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Randolph-Sheppard Act Summary
The Randolph-Sheppard Act was initially passed in 1936, and subsequently amended in 1974. The Act authorizes the operation of vending facilities in federal buildings and on federal property. Blind persons are to be given priority in operating these vending facilities for 3 purposes:
1. To provide blind persons with remunerative employment,
2. To enlarge economic opportunities for the blind, and
3. To stimulate the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self -supporting.
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the Department of Education is the principal agency that administers the Act. RSA establishes state licensing agencies who are responsible to do the following:
1. Issue vending licenses to blind vendors,
2. Revoke the vending facility operator
3. Work with federal property managers to select sites and determine type of vending operation.
The Act considers this last function to be so important that it mandates that federal property managers make sites available in their facilities when they are being constructed or remodeled.
Part of the state's conditions for its licensing role is the formal and informal participation of the committee of blind vendors in the agency's administration of the program. The committee of blind vendors is a representative body of vending facility operators who actively participate in the development of program policy.
The Act also directs state licensing agencies to provide a uniform training program for blind persons under the basic rehabilitation program. This program includes on-the-job training and upward mobility training and provides follow-along service to assure attainment of maximum vocational potential.
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