Randolph Sheppard Vending Facility Program
Program Office: Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
CFDA #: No CFDA
The Vending Facility program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act provides persons who are blind with remunerative employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on federal and other property. The program, enacted into law in 1936, was intended to enhance employment opportunities for trained, licensed blind persons to operate facilities. The law was subsequently amended in 1954 and again in 1974 to ultimately ensure individuals who are blind a priority in the operation of vending facilities, which included cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines, that are on federal property. The program priority has broadened in most states through state laws to include state, county, municipal, and private locations as well. Under the Randolph Sheppard program, state licensing agencies recruit, train, license, and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on federal and other properties. The act authorizes a blind individual licensed by the state licensing agency to conduct specified activities in vending facilities through permits or contracts.
This program was developed following the enactment of the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, 20 USC 107 et. seq., as amended in 1954 and 1974. The 1936 act was enacted to provide blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarge their economic opportunities, and encourage their self-support through the operation of vending facilities in federal buildings. The U.S. Department of Education prescribes regulations, as set forth in 34 CFR, Part 395, implementing the Act as amended (See 41 CFR 101-20.2). Randolph-Sheppard vending facilities can be established in leased space and under Cooperative Use Space in General Services Administration (GSA) locations.
Under the Randolph-Sheppard Program, state rehabilitation agencies recruit, train, license and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on federal and other properties. In FY 2014, a total of 2,108 blind vendors operated 2,389 vending facilities located on federal and other property. The program generated $693.6 million, and the average vendor earnings amounted to $59,012.
The total gross income for the program was $697,000,000 million in FY 2015 compared to $693,000,000 million in FY 2014. The total earnings of all vendors were $118.2 million in FY 2015.
Decisions of Arbitration Panels
Under section 107d-2(c) of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, the Secretary publishes the decisions of arbitration panels selected to adjudicate disputes over the administration of vending facilities on Federal and other property. You may view a list of those decisions, or view the instructions for how to perform a keyword search.