AbilityOne Program FAQs
Welcome to the AbilityOne FAQs section. This section provides quick answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding the AbilityOne Program and is not intended to provide a complete online tutorial. Should you desire additional information that is not contained in this section, please contact us directly at email@example.com. The questions addressed are:Skip Jump Links
What is the AbilityOne Program?
The AbilityOne Program is a federal procurement program that generates jobs for individuals who are blind or have other severe disabilities through the manufacturing of products and the provision of services required by federal buyers. The AbilityOne Program is a required source of supply for federal customers per FAR 8.7. For more information please visit www.abilityone.gov.
Do I have to be authorized to sell AbilityOne products to Federal customers?
Yes. Commercial distributors seeking to distribute AbilityOne products to federal buyers must first be authorized to participate in the program. Information on becoming an authorized distributor can be obtained from www.abilityone.gov/newdistributor.
How can I determine if my requirement includes AbilityOne products?
Federal buyers should view the AbilityOne catalog to determine if their requirement includes products that are available through the AbilityOne Program. The catalog can be viewed fromwww.abilityone.gov by hitting the “AbilityOne Catalog” link at the left bottom of the home page.
What if I can get a commercial item at a lower price? Am I still required to purchase the AbilityOne item?
The AbilityOne Program saves the taxpayers considerable money each year by turning over 40,000 “tax users” into “tax payers”. While buyers can typically find commercial items at a lower price than AbilityOne items, that is not a valid reason for federal buyers to circumvent the AbilityOne Program. If there is a significant price difference, federal buyers should evaluate whether the commercial item and the AbilityOne item are “essentially the same” (ETS). Often times, there is a distinct difference that causes the significant price difference. In those cases, the buyer would be able to purchase the commercial item because it is not ETS as the AbilityOne item. When making that determination, the federal buyer should clearly document their reason for purchasing the commercial item. The AbilityOne Program will provide assistance if required.