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GSA Expo 2010. AbilityOne Program Overview How to Leverage the Program to Fulfill Your Needs. Eric Beale – Committee for Purchase Harlan Erker – National Industries for the Blind David Brown – NISH. Program Mission.

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GSA Expo 2010

AbilityOne Program OverviewHow to Leverage the Program to Fulfill Your Needs

Eric Beale – Committee for Purchase

Harlan Erker – National Industries for the Blind

David Brown – NISH

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Program Mission

Provide employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other severe disabilities in the manufacturing and delivery of products and the provision of services required by Federal customers

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Committee Staff Responsibilities

  • Establishing strategic direction for program

  • Creating/Maintaining Procurement List

  • Setting and revising Fair Market Prices

  • Designating Central Nonprofit Agencies (CNAs)

  • Making rules and regulations necessary to administer the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act

  • Assisting Federal customers increase their purchases under the program

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NIB/NISH Responsibilities

  • Oversee and assure nonprofit agency (NPA) contract compliance

  • Solve problems; single point of contact for complaints or delivery issues

  • Help educate customers

  • Represent NPAs to the Committee

  • Evaluate and report NPA qualifications and capabilities to the Committee

  • Recommend suitable additions to the list including the initial fair market price

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NIB/NISH Responsibilities (cont.)

  • Equitably distribute orders to NPAs

  • Recommend price changes

  • Ensure NPA compliance with Act

  • Enter into contracts with federal agencies

  • Increase awareness of the Program

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Nonprofit Agency Responsibilities

  • Manufacture and deliver products or perform services as assigned by the CNA

  • Meet qualification for participation

    • 75% of direct labor hour performed by people who are blind or severely disabled

    • Net income cannot benefit individual shareholder or other individual

  • Maintaining qualifications to continue to participate

  • Meet other requirements of Federal contractors

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Why is This Important?

  • Over 17 million working-age adults are blind or severely disabled with only 38% of this population employed

  • The AbilityOne Program serves people who cannot obtain or maintain employment on their own

  • The AbilityOne Program is the single largest employer of Americans who are blind or have other severe disabilities

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Customer Focus

  • Federal Government is the AbilityOne Customer

    • The AbilityOne Team must balance the needs of the Government and the employment needs of people who are blind or have other severe disabilities

    • Preferred Source vs. Mandatory Source

    • Provide Solutions

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Benefits to the Government

  • Quality products and services, on-time delivery

  • Fair market prices, best value procurement

  • National network of solutions providers

  • Long-term relationships

  • Moral satisfaction in helping people to help themselves

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Federal Customer’s Role

  • Your support is critical to the success of AbilityOne

    • Not limited to contracting personnel

    • Includes purchase card holders, agency program officials, and functional managers

  • Key role in Procurement List additions; ongoing role as consumer and advocate

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How does AbilityOne work with Federal Customers?

  • Partner with Federal customers to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and become their preferred source for products and services

  • Increase customer satisfaction

    • Responsiveness, consistency, reliability, quality, timeliness, and price

  • Establish collaborative plans

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Benefits to the Employee who is Blind or Severely Disabled

  • Wide range of employment opportunities

  • Long-term work experience

  • Marketable job skills

  • Equitable wages and benefits, plus a chance to advance

  • A measure of independence

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GSA Expo 2010

Buyer’s Guide for SKILCRAFT® and Other AbilityOne Products –How to Get the Quality, Value and Convenience You Need

Harlan Erker

National Industries for the Blind

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Chemical Supplies

Cleaning Products



Computer Accessories

Disposable Paper Products


Kitchen & Break Room Supplies

Mattress & Bedding

Medical Supplies

Military/Combat Clothing

Office Supplies

Paint & Accessories

Personal Care & Safety

Picture Frames

Safety & Maintenance Items

Shipping & Packaging Supplies

Writing Instruments

What Products Can I Buy?

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“Green” Products

  • Biodegradable

    paper cups

  • Process Chlorine Free (PCF) office paper

  • Pens made from recycled materials

  • Disposable cutlery

  • Environmental cleaning agents

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Custom Products

  • Awards and recognition items

    • Plaques

    • Pen sets

  • Clocks

  • Military picture frames

  • Stamps

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Safety & Personal Care

  • First aid kits

  • Fire hoses

  • Flashlights

  • Gloves

  • Nonskid deck covering

  • Traffic safety clothing items

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Government Unique Products

  • Military Police Belts

  • Gloves for the TSA and VA

  • Services Dress Clothing

    • Slacks

    • Trousers

    • Shirts

    • Blouses

  • Food

    • Military ration components

    • Bakery mix and cake mixes

    • Instant beverage mix

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Micro-Purchase Limits

Is AbilityOne still a required source if I only buy small amounts with my purchase card?

