Business Enterprises Program

The Business Enterprises Program [BEP] of ORS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers training and employment for qualified persons who are legally blind. Licensed blind vendors operate vending facilities at 13 locations found throughout the state. Vending facilities are established by the "State Licensing Agency" or "SLA" in public buildings as provided for in state and federal legislation and regulation. Licensed blind vendors are assigned to these locations on the basis of their seniority within the program. All locations are operated as independent businesses in close cooperation with the SLA. Types of facilities range from small snack bars serving light snacks and beverages to larger food-service sites serving hot and cold entrees prepared on-site.

Those interested in applying for training must meet the following basic entry requirements. Applicants must:

1. Be a Vocational Rehabilitation client who is ready for training.

2. Be eighteen years of age or older.

3. Possess skills in the capacity or potential to travel independently.

4. Possess sufficient capacity to learn and/or perform basic math skills.

5. Give evidence of stable personality traits sufficient to meet and deal with the public.

6. Be willing to exercise due care in daily maintenance of personal cleanliness and grooming.

7. Be legally blind.

8. Be a citizen of the United States.

Candidates selected for training participate in a minimum of eight weeks of classroom and on-the-job training offered through the SLA. In addition, new trainees are required to obtain and maintain food Safety Certification to insure safe food-handling measures are consistently practiced in the program.

Anyone who would like further information concerning BEP is encouraged to discuss their interest with their assigned VR Counselor or if there are specific questions, to contact Melanie Sbardella, Assistant Administrator at 401-332-9018 or via email to [email protected]

Business Enterprise Program Fact Sheet