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Family and Social Services Administration

DDRS Home > DDRS Policies > Current DDRS Policies > Blind & Visually Impaired > Randolph - Sheppard Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Randolph - Sheppard Business Enterprise Program (BEP)

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.

Presidential Memorandum
“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

 

Interested in becoming a BEP Operator?

The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program is for individuals with a significant visual disability who are a client of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in terms of achieving employment. Referral for the BEP must be completed by Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

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:

  • be legally blind;
  • at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • a United States citizen; and
  • hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Candidates must also have:

  • adequate orientation and mobility skills to travel independently;
  • skills sufficient to communicate with the public in a courteous manner; and
  • the ability to develop and maintain working relationships with others;
  • be able to maintain required records and reports;
  • mathematical skills sufficient to operate a small business; and
  • independent daily living skills sufficient to allow the applicant to meet personal care and facility maintenance needs.

Resources

  • BEP Candidate Guide:  Word and PDF
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Word and PDF
  • Business Enterprise Program contact: 1-800-545-7763