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By Michael Byington

On May 2nd, 2006 the Kansas Senate adopted a formal resolution commending the work of Don Wistuba. Wistuba, who is totally blind, has operated the Kansas Capitol Snack Bar for the past 30 years. This honor was conferred upon Wistuba on his 50th birthday.

Simple math allows the deduction that Wistuba started his career in management of this vital facility to the functioning of State Legislative Government at the age of 20. The Kansas Capitol Snack Bar is also called Kansas Business Enterprise Number One. It was the first facility opened in Kansas under State cooperation with the federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, which gives blind managers a priority in running concessions in government facilities. Wistuba, under provisions of the Kansas Business Enterprises Program is required to maintain a license as a blind vendor conferred by Kansas Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, but he then operates the facility as an independent small business.

When asked how he came to be granted such a high profile facility at such a young age, Wistuba said, “Well Harry Hays, who was Director of what was then called the Kansas Division of Services for the Blind, thought I could handle it. Some days I wonder what makes me come back the next day, but Mr. Hays must have been right. I have been doing this for 30 years now, and I feel very fortunate that he believed in me enough to see that I got the opportunity.”

Senator David Haley, D, Kansas City, was the Kansas Senator who arranged for Wistuba to receive this well-deserved honor from the Kansas Senate. Senator Haley represents the district where the Kansas State School for the Blind, from which Don graduated, is located.

KABVI was honored that Senator Haley also invited our leadership to be present to see Wistuba receive the recognition from the Senate. KABVI was pleased to lend the use of its Braille printer and translator to provide Wistuba with a Braille Copy of the Resolution the Senate adopted commending him.


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