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Family and Social Services Administration

DDRS Home > DDRS Policies > Current DDRS Policies > Blind & Visually Impaired > Randolph - Sheppard Business Enterprise Program Randolph - Sheppard Business Enterprise Program

The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program (BEP) provides entrepreneurial opportunities for legally blind clients of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). Blind entrepreneurs manage a wide variety of food-service operations, including cafeterias, coffee shops, vending machine locations and highway area vending sites. Through this program, blind individuals receive training and opportunities to become productive, tax-paying citizens and independent business owners.

Business Enterprise Program contact: 1-800-545-7763

Eligibility

The Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program is for individuals with a significant visual disability who are a client of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in terms of achieving employment. Referral for the BEP must be completed by Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
In order to be accepted for training in the BEP, an applicant must:

  • be legally blind;
  • at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • a United States citizen; and
  • hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Candidates must also have:

  • adequate orientation and mobility skills to travel independently;
  • skills sufficient to communicate with the public in a courteous manner; and
  • the ability to develop and maintain working relationships with others;
  • be able to maintain required records and reports;
  • mathematical skills sufficient to operate a small business; and
  • independent daily living skills sufficient to allow the applicant to meet personal care and facility maintenance needs.

Successful entrepreneurs through the Randolph-Sheppard Business Enterprise Program are:

  • Leaders
  • Customer Service Oriented
  • Ethical
  • Mature
  • Organized
  • Self-Assured
  • Motivated
  • Ready to Work