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Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013

Heroes of the Week: Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement Volunteers

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Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement (ABLE), an almost entirely volunteer-run nonprofit, has been providing people who are blind, visually impaired or print disabled alternative ways to read for the past 48 years. “Our goal is to make sure our customers get what they need to participate fully in school, at work and in their community,” says Cheryl Orgas, executive director of ABLE. The books and materials that the organization converts into braille and/or recordings are wide ranging, with transcription services offered to individuals, organizations, businesses and schools. ABLE helps about 2,000 individuals and organizations each year, which includes transcribing playbills for the Marcus Center and programs for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. ABLE’s 50 dedicated, capable volunteers donated nearly 7,500 hours to the organization in 2012, producing 183,000 pages of material.

“I am so impressed with our volunteer team at ABLE,” says Orgas. “These women and men are so dedicated to the work they do and our staff is very dedicated as well. People are at ABLE because they want to be. I am so grateful to the many volunteers who have given of their time, talents and energy so selflessly.”

ABLE is seeking volunteers who have a strong working knowledge of computers to help with sound editing, administrative assistance and production in the braille department. Additionally, ABLE has two upcoming events: the ABLE Friendraiser on Monday, Sept. 30, and an Annual Volunteer Recognition and Benefit Luncheon on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 (contact Orgas at 414-286-3026 for more information). Tours of the facility, located in the Central Library Building (803 W. Wells St.), are available upon request. For more information, visit ablenow.org, call 414-286-3039 or email info@ablenow.org.