  • Yes, the AbilityOne Program is applicable at any dollar amount

  • No exemptions for


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How to Buy AbilityOne Products– Off-the-Shelf Items

  • GSA Global Supply


  • GSA Advantage!®




  • Multiple Award Schedule Holders - Authorized AbilityOne Distributors

  • Base Supply Centers

  • www.abilityone.com

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AbilityOne Procurement List

  • Official list of all AbilityOne items

  • Maintained by the Committee for Purchase

  • Identifies name and National Stock Number (NSN) or commercial name for each product

  • Access the list: www.abilityone.gov

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GSA Expo 2010

AbilityOne Unique Products and Services Requirements

David Brown


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U.S. Military Industrial Base

AbilityOne products are an important part of the U.S. military industrial base:

  • Chemical and Biological Protective Apparel and Equipment Systems

  • Dress and Battle Uniforms (BDU, ACU, ABU)

  • Subsistence Items such as MRE Components and special Navy packaging for shipboard use

  • Energy Dissipating Pads to cushion the fall of air-dropped humanitarian aid items

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Industrial Base Balance

  • AbilityOne understands and supports DOD agencies’ need to balance their purchases across multiple sources to ensure a healthy industrial base

  • Multiple AbilityOne manufacturing agencies can serve as back-ups and surge capacity

  • AbilityOne will grant purchase exceptions as needed to enable the government to purchase critically needed items outside our capacity

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AbilityOne and DoD

  • Current Large Volume Items

    • DeCA

      • Military Resale

      • Commissary Shelf Stocking


      • Belts and Straps

      • Battery and Lighting Acquisition, Storage, Repackaging and Distribution

    • DAU Detail Program

      • Acquisition AbilityOne curriculum online

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Admin support

Braille production

Facilities Management

Food service

Grounds maintenance

Secure Document Services which includes:-- Document Mgmt.-- Secure Mailroom services-- Secure Documentation-- Destruction



Order Processing


Fleet Management & Maintenance


TeleServices (call centers, customer service, hot lines, etc.)

Healthcare Environmental Services

What Services Can I Buy?

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Do I Have to Buy from AbilityOne?

  • FAR Part 8

  • Required source if on Procurement List

    • Services – first priority

    • Products – first priority after FPI Schedule

    • Applies to micro-purchases

  • Purchase exceptions may be requested, if

    • NPAs cannot meet contract requirements or timeframes.

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AbilityOne Unique Military Products

  • Provide Soldier, Airman, Sailors, and Marine Battle and Dress Uniforms (these items created the highest number of new jobs for FY2008)

  • Warfighter items, helmet components, ID kits, Vehicle side racks, “Navy-pack” dry food mixes

  • Mattresses for submarines and ships

  • Medical items

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AbilityOne Unique Services

  • Facility Operations Support Services

  • Full Food Services (DoD, FBI, DEA…)

  • Facilities Management ( DoD

  • Vehicle Up-fitting (DHS)

  • Switchboard Operations (VA)

  • Uniforms (Forest)

  • Document Destruction

  • Consolidated Secure Mailrooms (DHS)

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Government-Unique Items

  • Batteries

  • Emergency Light Markers

  • Head Lanterns

  • Flashlights

  • Terminal Adapters

  • Tire Inflator Gauge

  • Mechanic’s Creeper

Battle-board ID Kits

Seat Cushions

Aircraft Cargo Tie Down

Kits, Nets and Straps

Oil Sample Bottle

Fuel Tank Foam

Tire Inflator Gauge


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Additional Capabilities

  • Assembly

  • Kitting

  • Fulfillment

  • Distribution

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How Do I Order Services?

  • Services are specific to the customer and location(s) added to the Procurement List

    • Standard procurement process with certain exceptions

    • Nonprofit agencies follow the Performance Work Statement (PWS).

    • If additional services are needed outside of the scope of the Procurement List, must add new work to the Procurement List

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Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is the key to keeping people employed, so…





Customer Satisfaction




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Committee Contact Information

Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

1421 Jefferson Davis Highway

Jefferson Plaza 2, Suite 10800

Arlington, VA 22202-3259

Phone: (703) 603-7740

Fax: (703) 603-0655

E-Mail: [email protected]


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Presenter Information

Eric Beale

Committee for Purchase From People

Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

1421 Jefferson Davis Highway

Jefferson Plaza 2, Suite 10800

Arlington, VA 22202-3259

Phone: (703) 603-2119

Fax: (703) 603-0655

E-Mail: [email protected]

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NIB Contact Information

National Industries for the Blind (NIB)

1310 Braddock Place

Alexandria, Virginia 22314-1691

Phone: (703) 310-0500

Fax: (703) 998-8268


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Nish Contact Information


8401 Old Courthouse Road

Vienna, Virginia 22182

Phone: (571) 226-4660

Fax: (703) 849-8916