Seven out of ten working age Americans who are blind are not employed. At According to the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), “it is our mission to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of persons who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its associated agencies serve as the largest program responsible for the employment of people who are blind through the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act.”
NIB operates under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day ( JWOD) Act (link opens AbilityOne.gov in new window)
and the AbilityOne Program, a federal purchasing program that enables people who are blind to work and provide products and services to federal and commercial customers. Like other businesses, NIB and its associated agencies around the country work to deliver quality products on time and at competitive rates. NIB mentors and supports its agencies through business development; product and service research and development; program management; distribution channel development and support; marketing; sales and contract administration.
Today, NIB’s role in the AbilityOne Program is considered an employment model that encourages private/public partnerships and empowers people who are blind to become more economically integrated. NIB’s strategy for moving forward includes plans to further diversify employment opportunities for people who are blind; to create product and service awareness within government agencies; to aggressively market the highest quality products and services; to generate public and private partnerships; and to provide technical, operational, marketing and business development services to its associated, community-based agencies. As the service industry rapidly expands in the United States and new technologies emerge, NIB will continue to deliver new and exciting career opportunities for people who are blind.