Close this search box.
Teacher positioning a child's hands on brail
Related Categories

Partner Spotlight: ABLE

Helping make an impact for people with vision-based disabilities 

At IBVI, we believe it’s important to pause and acknowledge accomplishments that have happened in the past year—especially the partnerships that we continue to support. That’s why we were excited to speak with Cheryl Orgas, Executive Director at Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement (ABLE), and ask her questions about the incredible work her organization does.

What is ABLE?

Cheryl: ABLE provides alternative ways for people with print disabilities to read. We accomplish this mission through production of a wide range of materials into braille, tactile, and audio formats. Our vision is that everyone will have access to the printed word. ABLE has been doing this important work since 1965, with a dedicated team of staff and an amazing volunteer team!

How does it support the blind and visually impaired community?

Cheryl: At ABLE, we support blind and visually impaired children, making sure these children get their school materials at the same time as their sighted peers. We record books for the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library so that the nearly 6,000 blind and print disabled individuals have access to audio books by Wisconsin authors. 

We also respond to requests from many organizations who welcome the blind and low vision community such as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Marcus Center, and Milwaukee County Transit System. Plus, we respond to personal requests from blind and visually impaired individuals throughout their life span.

How do you help them in their jobs or in their search for employment?

Cheryl: We’re available for any job related request, respond to individual requests, and spread the word about job openings. For example, we have done the personnel policies for Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and we work with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to get audio and braille materials to their clients.

What do you love about working at ABLE? 

Cheryl: ABLE is very special to me, and I feel very privileged to be its Executive Director. ABLE brailled my materials when I was in grade school and high school, and they also recorded books for me in college. For me, it’s such a privilege to give back by leading an organization that was so crucial in my educational upbringing. It’s such an honor to work with a passionate, dedicated team of staff and volunteers who care so much about creating equal access to the printed word.

Have you worked directly with IBVI?

Cheryl: We’ve responded to numerous braille requests from IBVI through the years, and we’ve gone to IBVI to speak about our services. Importantly, IBVI is a crucial partner to ABLE when it comes to funding and spreading the word about what we can do. IBVI always has a table of guests at ABLE’s Annual Luncheon, and they’ve been sponsoring ABLE’s luncheon for well over 20 years.

What do you want people to know about the blind community that they might not know?

The blind community is as diverse as the sighted community. We’re creative, hard working, and want to be full participants in the broader community—to be an independent, self-sufficient individual. ABLE helps create equal access in order for this to happen.

Partnerships for change

Making a positive change across the entire state and beyond, we’re proud to work with ABLE in our collective commitment to uplifting blind and visually impaired people in our communities. Along with the rest of our partners, we’re working together, sharing resources, and amplifying each other’s voices to create an environment of change and improvement for the blind and visually impaired.


Join our email list

Subscribe to get the latest IBVI news, tutorials and events happening in the community.