IFB Solutions has been serving the blind community since 1936, and we’ve experienced a grave threat to the future of our mission of employing, training and serving people who are blind or visually impaired.
Veterans are not just a population IFB Solutions has served for two decades by manufacturing millions of pairs of glasses, but also a significant part of our employee base. To read their individual stories, click here.
On June 3, 2019, we were notified by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that it would begin terminating our long-standing contracts to produce approximately 1,200 pairs of eyeglasses per day for military veterans and their families. These contracts provided jobs for 137 IFB Solutions employees in our optical lab, including 76 people who are blind and 15 veterans. By September 30, 2019, the VA had ended all of the optical contracts with IFB.
On October 30, 2019, Representatives Mark Takano (D-CA) and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), along with a bipartisan group of House members introduced H.R. 4920 (click here to view), a bill that would help restore a portion of these contracts and protect jobs for people who are blind and veterans employed by AbilityOne agencies. This bill grandfathers VA contracts that predate the Veterans Benefits Act of 2006 and would enable IFB Solutions to regain two of its three optical contracts.
On December 16, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4920, named the Dept. of Veterans Affairs Contracting Preference Consistency Act. It now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval.
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IFB Solutions is an AbilityOne agency and is proud to employ nearly 40 veterans across its various operations.