BISM Logo, blue and gold compass icon with modern styled letters reading BISM Empowering the Blind Community, employing, educating, training.

BISM Employs

For more than 115 years, our product operations have embodied our mission in action.

BISM’s manufacturing facilities and retail operations are accessible and inclusive sources of employment for individuals who are blind. 

Employees learn job skills and receive on-the-job training to help them achieve a fulfilling career and independence.  Core capabilities include converting mill-sized rolls of paper into reams of copy paper and legal pads, mixing cleaning chemicals to make liquid soap and floor cleaners.  Other capabilities include assembly, packaging, kitting, sewing, cutting, and embroidery.  The products we manufacture are sold to the Federal Government and Maryland State government, as well as the commercial market. 

BISM is a member of the National industries for the Blind, an agency that helps implement the AbilityOne Program.

blind female is sewing jacket while supervisor looks on

What is AbilityOne?

AbilityOne Program logoThe AbilityOne Program is one of the largest sources of employment in the United States for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. More than 440 nonprofit organizations employ these individuals and provide quality products and services to the Federal Government at a fair market price. 

This program is administered by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, an independent Federal agency, with assistance from National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and SourceAmerica®.

The AbilityOne Program is among the nation’s largest providers of jobs for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. The AbilityOne Program uses the purchasing power of the federal government to buy products and services from participating, community-based nonprofit agencies nationwide, dedicated to training and employing individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities.

Today, 21 Agencies (BISM included), operate 155 BSCs throughout the country and have created over 1,000 blind jobs.

Under this program, BISM owns and operates 8 retail stores on military bases in MD, VA, DC, DE, and KY.  Each retail store employs people who are blind or visually impaired, allowing them to gain valuable work experience as well as a sense of independence and meaningful contribution. 

State Products

BISM Paper coming off the machine.

Federal Services

BISM Associate behind our employee starter kits.

Base Supply Centers

BSC staff member restocks printer ink cartridges inside BSC store.

Career Opportunities

We provide meaningful employment opportunities to individuals who are blind or have low vision.  Through these positions, individuals gain independence, develop confidence, and increase their skill set.

BISM Associate smiling at the camera

BISM is dedicated to providing career and training resources to Blind and Low-vision individuals of all ages. We positively change people’s attitudes about blindness.

The Faces of BISM

Get to know us! Join us in celebrating and learning about the many faces of BISM.