October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Lions Services is joining the campaign to raise awareness of the workforce capabilities of people who are blind.

  • More than 5,000 people who are blind and over 500 veterans are employed through National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and its associated nonprofit These employees assist in the production and distribution of thousands of high-quality products and the provision of knowledge-based services to federal, military, and commercial customers.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Mission Statement

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

  • At Lions Services, our mission is Empowering people who are blind to achieve personal and economic independence by providing them with vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities.
  • Lions Services employs more than 100 people who are blind and delivers the following manufacturing capabilities: Sewing, Cutting, Hot Knife/Laser Cutting for Webbing/Embroidery, Kitting, Bagging, Cartoning, Palletizing and so much more!
  • NDEAM is an opportunity to showcase your support for the creation and protection of jobs for people who are NDEAM also provides an opportunity for your community to learn about the workplace capabilities of people who are blind.

Lions Services is asking you to support the employment of people who are blind by purchasing SKILCRAFT® products and services through the AbilityOne® Program.

  • Federal customers who purchase our products and/or services make it possible for us to employ over 100 people who are blind, including veterans 11 right here in Charlotte, N.C.
  • We encourage you to purchase SKILCRAFT® products and services so that we can continue supporting the employment of people who are blind.
  • Lions Services offers rehabilitation programs for people who are blind to help them achieve self-sufficiency, personal growth, and independence.
  • We encourage you to donate or participate in our fundraising efforts and support the employment of people who are blind.

Misperceptions about the workplace capabilities of people who are blind still exist and hinder their employment through traditional channels.

When you purchase products or services provided by our agency, you help people who are blind lead more independent lives through meaningful employment.

  • Nearly 70% of working age Americans who are blind are not employed.
  • Our agency produces products through the AbilityOne® Program, which helps more than 36,000 people who are blind or have significant disabilities build competitive career paths to suit their interests, goals, and capabilities.
  • Our employees who are blind demonstrate their dedication to advancing in the workforce and delivering high quality products and services.
  • Sales of our products/services have helped hundreds of people in Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties who are blind increase their personal and economic independence.
SKILCRAFT agency Image of visually impaired man working and smiling.
Image of Rufus

Rufus’ Story:

Prior to losing his eye sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa, Rufus Crawford had a career at CMC Behavioral Health Hospital working in the kitchen which he loved. Rufus began experiencing vision loss in the 7th grade and it continued to gradually decrease throughout his high school years.  Rufus attended Broadcasting school however, he was unable to finish due to not being able to read the printed material in his books. Despite his vision loss, Rufus remains a beacon of positivity.

For 39 years, Rufus has served as a machine operator at Lions Services and deeply appreciates the opportunities it has provided him. His journey has transformed him into a responsible and positive individual, leading him to achieve his life goal of being a productive member of society and supported of his family. Rufus has been serving as the President of the North Charlotte Lions Club for over 10 years.

Rufus’ advice? “Don’t be afraid to try, you don’t know what you can do until you try.

Want to Read More?