Blind Industries and Services of Maryland is employing radio frequency identification at its facility in Salisbury, Md., to help its vision-disabled workers accurately pack boxes with the correct types and quantities of items.
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had issued an RFID tagging mandate in order to improve its processes for tracking and tracing cases and pallets of goods. Since then, various branches of the U.S. military have utilized the technology to track goods at the item level. For example, RFID is being used to track inventory of training uniforms and related items as they are issued to recruits at the Lackland Air Force Base's recruit training center.
Some of the many manufacturers of these uniforms, including Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, are associations of the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), an organization that links blind workers with jobs. So when it came time for these firms to respond to a request by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) that EPC Gen 2 RFID tags be attached to items being shipped to Lackland, they needed an RFID system that their blind and visually impaired workers could operate.
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