The path for an individual who is blind to become a RSVFP licensed blind vendor begins with the Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist. District regulations require that individuals go through the VR Program to be referred to the DC RSVFP. Referral eligibility requirements for the RSVFP are listed below.
- Client of DC RSA
- Certified as legally blind by an ophthalmologist or optometrist
- Not more than 20/200 central visual acuity in the better eye with corrective lens;
- An equally disabling loss of vision, as evidenced by a limitation to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no more than 20 degrees.
- Documentation confirming US citizenship and residency in the District of Columbia
- Minimum 18 years of age
For admission and evaluation into the RSVFP Training Program, the VR Specialist will schedule a battery of assessments that evaluate the person’s math and reading skills, vocational goals, physical fitness, criminal history, assistive technology needs and independent living skills. The VR Specialist will gather the assessments and submit the RSVFP Referral package to the RSVFP unit.
The RSVFP unit will review the referral package; speak with the person and their VR Specialist to discuss the training program. Soon thereafter, a notice will be mailed either accepting or denying the person admission into the RSVFP Training Program.
If accepted, the VR Specialist will purchase the training materials and equipment needed for the person to successfully participate in the training. An RSVFP unit representative will contact the person to discuss the training program and process.
If denied admission to the program, the person will receive a written notice explaining why they were not accepted into the RSVFP Training Program and advising them of their rights to appeal this decision.
The RSVFP Training Program consists of three modules:
Module I: 15 Week Classroom Training
This 15 week classroom training is conducted in partnership with the Maryland Business Enterprise Program in Baltimore, Maryland. The 15 weeks of training is in a classroom and cafeteria setting. Trainees concentrate in the following areas:
- Assistive technology training
- Certification in ServSafe, a nationally recognized food safety course
- The Randolph Sheppard Act
- Cafeteria food serve and management
- Human Resource Management
- Business and Financial Management
Upon successful completion of Module I, the trainee will matriculate to Module II.
Module II: 30 Day On the Job (OJT) Mentorship Training
During this 30 Day OJT Mentorship, the trainee will be paired with a senior DC RSVFP licensed blind vendor for 30 business days. This OJT will provide the trainee the opportunity to practice the theoretical business management and facility operations learned during Module I, under the guidance and supervision of a senior blind vendor. The trainee will be evaluated by the mentor at the end of the 30 days. Upon successful completion of the 30 Day OJT Mentorship, the trainee will matriculate to Module III.
Module III: 30 Day Independent On the Job Training
During this 30 Day Independent OJT, the trainee will manage a vending facility independently. Module III provides the trainee the opportunity to independently manage a vending facility without the assistance of a mentor. The trainee will be solely responsible for the day to day operations of the facility for 30 business days.
Upon successful completion of Module III, the trainee will be licensed as a blind vendor in the DC RSVFP.
Contact the Randolph Sheppard Program
RSVFP Program Office
250 E Street SW 1st fl
Washington DC 20005
(202) 442-8435 – office
(202) 442-8745 – fax