The National Association of Blind Merchants, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, is excited to announce its 2019 Critical Issues Conference.  The Randolph-Sheppard Program faces many challenges and an uncertain future.  What are we going to do to preserve the greatest entrepreneurial program for people with disabilities ever created? 


            “It is critical that we all understand the challenges and begin the process of identifying solutions,” said NABM President Nicky Gacos.  “We must be proactive if we want to protect what we have and build on those successes.”   

            The 2019 NABM Critical Issues Conference will be held May 20-22, 2019, at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.  The Conference is not intended to be a mega conference.  Instead, it will be open to blind entrepreneurs, BEP Directors, and other leaders in the Randolph-Sheppard community who can help us shape the future of our program.  There will be formal presentations by experts in the field but there will also be an opportunity for dialogue.  The goal is to inform but to also learn from each other.    

            Incorporated into the conference will be a morning on The Hill so you can educate members of Congress about Randolph-Sheppard and what it means to you.  If you wish to participate in the Congressional visits, go to to register on-line.  You can also book your room by calling 800-228-9290 and asking for the National Association of Blind Merchants rate which is $229. 

            For more information, contact Nicky Gacos at or Terry Smith at