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Randolph Sheppard Vending Facility Program

Program Description

The Vending Facility program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act provides persons who are blind with remunerative employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on federal and other property. The program, enacted into law in 1936, was intended to enhance employment opportunities for trained, licensed blind persons to operate facilities. The law was subsequently amended in 1954 and again in 1974 to ultimately ensure individuals who are blind a priority in the operation of vending facilities, which included cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines, that are on federal property. The program priority has broadened in most states through state laws to include state, county, municipal, and private locations as well. Under the Randolph Sheppard program, state licensing agencies recruit, train, license, and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on federal and other properties. The act authorizes a blind individual licensed by the state licensing agency to conduct specified activities in vending facilities through permits or contracts.

Additional Information

This program was developed following the enactment of the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, 20 USC 107 et. seq., as amended in 1954 and 1974. The 1936 act was enacted to provide blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarge their economic opportunities, and encourage their self-support through the operation of vending facilities in federal buildings. The U.S. Department of Education prescribes regulations, as set forth in 34 CFR, Part 395, implementing the Act as amended (See 41 CFR 101-20.2). Randolph-Sheppard vending facilities can be established in leased space and under Cooperative Use Space in General Services Administration (GSA) locations.

Under the Randolph-Sheppard Program, state rehabilitation agencies recruit, train, license and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on federal and other properties. In FY 2014, a total of 2,108 blind vendors operated 2,389 vending facilities located on federal and other property. The program generated $693.6 million, and the average vendor earnings amounted to $59,012.

The total gross income for the program was $697,000,000 million in FY 2015 compared to $693,000,000 million in FY 2014. The total earnings of all vendors were $118.2 million in FY 2015.

Decisions of Arbitration Panels

Under section 107d-2(c) of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, the Secretary publishes the decisions of <a href="/policy-arbitration-decisions">arbitration panels</a> selected to adjudicate disputes over the administration of vending facilities on Federal and other property. You may view a list of those decisions, or view the instructions for how to perform a keyword search.

CFDA code
No CDFA

TAC-21-02

The Application of the Randolph-Sheppard Act Priority for Blind Vendors to the Operation of Vending Machines on Federal Property and the Use of Third-Party Vendors on that Property

Randolph-Sheppard Financial Relief and Restoration Payments (FRRP) Appropriation

FRRP Final Performance Report: 60-day Comment Period

This is a new data collection with reporting instructions resulting from enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Division H, Title III, Section 318. This provision authorized the Secretary of Education to allot $20,000,000 for one-time financial relief and restoration grants consistent with the purposes of the Randolph-Sheppard Act as authorized under section 10 of such Act. Prior to this legislation, Congress has not appropriated such funds concerning the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facilities Act. As such, the Department is seeking this data collection in order to collect Final Performance Report data from SLAs. The Department estimates that this data collection will result in a minor burden increase to respondents and will take up to one hour to complete the Final Performance Report.

The 60-day comment period closes on September 6, 2022. To submit comments, please visit the Federal Register

Federal Financial Reporting 

Recipients of FRRP grant funds in FFY 2021 must submit a financial report regarding the use of those funds.  In accordance with 2 C.F.R. § 200.328 and consistent with an Attachment to the State’s Grant Award Notification for the FRRP grant, each State licensing agency (SLA) must submit a SF-425 annually describing the amount of Federal funds received in FFY 2021 and the amount of those funds disbursed during that FFY.  Each SLA must submit its SF-425 as follows:

