National Industries for the Blind Strengthening America’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

Alexandria, Virginia—National Industries for the Blind (NIB), the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, is coordinating a massive nationwide response among its network of associated nonprofit agencies to provide essential products and services to help the nation fight COVID-19.

Each day, people who are blind working at NIB associated agencies manufacture and deliver thousands of critical products that are strengthening the nation’s COVID-19 response, including personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer, cleaning products and disinfectants, first aid kits, exam gloves, toilet paper, and more. People who are blind are proud to provide these essential products to support hospitals, health care professionals, first responders, the U.S. military, and governments at all levels.

“These incredible efforts to bolster our nation’s response to COVID-19 are the latest in a long history of service during times of need by people who are blind,” said NIB President and CEO Kevin Lynch. “This crisis continues to test our collective resolve, but we are proud that our associated agencies and other partners are rising to the challenge and helping supply critical products and services to those who need them the most.”

Employees at NIB associated agencies are responding to the national emergency in myriad ways. Austin Lighthouse in Texas has dramatically increased its shifts and production to meet the exploding national demand for hand sanitizer and cleaning products. Outlook Nebraska is working overtime to address shortfalls in the toilet paper supply. The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, in Rochester, New York, is answering the barrage of calls coming into the region’s crisis hotline. And IBVI in Milwaukee is assembling kits that the National Guard is using to build COVID-19 treatment centers across the country.

People who are blind are also doing their part to keep America’s Defense Industrial Base strong during this crisis by providing the U.S. military with critical products like the helmets and uniforms soldiers wear every day as National Guard units are deployed around the country. And they are helping to maintain continuity and availability of essential services for our nation’s veterans by operating switchboards for medical centers run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and manufacturing prescription bottles, exam gloves, and other products for VA hospitals.

NIB and its associated agencies have been a reliable line of defense and provider of products and services in response to natural disasters and humanitarian crises since 1938. From World War II through today’s fight against COVID-19, people who are blind working in NIB associated agencies are committed to serving the country in times of need.

“Whether it be through the provision of high-quality products or outstanding professional services, people who are blind continue to answer the nation’s call to service,” said Lynch.

Learn more about NIB’s efforts in response to COVID-19 here:  


About National Industries for the Blind

Since 1938, National Industries for the Blind (NIB) has focused on enhancing the opportunities for economic and personal independence of people who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining, and improving employment. NIB and its network of associated nonprofit agencies are the nation’s largest employer of people who are blind through the manufacture and provision of SKILCRAFT® products and services of the AbilityOne® Program. For more information about NIB, visit