Public Policy

Priority Issues

NIB is committed to expanding opportunities for social and economic independence of people who are blind. Through advocacy, a strong, collective voice calls on elected policymakers to open doors for the millions of Americans who are visually impaired and not currently participating in our workforce.

NIB’s public policy team monitors and analyzes federal policies and legislation impacting people who are blind and the AbilityOne Program — from federal procurement and spending, to the employment of people with disabilities.

For information about priority issues, contact Rick Webster, vice president, public policy, at 703-310-0365 or

Advocates for Leadership and Employment Program

People who are blind are encouraged to join the NIB Advocates for Leadership and Employment program to learn how to represent our blind community to elected officials.

By meeting with legislators and their staffs on Capitol Hill and in their home districts, and states, Advocates, nurture relationships with elected officials on behalf of the shared mission of NIB and its associated agencies: to increase employment of people who are blind.

Advocacy makes legislators aware of the needs of their constituents, including people who are blind, and nobody is better equipped to tell the NIB story than the people who live it.

Advocates training includes:

  • Formal, 2-year program
  • Effective communications
  • Advocacy strategies
  • Grassroots initiatives
  • Ongoing training and updates from NIB staff
  • Day on the Hill during National Symposium

If you are interested in learning about the public policy process and joining the Advocates program, contact Rick Webster, vice president, public policy, at 703-310-0365 or

Join Us

The NIB/NAEPB National Symposium provides an opportunity for representatives of our associated nonprofit agencies to gather in Washington, D.C., and meet with members of Congress and their staffs to build relationships and discuss issues affecting the employment of people who are blind. At the symposium, NIB trains participants in the Advocates for Leadership and Employment Program and presents legislative briefings for all who plan to visit congressional offices. Please join your colleagues for this important event to advocate and increase our presence in the nation’s capital.

AbilityOne Champions

An AbilityOne Champion is an elected, federal policymaker who has demonstrated support for the AbilityOne Program and related community-based nonprofit agencies in his or her district or state through congressional actions while supporting the enhancement of opportunities for economic and personal independence of persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

Click here for the AbilityOne Congressional Champion list.

Click here if you are interested in learning more about AbilityOne Champions and the requirements to become one.