  • In the event the SLA disburses all its FRRP funds in FFY 2021 (i.e., by September 30, 2021), it would be required to submit only one financial report – a final FFY 2021 SF-425 -- 120 days after the end of the agency’s period of performance for the FRRP grant (2 C.F.R. § 200.344(a)).  Under this circumstance, the SLA would submit the final SF-425 no later than January 30, 2022, because the SLA ended its FRRP activities by September 30, 2021. 
  • However, in the event an SLA has FRRP funds remaining to disburse in FFY 2022, as it is permitted to do in accordance with the terms of the grant, it must submit both an annual FFY 2021 SF-425 by October 30, 2021 (i.e., 30 days after the end of the FFY, which ends September 30, 2021) and a final FFY 2021 SF-425 at the end of FFY 2022 (i.e., the end of the period of performance for the FRRP grant).  Under this circumstance, the SLA would submit the final FFY 2021 SF-425 by January 30, 2023 (120 days after the end of the FRRP grant’s period of performance which ends September 30, 2022) (2 C.F.R. § 200.344(a)).  The SF-425 would be marked as a “final FFY 2021” financial report since the FRRP funds were awarded in FFY 2021. 

 

In addition, SLAs must submit a final performance report, to provide necessary data about how the funds were used, within 120 days after the end of the period of performance for the FRRP grant, which ends September 30, 2022, pursuant to 2 C.F.R. § 200.329(c)(1) and consistent with an Attachment to the Grant Award Notification to the State’s FRRP grant. This means the final performance report for the FRRP grant will be due no later than January 30, 2023. RSA is in the process of developing the information collection request for the performance report, and we will inform you when it is published in the Federal Register.

This technical assistance is consistent with, but more detailed than RSA-FAQ 21-04 (March 12, 2021). The completed SF-425 should be sent to randolph-sheppardvfprestorationfunds@ed.gov.

Approved Assurances and Use of FRRP Funds 

RSA has approved Assurances and Use of FRRP Funds for the following State licensing agencies (SLAs): 

  1. Alabama: Form
  2. Alaska: Form
  3. Arkansas: Form
  4. Arizona: Form
  5. California: Form and Attachment 1
  6. Colorado: Form
  7. Connecticut: Form
  8. Delaware: Form
  9. District of Columbia: Form
  10. Florida: Form, Attachment 1, and Attachment 2
  11. Georgia: Form
  12. Hawaii: Form and Attachment 1
  13. Idaho: Form
  14. Illinois: Form and Attachment 1
  15. Indiana: Form, Attachment 1, and Attachment 2
  16. Iowa: Form and Attachment 1
  17. Kansas: Form
  18. Kentucky: Form
  19. Louisiana: Form and Attachment 1
  20. Maine: Form
  21. Maryland: Form
  22. Massachusetts: Form
  23. Michigan: Form
  24. Minnesota: Form and Attachment 1
  25. Mississippi: Form, Attachment 1, and Attachment 2
  26. Missouri: Form
  27. Montana: Form
  28. Nebraska: Form, Attachment 1, and Attachment 2
  29. Nevada: Form
  30. New Hampshire: Form and Attachment 1
  31. New Jersey: Form
  32. New Mexico: Form and Attachment 1
  33. New York: Form and Attachment 1
  34. North Carolina: Form, Attachment 1, and Attachment 2
  35. North Dakota: Form
  36. Ohio: Form and Attachment 1
  37. Oklahoma: Form and Attachment 1
  38. Oregon: Form and Attachment 1
  39. Pennsylvania: Form and Attachment 1
  40. Puerto Rico: Form
  41. Rhode Island: Form
  42. South Carolina: Form
  43. South Dakota: Form
  44. Tennessee: Form
  45. Texas: Form
  46. Utah: Form
  47. Virginia: Form and Attachment 1
  48. Vermont: Form
  49. Washington: Form
  50. West Virginia: Form, Attachment 1, and Attachment 2
  51. Wisconsin: Form and Attachment 1

These SLAs will receive an email notification from the G5 Grants Management System as soon as the Grant Award Notification (GAN) is issued. The GAN will state that the period of performance for these FRRP funds ends on September 30, 2022.

FAQs related to Randolph-Sheppard FRRP Appropriation

On June 14, 2021, RSA issued a second set of Frequently Asked Questions: Randolph-Sheppard Act Financial Relief and Restoration Payments Appropriation (FAQ 21-06) to respond to additional inquiries. 

