Walters Café, located within the Bureau of Fiscal Services, is operated and managed by a qualified licensed Randolph-Sheppard Program vendor, a program of the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services.
The Randolph-Sheppard Program promotes economic and profitable self-employment opportunities for people who are legally blind. State and federal laws require that blind vendors be given the highest priority for food sales on any government property.
The year 2016 marked the 80th anniversary of the passage of the Randolph-Sheppard Act. For decades, the legislation has provided openings for people who are legally blind to work as vendors on federal property, creating meaningful entrepreneurial opportunities and enabling them to contribute to the economy. These jobs have enriched the lives of those participating in the Randolph-Sheppard Program and enhanced public understanding of blindness for those who have interacted with the program’s vendors.
The 1936 federal law originally decreed a “preference” for blind business owners operating “vending stands” on federal property. West Virginia Senator Jennings Randolph, then a U.S. Representative, was an author and cosponsor of the landmark legislation. Congressman Randolph felt strongly that the high degree of unemployment among working-aged blind adults was reprehensible.
In 1974, the term "priority" was chosen over "preference" to make it clear that opportunities must be given to blind vendors ahead of others in selling products on federal property. Since1971, West Virginia law has required that this same priority be given to blind vendors on state, county and municipal properties.
The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services is designated as the "state licensing agency" of this program in West Virginia, meaning the agency trains and licenses blind vendors and acts on their behalf to locate and secure these business opportunities.
We are proud to offer you a fresh, high-quality and affordable meal or snack here at Walters Café. We encourage you to communicate with us so that we can better serve you.