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What is Federal Quota?

The Federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind was enacted by Congress in 1879. This act is a means for providing adapted educational materials to eligible students who meet the definition of blindness. An annual registration of eligible students determines a per capita amount of money designated for the purchase of educational materials produced by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). These funds are credited to Federal Quota accounts which are maintained and administered by APH and its Ex Officio Trustees throughout the country.

Who is Eligible?

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In order for students to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the following requirements:

There is no chronological age limit for eligibility. However, for adults to be eligible for registration in the Federal Quota Program, they MUST meet the following requirements (For these purposes, an adult is a student over school age as determined by respective state law):

How Does the Federal Quota Program Work?

man with BookPort DT

A Congressional appropriation, designated to provide educational materials for students who meet the definition of blindness, is made each October in the federal budget. This allotment is divided by the total number of eligible students and clients in educational or instructional programs at less than college levels on the first Monday of the preceding January. This division results in a per capita amount that is then multiplied by the number of registered students in each Federal Quota account. This amount is credited to each respective account, thus establishing each account’s "quota" for the federal fiscal year.

The money from the federal appropriation is deposited in a bank account separate from all other monies handled by APH. The quota funds are used for the payment of labor and materials, plus a reasonable administrative overhead. By law, no part of the appropriation can be used for the erection or leasing of buildings or for the training of personnel. The Printing House must, out of its own funds, provide the buildings and equipment which are necessary for the production of the materials supplied through the Federal Quota Program.

Who Are the Ex Officio Trustees?

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For each residential school for the blind, state department of education, or agency for the blind that participates in the Federal Quota Program, an Ex Officio Trustee of the American Printing House for the Blind must be designated. Each Ex Officio Trustee is entrusted with the administration of the Federal Quota Program within his or her system.

The current Directory of Ex Officio Trustees may be downloaded from the website.

Want more info?

For more in-depth information about the history of the Federal Quota program, and accepted uses of Federal Quota funds, go to Overview of Federal Quota.