Business Enterprise Program


Four subjects in food vending counter smiling and talking with each other: the adult African American male working the cash register is blind. He is behind the counter with an adult white male coworker and both are speaking with two customers, an adult African American female and an adult white male.

In 1946, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services was established as the state licensing agency for the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act with the mission to “enable qualified blind individuals to achieve independence through self-employment.”

The Alabama Business Enterprise Program (BEP) generates in excess of $25 million in gross annual sales through operation of diverse retail and contract facilities including snack bars, delicatessens, vending machine facilities, commissaries, cafeterias, and military dining halls.


People who are blind or with low-vision and are in need of employment are required to be:

  • Legally blind as defined in applicable federal regulations; and
  • A citizen of the United States and resident of Alabama; and
  • At least 19 years old; and
  • Qualified to manage a BEP vending facility as evidenced by having successfully completed entry-level training at E. H. Gentry Technical Facility or an equivalent level of training approved by ADRS.

Plans are customized for you to help you achieve your maximum potential as a business owner. Here are some of the current facilities classifications available through this program:

  • Vending machines
  • Vending machine route
  • Highway vending
  • Limited food preparation, like delicatessens or food stands
  • Snack bars
  • Cafeterias
  • Other food service businesses, like Micro Markets, sundry stores, catering, and more
  • Call the ADRS’ Vocation Rehabilitation Program toll free at 1-800-293-7500, and ask for the Business Enterprise Program; or
  • Contact an ADRS office near you.


ADRS State Office
602 S. Lawrence St.
Montgomery, AL 36104
P: (334) 293-7500
TFN: (800) 293-7500
FAX: (334) 293-7383

VRS Office Locations


Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Hotline


1-888-574-2257 (TTY)