Ability One

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How to Effortlessly Become an Authorized AbilityOne Distributor?

The federal AbilityOne Program is of great social significance as it provides employment for blind and disabled people all over the United States. Being an authorized AbilityOne distributor is also beneficial for vendors: the government had procured over $4 billion of AbilityOne products in FY 2020.
Price Reporter offers assistance to businesses with the task of receiving the status of an authorized AbilityOne distributor. Effortlessly becoming an authorized AbilityOne provider is simple: contact us, and we will take care of the entire process.

Become an Authorized Ability One Distributor
Call 201.567.6646 or provide your details for a free consultation:

    What is AbilityOne Program?

    The purpose of the AbilityOne Program is to facilitate creation of employment opportunities for Americans who are either blind or have severe disabilities, by leveraging procurement of the AbilityOne products and services. The Program requires federal organizations to purchase Procurement List products from the AbilityOne authorized sources, as long as such products are essentially the same (ETS) in their characteristics.

    The AbilityOne Program provides:
    • Employment for more than 45,000 of disabled people in the U.S.
    • Fast and simplified procurement of administrative, custodial, facility management, food services, as well as clothing, textile and individual equipment, electronic components, office supplies and furnishings, materials and more.
    • Fair prices for government agencies.
    The main governing documents of the AbilityOne Program are:
    • 41 U.S.C. §§ 8501 – 8506, Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act
    • 41 CFR Chapter 51, Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled

    Summarizing, the AbilityOne Program requires the largest buyer in the U.S, i.e. the government, to give priority to products and services made or provided by vendors that employ blind and/or disabled people. Hence, the main purpose of the AbilityOne Program is to create jobs for such folks.

    How the AbilityOne Program works

    The AbilityOne is a federal procurement program that all federal agencies must adhere to. The AbilityOne Program establishes the AbilityOne Procurement List; a list of products and services federal agencies must procure through the AbilityOne Program from authorized AbilityOne distributors, even if the same or essentially the same products are commercially available.

    Non-profit agencies all over the U.S. offer employment opportunities within the AbilityOne Program to blind and severely disabled people, and manufacture AbilityOne products. Then, authorized distributors purchase AbilityOne products from such non-profit agencies directly or through a wholesaler, and resell it to federal, state and local governmental agencies.

    Also, if an AbilityOne distributor holds a GSA MAS contract, he or she can publish the AbilityOne Program products on the GSA Advantage! platform, thus maximizing exposure.

    Who are AbilityOne authorized providers

    While AbilityOne procurement has significant social value, not every business can sell AbilityOne products to the government. The U.S. AbilityOne Commission authorizes private sector companies to sell AbilityOne products. Such authorized dealers are referenced either as AbilityOne authorized distributors or AbilityOne Program vendors.

    Becoming an AbilityOne authorized provider is required before you can distribute AbilityOne products. The criteria for authorization can be found at the AbilityOne Program website. The authorization process is not that long, but it requires fulfilling two major conditions:
    • The company needs an established sales system to track and replace Essentially-The-Same (ETS) products to the AbilityOne products and block all ETS product sales.
    • The company needs a confirmed source of AbilityOne products (i.e. existing relationships with a wholesaler or a non-profit company supplying those products).

    If you have an existing government contract or a GSA Schedule, your submission will be reviewed faster.

    However, despite seeming simplicity, the AbilityOne Program application process has a range of pitfalls and nuances. In order to effortlessly secure the status of an authorized AbilityOne distributor, we recommend delegating this to a professional agency such as Price Reporter.

    Why become an authorized AbilityOne distributor?

    Federal agencies are required to purchase AbilityOne products and services. So, if you are able to supply AbilityOne products and are authorized as a distributor, you can easily connect to a constant stream of federal sales with the overall budget of $3-4 billion per year.

    Note that new products and services are added to the AbilityOne Procurement List constantly. USDA AbilityOne Liaisons and contracting officials cooperate with representatives at AbilityOne Program Central Nonprofit Agencies (NPA), NISH (serving people with severe disabilities) and NIB (National Industries for the Blind), to identify suitable products and services for addition to the Procurement List. Therefore, more and more disabled and blind Americans get employed, and the scope of possible products you can supply also gets wider.

