The Randolph-Sheppard Act Outline

  1. History
  1. Leonard Robinson
  1. Authored “Light at the Tunnel End”
  2. Blind attorney from Knoxville
  3. Led fight to get bill enacted
  4. Based upon similar program in Canada
  1. Legislation Enacted
  • Legislation Opposed
  1. Organized agencies for the blind
  2. Legislation Supported
  3. Lions International
  4. Veterans
  5. Organized Labor
  6. Sponsors of the Bill
  7. Congressman Jennings Randolph – West Virginia
  8. Senator Morris Sheppard – Texas
  9. Bill Signed Into Law
  10. June 20, 1936
  11. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. Legislative History
  1. Key Provisions of Original Legislation
  1. Blind persons were AUTHORIZED to operate vending facilities in Federal


  1. Established age and vision criteria
  2. Established licensing procedures
  3. Defined visual requirements for participation in program
  4. State agency to be designated to administer program
  1. 1943 Vocational Rehabilitation Act
  1. Blind persons became eligible for VR services
  2. VR funds could be used for Randolph Sheppard purposes
  1. 1954 Amendments to Randolph Sheppard Act
  1. Changed “authorized” to PREFEENCE
  2. Change federal buildings to federal property
  3. List of articles to be sold was expanded to include vending and other prepackaged


  1. Established set aside fees
  2. Granted rights to vendors to have fair hearings
  1. 1965 Amendments to the Vocational Rehabilitation Act
  1. Established the VR agency in the state as the one to provide supervision to Randolph Sheppard Programs
  1. 1974 Amendments to the Randolph Sheppard Act
  1. Changed “preference” to PRIORITY
  2. Removed age requirement
  3. Included cafeterias
  4. Income sharing
  5. Vendor benefits
  6. Established the Committee of Blind Vendors and the requirement of active participation
  7. Established arbitration procedure to resolve disputes
  8. Authorized the Secretary of the Department of Education to promulgate regulations

lll.            Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R. 395) Subpart A - Definitions Subpart B - State Licensing Agency Subpart C – Federal Property Management

  1. 1 Terms
  1. Defines terms found in the regulations and law
  2. Cannot rely on definition w/o seeing how it is used in the regulations
  1. 2 Application as Designation as State Licensing Agency – General
  1. State agency providing vocational rehabilitation services to the blind is the only

agency eligible for designation as the SLA

  1. Submitted in writing to the Secretary of Education
  2. Approved by the governor
  3. Submitted over the signature of the administrator of the SLA
  1. 3 Application as Designation as State Licensing Agency – Content
  1. SLA’s legal authority to administer the program
  2. Description of methods for coordinating VR and Randolph Sheppard Programs including post employment services
  3. Policies and standards for selecting facility sites
  4. Methods to ensure active participation by the Committee
  5. Policies for making vending facility equipment and stock available to vendors
  6. Sources of funds
  7. Policies describing the relationship between agency and vendors
  8. Selection criteria for entry
  9. Duties of vendors
  10. Supervision
  11. Transfer and Promotions
  12. Financial participation
  13. Right to a fair hearing and arbitration
  14. Methods to provide suitable training, including upward mobility training
  15. Procedures for utilizing a nominee agency if so desired
  16. Arrangements for vesting equipment
  17. Assurances
  18. Cooperate with the Secretary in carrying out the requirements of the Act
  19. Take effective actions for supervision including terminating licenses
  20. Submit promptly to the Secretary
  21. Changes in legal authority
  22. Rule changes
  23. Set Aside Schedules
  24. Policies against discrimination
  25. Provide each vendor a copy of the rules
  26. Submit to arbitration to grievances by vendors
  27. Adopt accounting procedures as necessary
  28. Make reports as required
  1. 4 State Rules and Regulations
  1. SLA must promulgate
  2. Rules must be published in accordance with state law
  3. Ensure that equipment and stock can only be vested in the SLA, vendor, or nominee agency
  1. 5 Approval of Application for designation as SLA
  1. By the Secretary of Education
  1. 17 Suspension as Designation as SLA
  1. May be suspended by the Secretary if (s)he finds that the SLA is not in compliance

