For Texas’ program of blind merchants, the pandemic shrank opportunities, exposed income gaps

The Business Enterprises of Texas program offers visually impaired vendors food service contracts in government buildings.

By Neelam Bohra, The Texas TribuneJanuary 29, 2024 9:54 am, , ,

From The Texas Tribune:

At left, snacks are organized into small cardboard boxes within a larger plastic tub. At right, a man loads plastic tubs into a truck.

Left: Snacks are organized into open containers to make it easier for Jerry House to stock his vending machines. Right: Jerry House loads bins of snacks onto his truck to be transported. Maria Crane / The Texas Tribune

A close-up of a man's hand holding on to a woman's arm for guidance

Jerry House holds onto his partner Dannine’s arm for guidance as they restock on inventory for House’s vending machines.
Maria Crane / The Texas Tribune

Shrinking access

A woman sits at a desk looking at a computer monitor that displays enlarged software for low-vision users

Karla Martinez uses MAGic, a screen enlargement software for low vision users, to navigate her work at the Travis Cafe. Martinez manages two cafes through the program, but the income isn’t enough.
Maria Crane / The Texas Tribune

A woman stands reading a sign inside a cafe. Tables and a refrigerator can be seen in the background

Karla Martinez reads a sign while working at the Travis Cafe. “I’ve been considering it for a long time, but I have not made a decision to do it,” Martinez said about leaving the program.
Maria Crane / The Texas Tribune