    How to become an authorized AbilityOne distributor

    Overall, the process is as follows.
    • Complete the AbilityOne Program application form. The form is standard. You will need to specify corporate information including D.U.N.S. number, CAGE number, business address and so on. The form also requires you to describe your offering: the product category and approximate dollar value of sales per year.
    • You will then need to preliminarily establish a way to ensure that commercial “Essentially the Same” products are not sold to federal clients regardless of the method of purchase. Moreover, you also need to establish a way to automatically replace ETS products to the corresponding AbilityOne products, and notify customers about those replacements.
    • Finally, you will have to secure a contract with either an authorized AbilityOne wholesaler or a non-profit agency. Established accounts with multiple wholesalers increase your chances of successful authorization.

    Price Reporter offers one-stop assistance with the AbilityOne Program authorization application, starting from preparing your company for working with the government, to filling all the necessary forms, communicating with the contracting officer, installing an order management system with the ETS blocking functionality, and helping with establishing relationships with wholesalers.

    We know all the ins and outs of the AbilityOne Program exceptionally well, and are ready to assist you in becoming an authorized AbilityOne distributor, whether you already have a GSA Multiple Award Schedule contract or not.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact Price Reporter if you have any questions regarding the AbilityOne Program and its potential benefits for your business.


    Founded in 2006, Price Reporter is comprised of a team of experts with many years of experience, doing business with GSA.

    Price Reporter's mission is to serve client's unique needs to effectively establish, grow and maximize their GSA business.

    Price Reporter's experts utilize a full-range of custom marketing intelligence solutions, providing the insight needed to navigate today's complex Government marketplace.

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    Become an Authorized Ability One Distributor
    Call 201.567.6646 or provide your details for a free consultation:

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      Price Reporter recently helped us with our 3rd GSA contract, the 2nd they did with us. It was the fastest we've ever been through the process with GSA. Each step was easy because the ground work was done before we were asked to do anything. Our pricing verification phase went smooth and quickly and both our contracts were accepted without rejection, with minimal negotiations with contracting.

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      Frequently Asked Questions
      Can I use the same User ID when I register on the AbilityOne?

      Yes. The new AbilityOne.com will continue to use email addresses as the user ID but to login, you must complete the new registration process.

      Can I Purchase AbilityOne Products On Other Websites?

      Yes. Although AbilityOne.com offers the largest and most up-to-date inventory of AbilityOne products, AbilityOne items can be purchased through a number of other channels, including GSA Advantage®, DoD FedMall, AbilityOne Base Supply Centers® and through an authorized Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) distributors. For a current list of MAS distributors, visit the Independent Distributors page on the U.S. AbilityOne Commission website.

      Are Government Purchase Card Holders Required To Buy Supplies Through AbilityOne?

      Yes! Government Purchase Card holders, like all federal employees, are required to purchase supplies produced by designated nonprofit agencies through the AbilityOne Program. Government Purchase Cards should only be used to purchase locally if required items are not available through the AbilityOne Program.

      What Is The AbilityOne Program?

      The AbilityOne® Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act, is a public-private partnership that uses the purchasing power of the federal government to create jobs for Americans who are blind or have other significant disabilities. People working in the AbilityOne Program produce competitively priced, high-quality products available with convenient delivery terms. Purchases through the AbilityOne Program empower people who are blind or have other significant disabilities to lead more productive and independent lives, pay taxes, help support their families, and build their own version of the American Dream. Click to learn more about the AbilityOne Program.

      Can I Search Invoices For Orders Placed On The New AbilityOne.Com?

      Yes. Sign into your account and use the search function under My Account then select Invoices to find invoices by date, invoice number, customer PO, or sales order number. Customers cannot access invoices for orders placed via the old AbilityOne.com. To request historical invoices, call AbilityOne.com Customer Care.