AbilityOne & The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

You may wonder how the Lighthouse and your local Base Supply Center are connected. The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is a stand-alone company. However, we are connected to other organizations and do business in conjunction with other programs.

AbilityOne Program

The AbilityOne Program originated in 1938 as the Wagner O’Day Act, (renamed to the Javits-Wagner O’Day Act in 1971). It is administered by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, an independent federal agency. Their statutory name is the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. It is one of the largest sources of employment in the United States for individuals who are blind and or have significant disabilities. This program employs approximately 45,000 people. That includes 3,000 veterans, and 30,000 AbilityOne employees who work on Department of Defense contracts.

National Industries for the Blind (NIB)

National Industries for the Blind (NIB) administers the AbilityOne federal contracts. They partner with nearly 100 independent nonprofit agencies who manufacture products and/or provide knowledge-based professional services throughout the United States. The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. is an NIB-affiliated agency and manufactures products and services through the program.


The products that employees who are blind make under the AbilityOne Program receive the SKILCRAFT brand. This brand is owned and licensed through NIB. Customers can find SKILCRAFT products online, in AbilityOne Base Supply Centers (BSC), military commissaries and exchanges, and through hundreds of AbilityOne authorized distributors. The SKILCRAFT line includes thousands of offerings from office supplies and hardware to knowledge-based professional services. The SKILCRAFT brand meets or exceed exacting government standards, including the rigorous requirements of the U.S. military.

AbilityOne Base Supply Centers (BSCs)

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. operates over twelve AbilityOne Base Supply Centers (BSCs) and BSC supporting offices and warehouses up and down the West Coast of the United States. These offer one-stop shopping to military personnel and federal employees who require federally compliant supplies. Located primarily on military bases, BSCs sell SKILCRAFT products made by Lighthouse employees. They also sell products from other NIB-affiliated agencies, made by people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities. The competitive pricing for items offered by the BSCs (prices are benchmarked and fall within GSA Schedule pricing) comply with FAR Subpart 13.202.

Supply Center staff next to shelf of products

What You’ll Find at an AbilityOne Base Supply Center

Your local AbilityOne Base Supply Center is one-stop shop for products and office supplies of all sorts. Below, find some examples of what you’ll find in one of our stores. Can’t find what you’re looking for in store? Our associates would be happy to place an order for you from our even larger selection of available products!

Office Supplies

We have all the office products you might need, including:

Computer Accessories

Image of office supplies on shelving, including CDs, mouse pads, and more

Desk Supplies

Desk supplies sitting on shelving, including post it notes, sticky tabs, and note pads.

Printing Supplies

Printing supplies sitting on shelves, including boxes, labels and more.

Be sure to also check out our shipping supplies!

Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies

When it comes to cleaning supplies, we have you covered! Not only do we carry your favorite well-known products, but we also carry environmentally friendly “Green” cleaners and detergents for your special projects.

Cleaning supplies such as bleach, Lysol, spray bottles and scrub brushes sitting on shelves..

COVID-19 Supplies

Shelving with a sign that says, "healthy hands start here" with wipes, masks, and hand sanitizer.

Seasonal Supplies

In addition to our normal selection, we also carry seasonal items that you and your team might need. Check in at or call our stores for updates on current seasonal selections.

A display of cold weather supplies like snow shovels, window scrapers, and ice melt

Friendly Staff

You’ll always find helpful and friendly staff at each of our AbilityOne Base Supply Center locations!

Six employees wearing masks and standing next to cleaning supplies.

Products Made by People Who Are Blind

Did you know that our stores carry products manufactured by people who are blind?

The wall boards that you’ll find in each AbilityOne Base Supply Center are made by our very own production team in Spokane, Washington. Learn more about our recent milestone of creating more than 1 million wallboards!

A large wall board with a calendar outline on it sitting on a shelf in a store

Other Items:

Individual Equipment Element

Organizational Clothing
Individual Equipment
DLA items

Special Orders

Unique Military Items
Tactical Gear
Office Furniture
Space Planning and Installation

Disposable Paper Products
Food Service Supplies

And so much more!

