AbilityOne Program Log

What is the AbilityOne Program?

The AbilityOne® Program is a federal initiative and the largest source of employment for people who are blind or have severe disabilities. The program works with a nationwide network of more than 600 nonprofit agencies to produce and sell more than 3,500 SKILCRAFT® and other products to federal government customers.

The AbilityOne Program is administered by an independent federal agency with help from National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and SourceAmerica to create employment for people who are blind or have severe disabilities.

The AbilityOne Program is committed to producing quality products while enhancing the personal independence and quality of life for employees. The job skills and training employees gain allow them to grow within their communities and build successful careers.

The Facts

  • The AbilityOne Program helps employ nearly 50,000 people who are blind or have severe disabilities.
  • 70% of working-age Americans who are blind are not employed.
  • Federal & state governments and taxpaying public benefit from the employment of thousands of people who might otherwise be dependent on public assistance.

Who is the AbilityOne Program?

The People:

Danny DavidDanny David (left) lost his vision at age 20. He worked for the Veteran of Foreign Wars Family Health Club as a massage therapist for two years until the facility closed. He came to the AbilityOne Program in 1994 after spending 15 years off the job market, at home raising his children and volunteering in his community. He now works in the pen department at Industries of the Blind in Greensboro, North Carolina, hand assembling biodegradable pens made from cornstarch. He volunteers as a mentor and counselor for people losing their vision. Through this work, he has helped many people and recruited new employees.

Oliver SmithOliver Smith (right) is a former truck driver, over the age of 60, whose retinitis pigmentosa has left him with very little vision. He now works at Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind as a material handler in the vinyl department. "When I came here for the interview, I knew I was home," he said. He was named the 2011 Employee of the Year and loves his job.

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Testimonials:

Michele LaComb"I enjoy my work and like to be challenged. Introducing the JAWS product line gives me the opportunity to work on a new project and acquire new skills. Our team is excited about it and looking forward to the job opportunities it will bring."
Michele LaComb
Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment Inc. (A.V.R.E.)
"I've enjoyed working here for 26 years. Dealing with my visual impairment and the injury I have on a day-to-day basis, it is great to be able to focus on the work I am doing. I have made friends and have wonderful conversations. It has been very enjoyable."
Mary Lou Kuntz
AbilityOne Program & XLD Bio-based Laundry Detergent Employee
"It has given me a job. It has given me a chance to do different things. I am learning new skills all the time. There are always challenges. It keeps my mind working."
Ron Harris
11 years employed at Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)