On March 12, 2021, RSA issued Frequently Asked Questions: Randolph-Sheppard Act Financial Relief and Restoration Payments Appropriation (FAQ 21-04) to respond to inquiries concerning the administration of this appropriation. 

FFY 2021 Estimated Grant Awards by State (updated March 17, 2021)

RSA provides these estimated grant award amounts for FFY 2021 based upon the Congressional Appropriation ($20,000,000) divided by the number of vendors (i.e., 1,786 vendors) as reported by SLAs on the FFY 2019 RSA-15 reports (OMB Control No: 1820-0009).

Federal Register Notice: Emergency Clearance of New Information Collection

On February 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education published an emergency clearance of a new information collection resulting from enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Division H, Title III. This provision authorized the Secretary of Education to allot $20,000,000 for one-time financial relief and restoration grants consistent with the purposes of the Randolph-Sheppard Act as authorized under section 10 of such Act (20 U.S.C. 107f). Prior to this legislation, Congress has not appropriated funds for the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program. Therefore, the Department is seeking this data collection in order to meet its obligation to ensure that Federal funds are being used for their prescribed purposes. 

Assurances and Use of FRRP Funds Form

RSA provides this information collection (OMB Control No. 1820-0698) containing the assurances and use of FRRP funds for SLAs. The Office of Management and Budget has approved this information collection through August 31, 2021.

Certification of Lobbying Form

SLAs receiving funding under the FRRP Appropriation must submit the Certification Regarding Lobbying Form (ED 80-0013) to RSA to comply with the certification requirements under 34 C.F.R. Part 82, "New Restrictions on Lobbying." This certification is a material representation of fact upon which the U.S. Department of Education relies when it makes a grant or enters into a cooperative agreement.

TAC-21-01

Active Participation of Elected Committees of Blind Vendors with State Licensing Agencies in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program

Randolph-Sheppard Resources

FFY 2021 Report of Vending Facility Program (RSA-15) 

State licensing agencies (SLAs) under the Randolph-Sheppard Act (Act) are required annually to complete the Report of Vending Facility Program (RSA-15) that reports activities for the prior Federal fiscal year (FFY). The intent of the RSA-15 is to collect data on all vending facilities managed and operated by the SLA under the Act. 

For FFY 2021, the reporting period is October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, and the deadline to submit this report is April 29, 2022. 

Reporting Instructions and the RSA-15 report are available.

The Financial Relief and Restoration Payment Appropriation FAQ (RSA-FAQ-22-04) is available.  Note the line items that may be impacted as a result of the FRRP payments in FY 2021.

RSA will hold a training on April 11, 2022 at 2:00PM Eastern. 

Application and Permit for the Establishment of a Vending Facility on Federal Property 

This application and permit for the establishment of a vending facility on Federal property, as authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act, includes the following attachments and appendices: Attachment A: Satisfactory Site Location; Attachment B: Facility Drawings; Attachment C: Types of Articles Sold and Serviced; Attachment D: List of Equipment and Fixtures; Attachment E: Vending Machines; Attachment F: Hours of Operation Schedule; Attachment G: Other Terms and Conditions; Attachment H: GSA and SLA Resolution Process; Appendix A: Executive Order 13658 Contracts Clause; and Appendix B: Executive Order 13706 Contracts Clause. 

AbilityOne/RSA Memorandum of Understanding

RSA and the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (operating as the U.S. AbilityOne Commission) agree to work together to increase communication and understanding between the agencies regarding which opportunities are appropriate for persons who are blind to operate vending facilities under the Randolph-Sheppard Act and which are appropriate for placement on the Procurement List under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act. Furthermore, AbilityOne and RSA agree to work together to expand entrepreneurial and other employment-related opportunities for individuals who are blind or who have significant disabilities.

Employment outcomes and entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals who are blind or who have significant disabilities can be improved through a closer working relationship between AbilityOne and RSA. This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), executed on January 19, 2021, establishes the framework for AbilityOne and RSA to work more closely together and to encourage their respective stakeholders to also work cooperatively together to promote improved services and entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to their mutual participants. The definitions, published on June 1, 2021 as an appendix, are pertinent to this agreement that will facilitate both clearer communication and adherence to the agreement.