Shop online now >>

Image of a large box truck

BSC Delivery Services Expanded Through Generous Donation from Boeing Employees Community Fund of Puget Sound

Through a generous grant from the Boeing Employees Community Fund of Puget Sound, the Lighthouse was able to purchase a new Box Truck for our JBLM Base Supply Centers! This new addition to our fleet of delivery trucks allows the Lighthouse to deliver supplies on base and meet customer needs more efficiently.

John Gibbs, Director of BSC Operations, put it best, “The Lighthouse for the Blind Base Supply Center Program would like to express a tremendous level of gratitude to the Boeing Employees Community Fund of Puget Sound for their generous donation of a delivery vehicle. The new boxed truck is providing a great benefit to not only The Lighthouse for the Blind, but also to the Soldiers, Airmen, and Department of Defense Contractors we serve on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The additional vehicles allows increased delivery time of critical supplies for the service members as they perform their wartime and peacetime duties. The support from exceptional companies like the Boeing Employees Community Fund of Puget Sound assist with providing jobs for people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities through meaningful employment.”

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. operates seven AbilityOne Base Supply Centers (BSCs) which supply superior blind made products and services to Federal Government customers through a commercial setting that employs people who are blind. BSCs are located on military installations and provide the necessary services and products to satisfy the needs of base personnel.

Beyond providing employment opportunities at BSCs, the BSC program supports hundreds of Lighthouse employees who are blind and DeafBlind that work in the defense and office product business lines at other Lighthouse facilities including Seattle, Spokane, and South Carolina. BSCs are stores through which we sell the products we make that allow us to provide hundreds of employment opportunities to individuals who are blind and DeafBlind. In addition to retail and production employment opportunities, there are many administrative and production support jobs that provide additional employment opportunities to individuals who are blind and DeafBlind.

Additionally, through the BSC program, service-disabled veterans have the opportunity to join the BSC. BSC employees, and those in production and support roles at the Lighthouse’s Seattle, Spokane, and South Carolina facilities, take great pride in their roles that support the military and our federal government.

Image Description: A middle aged white man leans on a tower of stacked boxes, smiling. He is wearing glasses and a dark blue sweatshirt with an embroidered BSC logo.

BSCs Provide Stable Employment for People Who are Visually Impaired – David Haney’s Story

Due to complications at birth, the AbilityOne Base Supply Center (BSC) Manager David Haney spent the first few years of his life completely blind. After a procedure that included putting 5-year-old David in a temporary coma to operate on his optic nerve, he was able to regain some vision yet remains totally colorblind. “I see black, white, and grey,” David explains.

Before finding The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc, which operates BSC stores up and down the west coast, David found work in a variety of fields including construction, cabinetry, and even teaching. However, David mentions that his visual impairment impacted his career opportunities significantly. “I could always get around certain things to a point but if they found out later that I had some kind of a visual problem I would get laid off or fired.”

After being laid off in 2013, David decided to seek advice on finding employment. “I went back to the employment office and I told them my dilemma. There, they told me, ‘you’re a dislocated worker, you’re an older worker, and you’re in an occupation that’s dying. How do you feel about going back to school?’ And I said sign me up!”

Always willing to learn something new, David pursued a totally new career field. “I found a couple of scholarships and I got myself enrolled at the University of Washington and I finished my bachelor’s degree in education. I wanted to teach shop!” However, David’s dreams of teaching shop were once again impacted by misconceptions. Unfortunately, teachers and principals were worried about how David would be able to keep students safe in an environment with so many tools.

Finally, David discovered the Lighthouse. “I was just perusing on the internet one day and I came across the Lighthouse. It said, ‘we encourage the employment of workers who are visually impaired or blind’ and that’s something I’d never seen before!” David immediately reached out and has been working at the Lighthouse ever since. He notes, “I’ll be going on 15 years come this September!”

During his 14+ year tenure at the Lighthouse, David has worked mostly at the Seattle Facility in production, making defense products that supply the federal government.  “Up until this last October I was a Production Lead, working on hydration and canteen cups.”

