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NISH-Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Severe Disabilities

Established in 1974, NISH is one of two national, nonprofit agencies designated by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled [a federal government agency] to support nonprofit agencies (NPAs) participating in the AbilityOne Program, formerly Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD), which provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other severe disabilities by procuring Federal contracts for goods and services.

Headquartered in Vienna, Va., NISH supports a network of more than 2,100 NPAs as well as Federal customers by providing the legislative and regulatory assistance, communications and public relations materials, information technology support, engineering and technical assistance, and extensive professional training needed for successful contract management. 

In FY 2006, through the AbilityOne Program, NISH-affiliated agencies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam reported a record 43,344 jobs for people with severe disabilities.  During this same period, AbilityOne-producing NPAs reported more than 136,000 jobs for people with disabilities supporting a wide range of companies, organizations and Federal customers.

Department of Defense Releases Memo Regarding AbilityOne Program

Shay Assad, Director of Defense Procurement, Acquisition Policy and Strategic Sourcing for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), issued a memorandum entitled "Increasing Contracting Opportunities with the AbilityOne Program" on August 27th.  In the memorandum, Director Assad urged DoD contracting officials to keep the AbilityOne Program in mind when making procurement decisions.  Click the link below to read the full memorandum.

DoD Memorandum

AbilityOne Program Employees Share Their Stories through Speakers Bureau

AbilityOne Program employees are spreading the word about the AbilityOne Program through NISH's new AbilityOne Speakers Bureau.  Through this program, NISH staff members assist participants with writing and practicing their speeches, as well as with securing speaking opportunities.  Participants then share their stories with federal customers, potential federal customers and others.  Their message is loud and clear: "Think AbilityOne first."  Those speakers who are featured include: Nathan Short of PCSI in Austin, Texas;  Frederick Williams of TRDI in Killeen, Texas; Mark Gilmore of Challenge Enterprises in Green Cove Springs, Florida; Belinda Porras of VA Medical Center Employment Source in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Todd Walker of Didlake in Manassas, Virginia; and Brenda Sheaffer of Melwood in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Click the link below to learn their stories.

Click Here to Read Full Article

DVDs of Iraq Veterans Nathan Short and Frederick Williams Available Here

AbilityOne Network's National Demo/Testing Center Launched: Supporting Best in Class Digital Technology and Strategic Sourcing Solutions

As a part of a national rollout, the AbilityOne Network opened its flagship demo/testing/production/training center in Springfield, Virginia in June 2008.  The new national center will provide opportunities for briefings, training, hands-on practice as well as meetings, Webinars and video conferencing with partners and customers around the country.  The center will also serve as a testing ground for new applications, including Section 508 universal access and a variety of new mail and records management systems.  Network contractors around the country, including Maryland, Kansas, California, Indiana and New York, are planning regional demo/testing centers and live production in local facilities. 

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