For those interested in finding out more about the Randolph-Sheppard blind vendors program (both nationally and in other states), advocacy and support groups for the blind and visually impaired, and blind vendor advocacy organizations, among others, the links below are excellent resources. In addition, most of the links cited have first-rate resource pages on their sites.
Montana Blind and Low Vision Services
Located in the Disability Services Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, BLVS offers a variety of services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and is responsible for managing the business enterprise program.
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University
With a mission of enhancing "employment and independent living outcomes for individuals who are blind or visually impaired through research, training, education, and dissemination", RRTC is a veritable treasure trove for information and resources related to the business enterprise program.
National Association of Blind Merchants
A membership organization of blind persons employed in either self-employment work or the Randolph-Sheppard vending program. NABM provides information regarding rehabilitation, social security, tax, and other issues which directly affect blind merchants. The National Association of Blind Merchants serves as an advocacy and support group. Affiliated with the National Federation of the Blind. NABM has an excellent resource page on its website that may be accessed at http://www.blindmerchants.org/resources.htm
National Federation of the Blind
The nation's largest membership organization of the blind, NFB's purpose is to help blind persons achieve self-confidence and self-respect and to act as a vehicle for collective self-expression by the blind. Affiliated with the Montana Association for the Blind (MAB).
Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America
A Membership organization comprised of persons who are employed by the Randolph-Sheppard Program. Affiliated with the American Council of the Blind. Provides information regarding rehabilitation, social security, tax, and other issues that directly affect blind merchants.
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
A national membership organization that strives to improve the well-being of all blind and visually impaired people by offering a variety of services and support. Affiliated with the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America.
Blind Business Association Ltd. (BBA)
A not-for-profit limited company run by its members, BBA's prime objective is to provide a forum for mutual support of people in the United Kingdom who are blind or partially sighted and in self-employment.
Other State Business Enterprise Programs
National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA)
The primary trade association for the vending machine industry in the U.S.
National Restaurant Association (NRA)
The major trade association for America's restaurateurs.