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Supporting AbilityOne® Programs During National Disability Employment Awareness Month

How shopping through AbilityOne providers helps workers who are blind and visually impaired

AbilityOne display shelf with SKILCRAFT pens and tactical light sticks.

The AbilityOne® Program, as many may know,  is a government-mandated program that helps the U.S. Government create jobs for Americans who are blind or have significant disabilities. Those who work for companies under this program create hundreds of different products and supplies every day, such as office supplies,  utility brushes, tools, and much more. 

But what is our role in engaging with this program in our day-to-day, especially since this month is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)? And why is NDEAM important to our country and our military?

The AbilityOne Program Employs Disabled Veterans

AbilityOne employs around 5,000 disabled, blind or visually impaired veterans each year. First and foremost, these efforts enrich the lives of the people who want a chance to succeed. The unemployment rate for disabled Americans is as much as 70%, and this program helps bring that number down.

But the benefits don’t just stop at the person being able to make a living. Having the opportunity to support themselves means they don’t have to rely on the government for support, so the fiscal impact is double. To that end, when we buy through our AbilityOne partners, we’re helping our government empower people to make a living for themselves, and that includes thousands of veterans.

Our Military Employs Disabled Americans

Many of the people who supply our military with the products and supplies they need  are visually impaired or disabled in some way. The products made available to our nation’s military bases are often made or assembled by people with disabilities. That’s because the government is congressionally mandated to purchase from AbilityOne suppliers like IBVI.

And at the end of the day,  everybody benefits. Our federal government, the military, and the blind and visually impaired who manufacture the products—many of whom are veterans, too.

You Can Create a Personal Connection to NDEAM

During this month, we urge you to make some time to learn more about the AbilityOne Program, and how it benefits your own community. We’re all busy and we move quickly through our days, but NDEAM provides a welcome reminder that disabled Americans, especially veterans, deserve a shot to make their own living. AbilityOne is doing just that. That’s something to celebrate this month.


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