Alphabet Soup – Decoding Government Jargon/Terminology

A is for…Ability


Ability One (aka JWOD, the “Jarvit’s Wagner O’Day Act”) requires federal agencies to purchase certain products and services from the National Institutes for the Blind (NIB) and the National Institute for the Severely Handicapped (NISH).

The program supplies both products, (janitorial, office, paper goods, medical supplies and more) and services (janitorial, warehouse, recycling, food services, laundry and grounds maintenance).

If you supply any of these items, you should be aware of what the Ability One program provides.

Federal agencies may still be able to purchase from you, if they are not “essentially the same” as the items provided by Ability One. For example, Ability One could provide a generic cleaning product, but your product may be more specialized, have better environmental qualities and so on.  The Ability One program makes the final determination on whether an item is ‘Essentially the Same’.

Alternatively you may wish to apply to become a distributor of their products.

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