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The Indiana Business Enterprise Program as part of the Randolph-Sheppard Act provides people who are blind with access to rewarding and profitable entrepreneurial ventures, broaden their economic opportunities, and invigorate all blind people to be self-supporting, while dispelling misconceptions about people who are blind by showcasing their abilities. The Randolph-Sheppard Act was signed into law on June 20, 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and over the years, has changed dramatically from single vendor-managed concessions and newsstands to large military food service contracts, kiosks, convenience stores, laundry facilities, restaurants, snack bars, automated vending machine operations including vending routes, highway rest-area vending and much more. The focus has changed from employment to creating true entrepreneurial opportunities.
“Through the Federal Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program…talented and creative individuals who are blind have acquired the management training and business skills necessary to realize the American dream -- a lifetime of economic opportunity, independence, and self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.”
-President Barack Obama, January 20, 2012
The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program is for individuals who are legally blind and are a client of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in terms of achieving employment. Referral for the BEP must be completed by Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor; interested candidates are encouraged to contact a BEP representative directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful BEP entrepreneurs are leaders, customer service oriented, ethical, mature, organized, motivated, ready to work, and able to relocate to accept an opportunity.
In order to be accepted for training in the BEP, an applicant must:
Candidates must also have:
* Legal blindness is defined by the Social Security Administration as best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye; or a visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of the visual field, in the better eye, subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.