A bill sponsored by Rep. Jeff Holy to help create job opportunities for the blind was unanimously approved by the House Tuesday. House Bill 2398 would require references to the law relating to the purchase of blind-made goods to be added to current laws governing public purchasing and preferences.
“Many individuals who are blind face incredible difficulty finding a job because they are being overlooked,” said Holy, R-Cheney. “Current state statute says that all things being held equal, like price, a like market, and like availability, should give consideration, not a set aside, first to blind-made goods. The state’s procurement process seems to have missed this component. This bill changes the current procurement process so the state doesn’t miss blind-made services.”
The Lighthouse for the Blind provides employment, support and training opportunities for people who are blind, deaf blind and blind with other disabilities. The organization has provided employment and support to blind people in Washington state since 1918.
House Bill 2398 now moves forward to the Senate for further consideration.