Upward mobility is highly encouraged and supported at the Lighthouse so when someone suggested that David apply for an open position with the BSC program, he decided to go for it! David is now the store manager for the AbilityOne Base Supply Center located at the Seattle Coast Guard base.

Adaptive Equipment

As part of the Lighthouse mission, positions at BSC stores can be made to be fully accessible to people with disabilities. For David, that means having access to screen magnification and screen reading software called ZoomText.

David explains, “It has adjustable features, too. So, if the screen is too bright, you can tone that down. You can turn it into different colors or to whatever makes it easy or comfortable for you to read.” When it comes to settings, every individual’s preferences are different. “I kind of tone it down and darken it up which works best for my color blindness. If I look at a normal computer screen it just blows my eyes right out of the water,” David says.

In addition to ZoomText, David also utilizes a handheld electronic magnifying glass called a Pebble to read printed text. “I use it if I have any kind of paperwork where it has small print. Some of these packages that come in have print on the labels that is really small. The Pebble comes in really handy because you can carry it around in your pocket. It makes it really easy,” he notes.

Learn more about the adaptive equipment available for people who are visually impaired >>

Watch Lighthouse employee Meka White demonstrate how adaptive equipment helps her to do her job >>

Why Shop BSC Stores

David shares why it’s important for military members to utilize BSC stores when shopping for supplies. “Supporting these stores helps people with disabilities to get job experience.” David continues, “It helps people to grow, feel confident and earn a living. To do something meaningful with their lives.”

David says, “there’s a lot of people who have a lot of potential that get bypassed because of their vision. It’s the same with any type of disability. It’s always the disability first and it’s hard for people to look past that. I think anything’s possible and I think everybody should be given a chance.”

A man wearing a blue shirt sits at a desk, typing on a computer. He is wearing a pair of headphones, only covering one of his ears. Through the window behind his desk, you can see shelving inside a store.

Become an Order Processing Specialist at our San Diego, CA Warehouse

Order Processing Specialist, BSC Naval Air Station North Island – San Diego, CA

Provide administrative and order processing support to both GSA and NAVFAC customers by assisting with quotes, orders, data entry and work closely with the Purchasing Team to ensure timely processing of orders.

Responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Work with incoming quote requests primarily via email. Complete quotes to include source, pricing, and estimation of lead times.
  • Review open quotes for timely order placement and communicate changes with customer when applicable.
  • Manage and track all special-order requests for quote through the Procurement Team and General Services Administration (GSA) Add-on Specialist to ensure timely turnover of activity.
  • Receive merchandise, and stage orders for customer pick up.
  • Document any damaged merchandise, missed-shipped items or any other problems and take required action to solve the problem with shipper or vendor.
  • Log and file all receiving documents as indicated by company policy and update quantities in computer system to accept receipt of merchandise.
  • Manage GSA/NAVFAC retail price file for on-site reference.

Requirements of this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Have a thorough understanding of purchasing functions and order flow.
  • Ability to understand technical specifications, Mil-spec, NSN, and other governing laws or regulations concerning lawful government procurement.
  • Must be able to safely use warehouse equipment, climb ladders and load/unload delivery vehicles.
  • Ability to consistently follow standards, policies, and requirements regarding customer accounts.

Read the full job description for the Order Processing Specialist position and apply now. >>


AbilityOne Base Supply Center Warehouse
The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.
3655 Pacific Hwy Ste B
San Diego, Ca 92101

About The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. operates AbilityOne Base Supply Centers (BSCs) up and down the West Coast U.S.

The Lighthouse is a private, not-for-profit social enterprise providing employment, support, and training opportunities for people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities. The Lighthouse has provided employment and support to people who are blind in our community since 1918.

Our philosophy maintains that each employee be provided with whatever supports are necessary for success in the workplace. Supports include an in-house sign language interpreting department to ensure effective communication for employees who are DeafBlind, staff mobility instructors to teach independent travel with a white cane or dog guide, and over 100 computer workstations adapted for use by individuals who are visually impaired.

Our Mission: “We empower people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities by creating diverse, sustainable, and meaningful employment opportunities.”