Blind Operators of Vending Facilities in California
July 11, 2011 1 Comment
I was a file clerk/runner for Milligan and Beswick in San Bernardino over twenty years ago. Part of my job was to file pleadings with the court. I became fairly intimate with the building at 351 North Arrowhead Avenue. In the early 1990s, there were no metal detectors at the court. You could easily run into the court and then back out.
I would sometimes get lunch for people in the office from the courthouse cafeteria. It was run by a blind operator. I would also sometimes buy snacks from the other blind operator (his sight was only somewhat impaired). I remember buying popcorn, peanut M&Ms and six ounce Pepsi Colas in bottles (which by the early 1990s were not easy to come by) from the operator located next to the main stairway in the old courthouse. I recall that he also sold hot dogs of the sort you could find in a movie theater.
For Federal facilities, there is the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act. Its purpose is for “providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting, blind persons licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall be authorized to operate vending facilities on any Federal property.” 20 United States Code section 107.
For California state property, the Legislature adopted a similar program for “the purpose of providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting, blind persons licensed under this article shall be authorized to operate vending facilities on any property within this state as provided in this article. In order to administer this article, the director shall establish and promote the Business Enterprises Program for the Blind.” California Welfare and Institutions Code section 19625.
The Business Enterprises Program for the Blind is run by the California Department of Rehabilitation. Program information can be found at the Business Enterprise Program Website.
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