With the Act

  1. Secretary will first give notice that there are compliance issues
  2. 90 day notice of suspension is required
  3. SLA can request a hearing before the Secretary or his/her designee
  1. 6 Vendor Ownership
  1. Must have written agreement with vendor
  2. Rules must set forth guidelines
  3. Vendor remains Randolph Sheppard vendor
  1. 7 The Issuance and Conditions of Licenses
  1. Criteria for issuance must be objective
  2. Licensees must be:
  3. Legally blind
  4. S. citizen
  5. Certified by the agency to be qualified
  6. issued by SLA to vendor for an indefinite period of time subject to termination for failure to comply with all requirements
  7. Must first afford an opportunity for an evidentiary hearing.
  1. 32 Collection and Use of Vending Machine Income from Vending Machines on Federal Property
  1. Property Management official will be responsible for collection
  2. 100% of income from vending machines in direct competition to a blind vendor accrues to the SLA to be disbursed to the vendor
  3. 50% of income from vending machines not in direct competition will accrue to the SLA to be disbursed tot he vendor
  4. 30% of income on properties where at least 50% of the work is performed after normal work hours
  5. A vendor is limited to receive no more than the national average annual income per vendor
  6. Exceptions to income sharing provisions
  7. Machines within military ship stores or post exchanges
  8. Machines controlled by the VA
  9. Locations where the income is less than $3,000 annually
  1. 8 Distribution and Usr of Income from Vending Machines on Federal Property
  1. SLA will disburse quarterly
  2. Vendor is limited to amount he can receive
  3. Funds not disbursed to a vendor can be used for other purposes as voted on by the vendors
  4. Retirement or pensions
  5. Health Insurance
  6. Sick Leave
  7. Vacation Pay
  8. Funds not used for these purposes may be used by program
  9. Repair and maintenance of equipment
  10. Purchase of equipment
  11. Management Services
  12. Fair minimum return to the vendors
  1. 9 The Setting Aside of Funds by the SLA
  1. Must be in writing and approved by the Secretary of Education
  2. Can be used for multiple purposes
  3. Maintenance and repair of equipment
  4. Purchase of equipment
  5. Management services
  6. Fair minimum return
  7. Benefits as specified in 395.8
  1. 10 The Maintenance and Replacement of Vending Facility Equipment
  1. Responsibility of SLA
  1. 11 Training Program for Blind Individuals
  1. Must be provided as a VR service to VR clients
  2. Must include on-the-job training
  3. Upward mobility training
  4. Post employment services
  1. 12 Access to program and Financial Information
  1. Each blind vendor must be given access
  2. Schedule a time to interpret the data
  3. Quarterly and annual reports
  4. Does not override confidentiality laws
  1. 13 Evidentiary Hearings and Arbitration of Complaints
  1. Available to any blind vendor dissatisfied with any agency action arising out of the administration of the program
  2. The filing of a complaint authorizes the release of information
  3. If dissatisfied with the decision in a fair hearing, a vendor may seek arbitration
  4. Three member panel appointed by Secretary
  5. One member selected by vendor
  6. One member selected by SLA
  7. Independent member jointly agreed to by other two panel members
  8. Decisions are matter of public record
  9. Decisions are binding upon the parties but are subject to judicial review
  10. Secretary pays all expenses except attorney fees
  11. Grantors of permits cannot be required to participate
  1. F.R. 395.14 Committee of Blind Vendors
  1. Elected biennially
  2. Must be representative of all vendors
  3. Active participation
  4. Major administrative and policy decisions affecting the overall administration of the program
  5. Receive and transmit to the SLA grievances of vendors
  6. Promotions and transfers
  7. Training
  8. Vendor meetings
  1. 15 Use of Nominee Agencies
  1. Must be a nonprofit
  2. Must have a written agreement approved by RSA
  3. Must ensure that SLA has full responsibility for administration of the program
  1. 16 Permit for Establishment of Vending Facilities
  1. SLA must submit application in writing
  2. Must specify:
  3. Location
  4. Amount of space necessary
  5. Type of facility and equipment
  6. Number, type, and location of all vending machines
  7. Other terms and conditions
  1. 30 The Location and Operation of Vending Facilities for Blind Vendors on Federal Property
  1. Federal property management must take steps necessary to ensure one or more vending facilities to be operated by a blind vendor
  2. Limitations placed on earnings must be approved by Secretary
  3. Exceptions to the requirement to provide space for a vending facility
  4. If the facility adversely affects the interests of the U.S.
  5. National Parks where vending is combined with other things such as lodging
  6. Certain NASA facilities
  1. 31 Acquisition and Occupation of Federal Property
  1. Federal agency shall not occupy in whole or in part any building unless it determines that there is space for a blind vendor
  2. Federal agency shall provide 60 days notice of intent to occupy a building
  3. SLA with approval of property management will be given opportunity to select location of facility and type of service to be provided
  4. Exceptions to priority
  5. SLA determines insufficient patronage
  6. Fewer than 100 Federal employees on the premises
  7. Less than 15,000 square feet of space
  8. Leased property and there is a private operation that the blind vendor would be in direct competition with
  1. 34 Application for Permit
  1. In writing
  2. Proper form
  3. Approved by head of Federal agency
  1. 35 Terms of Permit
  1. Must prescribe procedures to protect against discrimination against vendors and/or by vendors
  2. Issued for an indefinite period of time
  3. No charge to SLA or vendor for normal cleaning or maintenance of building
  4. SLA vendor responsible for cleaning vending facility at no cost to Federal agency
  5. Articles sold may consist of:
  6. Newspapers, periodicals, publications
  7. Tobacco products
  8. Confections
  9. Foods
  10. Beverages
  11. Lottery chances
  12. Other articles and services as agreed to by SLA and property management
  13. Must specify that facility will be operated in compliance with health laws
  14. Renovations, modifications, etc. must be approved by property management
  15. Not used for cafeterias
  1. 33 Operation of Cafeterias by Blind Vendors
  1. Priority applies if SLA proposal is in the competitive range
  2. Contract rather than permit
  3. Property management may choose to bypass soliciting proposals and enter into direct negotiations with the SLA
  1. 36 Enforcement Procedures
  1. Day-to-day problems should be resolved informally
  2. Issues related to compliance to permit should be put in writing by property management
  1. 37 Arbitration of State Agency Complaints
  1. Disputes between SLA and Federal property management can be resolved using the same process utilized by blind vendors to resolve complaints.
  2. Many end up in the federal courts.
  1. 395.37 Reports
  1. Each federal agency must file an annual report with the Secretary that shows:
  1. Number of permit applications received
  2. Number accepted
  3. Number denied
  4. Number still pending
  5. Vending machines income received and the amount of income disbursed to SLAs.