Beyond Vision

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Welcome to the informational website for Wiscraft.

Founded as Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind in 1903, Wiscraft separated from the State of Wisconsin in 1984 to become a fully self-funded nonprofit serving to create employment opportunities for people who are blind.

To provide a look into our past, here is a brief history of the cocoa hair mat production that created many jobs for people who are blind. A product that is still the oldest item on the government Procurement List in 2018.

Production began on cocoa mats in 1932. The looms and equipment were we uniquely designed and built by Joseph Ptacek. His design made it possible to elevate employment options for people who were blind.

In the 1930s it took 17.8 hours to produce each cocoa mat.

When the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act was signed in 1938, the cocoa mat was there. These mats were used by the military and government offices. Production of these mats continued through the decades on the same equipment that was created when the program started. Those looms were in use until 1994. At that time, production changed and jobs that were offered included production, assembly and packaging work. That progressed in the 2000s with accessible technology that made opportunities for people who are blind to work in call centers providing customer care, website auditing, sales and administration.

We are proud to now operate the brand, Beyond Vision, to continue to show our drive to “enrich the lives of Americans who are blind through the dignity of work valued by customers and the community”.

Contact us for more information about our mission:

Phone: 414-778-5800
Mail: 5316 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53208