Exactly What are the Responsibilities of the SLA?

Randolph-Sheppard Act
Responsibilities of the State Licensing Agency
What Do the Federal Regulations Say?

NABM is often asked about the responsibilities of the SLA. There are things the SLA should do and things they are required to do. We focus on the latter here. We reviewed 34 C.F.R. 395 and came up with a list. Here you go.

First and foremost, the SLA’s primary responsibility is to fulfill the purpose of the Act. The purpose is:

“providing blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarging the economic opportunities of the blind, and stimulating the blind to greater efforts in striving to make themselves self-supporting....”

The SLA’s actions should always align with that purpose.

C.F.R. 395 specifically requires the following of the SLA:

  1. Abide by the Act and apply its provisions uniformly to all vendors;
  2. Coordinate VR services, including post employment services, to ensure vendors have skills to be successful;
  3. With the active participation of the Elected Committee of Blind Vendors, promulgate rules and regulations;
  4. Furnish each vendor a copy of the rules in an accessible format and provide training to ensure all vendors understand the rules;
  5. Establish policies against discrimination;
  6. Make training available to afford vendors the opportunity to maximize their vocational potential and to maintain employment;
  7. Assist the Committee in sponsoring vendor meetings and training conferences;
  8. With the active participation of the Elected Committee, determine criteria for entry into training;
  9. With the active participation of the Elected Committee, establish objective criteria for certifying a new licensee as qualified to manage and operate a vending facility;
  10. Issue licenses to vendors and terminate licenses for cause;
  11. Enter into agreements with vendors for the operation of vending facilities;
  12. With the active participation of the Elected Committee, establish policies outlining the relationship between the SLA and vendors including the roles of each party;
  13. With the active participation of the Elected Committee, develop standards to be employed in selecting suitable vending facilities;
  14. Provide sufficient equipment and initial stock to ensure the successful operation of all vending facilities;
  15. Maintain and replace equipment as necessary;
  16. Afford blind vendors due process including evidentiary hearings and arbitration;
  17. Supervise each vending facility, consult with vendors; conduct inspections, perform quality control, and ensure compliance with all laws applicable to vending facility operations in a state;
  18. With the active participation of the Elected Committee, develop a fair and equitable policy on assigning vendors to vending facilities including transfers and promotions;
  19. Provide for the biennial election of an Elected Committee of Blind Vendors;
  20. Allow the Committee of Blind Vendors to actively participate in all major decisions affecting the overall operation of the program;
  21. Collect and distribute federal unassigned funds;
  22. Develop accounting procedures and share program financial information
    1. Provide quarterly reports to the vendors
    1. Provide annual reports to the vendors
  23. Create new opportunities for blind vendors
    1. Survey potential sites;
    1. Determine feasibility;
    1. Apply for Permits;
  24. Enforce the terms and conditions of permits and/or contracts;
  25. Work with federal entities and the blind vendors to resolve problems with vending facility operations;
  26. Submit to arbitration disagreements with federal entities when it determines the federal entity has violated the Act; and,
  27. File reports as required by the Secretary of Education (RSA-15, etc.).