New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind
The New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind (NYSPSP) is a state-mandated initiative (NYS State Finance Law 162) to create and sustain employment opportunities for New Yorkers who are legally blind. State and local agencies in New York State are required to purchase products and services that appear on the New York State Office of General Services Preferred Source List through NYSPSP. These commodities and services are produced or performed by affiliated nonprofit agencies in New York that employ people who are blind or visually impaired. National Industries for the Blind manages NYSPSP through a separate 503c entity called Empire State Employment Resources for the Blind (ESERB). ESERB oversees the daily operation of NYSPSP, as designated by the NYS Office of Children & Family Services/NYS Commission for the Blind.
Creating diverse employment opportunities and upward mobility for New Yorkers who are blind.
Independence, opportunity and dignity through meaningful employment for all people who are blind.
Integrity: We are committed to maintaining the highest level of trust and transparency with all stakeholders and to conducting all business lawfully and ethically.
Empowerment: We are committed to developing opportunities that foster independence through employment of New Yorkers who are blind.
Progress: We strive to be the strongest and most forward-thinking organization that is a model for the nation.
Accountability and Compliance: We are committed to conducting business ethically and in compliance with all applicable laws, program principles, policies and directives.
Quality: We are committed to providing the very best quality, value and service to our customers and affiliates.
Collaboration: We are committed to building effective partnerships with our stakeholders in the state of New York, customers, affiliates and people who are blind.
Respect and Inclusion: We are committed to creating an environment of involvement and respect, where the richness of diverse ideas, backgrounds and perspectives create value for the program.
History of the Program
In 1945 the State of New York made a commitment to provide meaningful employment opportunities for New Yorkers who are blind when it enacted legislation committing the State and its political subdivisions to the purchase of blind-made goods. In providing access to its large market, the State had created the opportunity for New Yorkers who are blind to enjoy stable, productive employment opportunities through programs operated by the various voluntary agencies.
The legislation called for the creation of a central sales and billing organization to receive and allocate orders from governmental agencies. In response, Industries for the Blind of New York State, Inc. (IBNYS) was created in 1946. After dissolving in 2012, the NYS Office of Children & Family Services/NYS Commission for the Blind, designated National Industries for the Blind to manage the operations, which in turn created a separate 503c called Empire State Employment Resources for the Blind (ESERB). ESERB conducted business activities under the name New York State Preferred Source Program for People who are Blind, later becoming New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind.
Today, the employment opportunities provided by the New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers who are Blind include not only the manufacturing of janitorial, medical, office and safety supplies, but also knowledge-based employment in the areas of contact center services, document imaging and destruction, mailing services and digital accessibility and usability testing and remediation reporting services, and warehouse/distribution services. The affiliated agencies of NYSPSP provide employment to hundreds of New Yorkers who are blind through operations based in Albany, Utica, Rochester, Buffalo, Binghamton, Elmira, Syracuse and three locations in New York City.