October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This month, facilitated by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, focuses on increasing awareness of the ongoing need for job opportunities for Americans with disabilities.
One of the nation’s largest employers of people who are blind or have significant disabilities is the AbilityOne Program. The impact of this program’s efforts is felt in communities nationwide because AbilityOne partners with a network of over 550 nonprofit agencies peppered all across the country. The result is greater independence through meaningful employment for thousands of people across the United States.
Beyond Vision is a Milwaukee-based nonprofit organization that works as an agent for positive change in the lives of those who are blind within their community. Beyond Vision employs people who are blind who manufacture a variety of products sold through the AbilityOne Program, including computer privacy filters, anti-fatigue mats and industrial mats, and socket sets. They also run a flourishing call center operated by people who are blind. Read their story here: https://www.supplychimp.com/blog/abilityone-spotlight-beyond-vision/
Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind
Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind has been creating a context for possibilities in the Dallas area for 85 years. Their workplace culture pushes the envelope regarding what people who are blind can do. Dallas Lighthouse manufactures a wide range of SKILCRAFT products available through the AbilityOne Program, including binders, markers and highlighters, and safety vests. They have extended their sewing operations into the commercial sector too. One of their commercial partners is Texas fashion designer Tish Cox. Read more about Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind here: https://www.supplychimp.com/blog/abilityone-spotlight-dallas-lighthouse-for-the-blind/
Industries for the Blind, Milwaukee
Experience, expand and grow – that’s the culture of Industries for the Blind, Milwaukee. IB Milwaukee manufactures SKILCRAFT products available through the AbilityOne Program, including brushes, pens, janitorial products and tools. They encourage their employees to be well-rounded and flexible – to stretch themselves professionally and to learn a variety of skills. They also encourage personal flexibility, adaptability and growth. Learn how to use adaptive technologies, take a yoga class, or even go horseback riding or skiing! Learn more about IB Milwaukee here: https://www.supplychimp.com/blog/ability-one-spotlight-industries-for-the-blind-milwaukee/
North Central Sight Services
Based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, North Central Sight Services provides employment through the production of SKILCRAFT products available through the AbilityOne Program, including CDs, USB drives, diskettes and labels. They also provide blindness prevention education, vision screenings and vision rehabilitation therapy. Read more about North Central Sight Services here: https://www.supplychimp.com/blog/north-central-sight-services/
The Ripple Effect of AbilityOne Products
If you look closer at the word Disability, you’ll see the word Ability built right in. One of the biggest barriers to employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities is a series of misconceptions regarding their abilities and what they’re capable of. The AbilityOne Program and their associated nonprofit agencies shatter these preconceived notions every day by proving, time and again, that people who are blind or have significant disabilities can do extraordinary things. With simple accommodations put into place, this workforce soars!
Federal purchasers put taxpayer dollars to good use by choosing to buy SKILCRAFT products and other products and services available through the AbilityOne Program. Whenever you support AbilityOne, you are helping people who are blind or have significant disabilities live out their version of the American Dream.
Federal Purchasers, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month and all year round, look for SKILCRAFT products from the AbilityOne Program when shopping for the following:
- Office supplies
- Janitorial and sanitation products (JanSan)
- Maintenance, repair and operating supplies (MRO)
- Mission-specific products, including tactical, medical/surgical and custom items
Supply Chimp is proud to offer AbilityOne products to our Federal customers. SKILCRAFT products are available for purchase at our website, Gov.SupplyChimp.com.