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DLA Document Services Partners with AbilityOne Program

Defense Logistics Agency Document Services partnered with the AbilityOne Program to award a desktop printer toner contract that will save Department of Defense users time and money, create jobs for people with disabilities, and comply with the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act.

In accordance with the JWOD Act, the U.S. AbilityOne Commission - the operating name for the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled - is the federal agency authorized to administer the AbilityOne Program. The commission designated National Industries for the Blind and NISH to assist with the program implementation. These central nonprofit agencies create employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities. More than 600 nonprofit agencies across the nation associated with either NIB or NISH produce products and services under the AbilityOne Program, John Coney, NIB Business Development director, said.

In the past, recycled printer toner available through the AbilityOne Program was substandard, motivating many DoD users to write waivers to the JWOD Act and proceed with numerous small purchases. Working with DLA Acquisition, DLA Document Services developed a new contracting approach that streamlines the acquisition process and allows DoD users to take advantage of their collective buying power, while remaining compliant with the JWOD Act mandate, Steve Sherman, DLA Document Services director, said.

AbilityOne now acquires new toner cartridges through Alabama Industries
for the Blind. AIB provides training and employment opportunities for people who are blind and/or deaf. These employees produce more than 100 different items, including a new patented toner that carries an unconditional lifetime warranty. The new toner was independently tested, and the results indicated significantly higher page yields and improved print quality as compared to products from other equipment manufacturers. Because of higher toner content and yields, less than half as many cartridges need to be manufactured and shipped. All components are 100 percent recyclable, and used cartridges can be easily returned with an enclosed return label. In addition, the toner complies with the Environmental Protection Agency's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for Resource Conservation, Coney said.

With this new toner available, DLA Document Services and AbilityOne partnered to award a contract that covers the most prevalent desktop printer toner vendors in DoD, Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark, at an average savings of 25 percent compared to the price for manufacturers' products. As other vendors' newly manufactured toners become available through AbilityOne, they will be added to the contract, Chuck McNelley, DLA Document Services chief contracting officer, said.

To streamline the ordering process, the new toner contract will be available for online ordering and payment via Government Purchase Card through DoD EMALL,

"DoD EMALL is proud to be able to provide a bridge that links AbilityOne and DLA Document Services. It is imperative that partnerships like these continue to thrive. DoD EMALL is committed to stewardship, promoting green (products) and playing our role in helping people with disabilities to have a chance to work," Peter Deboe, DoD EMALL system manager, said.

Scottie Knott, chief operating officer for NIB and a former DLA director of acquisition management, said she is enthusiastic about the partnership and the opportunities it will create.

"AbilityOne has partnered with DLA Document Services to award a contract that will keep DoD users compliant with the regulations and provide best value for printer toner and ease of ordering through DoD EMALL," she said. "Just as important, this contract will create full-time manufacturing jobs for people who are blind at NIB's associated nonprofit agency in Alabama. This is a breakthrough for DLA, AbilityOne and all DoD users."

The AbilityOne team developed a short video on the toner program, available at: