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.
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.