Webinar

On August 26, 2021, RSA and the U.S. AbilityOne Commission held a webinar to provide an overview of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility and AbilityOne programs and details related to the MOU that describes how RSA and the U.S. AbilityOne Commission have agreed to work together to increase communication and understanding between the agencies regarding which opportunities are appropriate for persons who are blind to operate vending facilities under the Randolph-Sheppard Act and which are appropriate for placement on the Procurement List under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act. A video recording of the webinar is available here

On May 9, 2022, RSA and the U.S. AbilityOne Commission published a questions and answers document that responds to questions posed during the August 26, 2021, webinar regarding the MOU. 

Report to Congress

On December 21, 2020, RSA transmitted the report on the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936 to the Committees on Appropriations, pursuant to the congressional explanatory statement to the fiscal year 2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 116-94), signed into law on December 20, 2019. This report summarizes RSA’s progress in the convening of arbitration panels in a timely manner, the review and approval of State licensing agencies’ (SLA) policy changes, and RSA’s work with SLAs to approve routine expenditures, including prior approval requests, associated with the program. The report also describes the technical assistance RSA provided to SLAs and blind vendors.

Appeal of Arbitration Decision Letter

On November 23, 2020, RSA responded to Department of the Army’s appeal of the arbitration panel decision in Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services v. Department of the Army, Fort Sill (Case No. R-S/18-9) via this letter. Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act, there is no right to appeal an adverse arbitration decision to the Secretary of Education.  Judicial review in Federal district court is available to aggrieved persons as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act.

Appellate Court Decisions

On January 25, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision in State of Ohio, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Bureau of Services of Visually Impaired, Business Enterprise Program v. U.S. Department of Education (No. 19-3397).  

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision in State of Kansas, by and through the Kansas Department for Children and Families vs. Source America; Lakeview Center, Inc., and United States Department of Education, United States Department of the Army, and United States Department of Defense (No. 19-1452).

On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision in Texas Workforce Commission vs. United States Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration  (No. 19-50283). 

Operation of Vending Facilities Letter 

On March 5, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sent a letter to Representative Pete Sessions related to the Randolph-Sheppard Act and the operation of vending facilities on Federal property. 

Eligibility

Who May Apply: An application for designation as a State Licensing Agency (SLA) may only be submitted by the State VR agency providing VR services to the blind under an approved VR services portion of a WIOA Unified or Combined State Plan. 

Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program

Program Description

The Vending Facility program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act provides persons who are blind with remunerative employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on federal and other property. The program, enacted into law in 1936, was intended to enhance employment opportunities for trained, licensed blind persons to operate facilities. The law was subsequently amended in 1954 and again in 1974 to ultimately ensure individuals who are blind a priority in the operation of vending facilities, which included cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines, that are on federal property. The program priority has broadened in most states through state laws to include state, county, municipal, and private locations as well. Under the program, State licensing agencies recruit, train, license, and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on Federal and other properties. The act authorizes a blind individual licensed by the State licensing agency to conduct specified activities in vending facilities through permits or contracts.

Additional Information

This program was developed following the enactment of the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936, 20 USC 107 et. seq., as amended in 1954 and 1974. The 1936 act was enacted to provide blind persons with remunerative employment, enlarge their economic opportunities, and encourage their self-support through the operation of vending facilities in federal buildings. The U.S. Department of Education prescribes regulations, as set forth in 34 CFR, Part 395, implementing the Act as amended (See 41 CFR 101-20.2). Randolph-Sheppard vending facilities can be established in leased space and under Cooperative Use Space in General Services Administration locations.

In FY 2017, a total of 1,821 blind vendors operated 2090 vending facilities located on Federal and other property. The program generated $664.7 million and the average vendor earnings amounted to $66,240.