vending license, making them eligible to bid on vacant or new Kentucky Business Enterprise locations.

​​​Need​ more help? Contact us

Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Central Office
Mayo-Underwood Building
500 Mero Street 4th Floor NE
Frankfort, KY 40601
800-372-7172 (V/TTY)

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