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January 27, 2014, ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and its New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) officially designated National Industries for the Blind (NIB), the nation’s leading employment resource for people who are blind, as administrator of the New York State Preferred Source Program (NYSPSP) for People Who Are Blind.
The program includes nine affiliated nonprofit agencies in New York State which employ nearly 400 people who are blind and generate approximately $30 million in sales of products and services to New York State and local government agencies.
In December 2012, NIB assumed the interim day-to-day management of the NYSPSP for People Who Are Blind. After a successful one-year interim designation period, NIB was formally designated on December 30, 2013 to administer the program.
“NIB's expertise has already led to increased employment opportunities for blind New Yorkers,” said Sheila J. Poole, OCFS acting commissioner. “I’m confident this business model will encourage continued job growth at the nine certified affiliates around the state.”
NIB helps administer a similar, nationwide purchasing program for the federal government, known as the AbilityOne® Program. NIB and its nationwide network of 93 associated nonprofit agencies create and sustain employment for more than 5,000 people who are blind.
“We’re proud to be a part of this incredible public-private partnership in New York,” said Kevin Lynch, president and CEO of NIB. “In the coming year, we’ll stay focused on creating even more job opportunities for New Yorkers who are blind.”
NIB maintains an office in Albany, New York, and manages order processing, customer service, sales and accounting functions for the NYSPSP for People Who Are Blind.
The NYSPSP for People Who Are Blind is a statewide initiative to create and sustain employment opportunities for New Yorkers who are blind or visually impaired. State and local agencies are required to purchase certain products or services made by people who are blind who work at affiliated nonprofit agencies in New York State. Visit www.NYSPSP.org to explore products and services available through the program.
About the Office of Children and Family Services
The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) serves New York's public by promoting the safety, permanency and well-being of its children, families and communities. OCFS achieves results by setting and enforcing policies, building partnerships, and funding and providing quality services. OCFS is dedicated to improving the integration of services for New York’s children, youth, families and vulnerable populations; to promoting their development; and to protecting them from violence, neglect, abuse and abandonment. The agency provides a system of family support, juvenile justice, child care and child welfare services that promote the safety and well-being of children and adults. For more information, visit http://ocfs.ny.gov.
About the New York State Commission for the Blind
The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides vocational rehabilitation and other direct services to legally blind New York State residents, including children, adults, and elderly persons. One of NYSCB's primary objectives is to assist consumers in achieving economic self-sufficiency and full integration into society. NYSCB offers these services from seven district offices across the state. For more information, visit www.visionloss.ny.gov.
About National Industries for the Blind
For more than 75 years, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has been focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and its network of 93 associated nonprofit agencies nationwide serve as the largest employer for people who are blind by the sale of SKILCRAFT® and other products and services through the AbilityOne® Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act. For more information about NIB, visit www.NIB.org.
Assistant Commissioner for Communications
New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Vice President, Communications
National Industries for the Blind