Description of The Need for Reciprocity between States in Creating Employment Opportunities in the Randolph-Sheppard Program
This report is based on a paper that was presented at the 2004 Biregional Randolph-Sheppard Training Conference in Philadelphia.
The Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936 (20 U.S.C. Section 107 et seq.) established the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program, more commonly known in most states as the Business Enterprise Program (BEP). The BEP provides persons who are legally blind with remunerative employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on federal and other properties. Subsequent amendments to the act in 1954 and 1974 strengthened the program, widened the scope of the types of facilities that are included in the program (vending machines, cafeterias, snack bars, "fast-food" facilities, and gift or card shops), and extended economic opportunities to facility managers who are blind (also referred to as operators or vendors) (Moore & Tucker, 1994). Most BEP facilities operate on the premises of a host facility, such as federal, state, or municipal property or on private property that houses industrial or manufacturing entities.