Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement (ABLE)
A Clear Vision and Mission
At ABLE (Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement), our vision is that everyone has access to the printed word because reading—in whatever form it takes—is the key to learning, growth, productivity, self-sufficiency, and full participation in one’s community.
To that end, our mission is to provide alternative ways for people with print disabilities to read.
A Solid Foundation Built by Passionate Volunteers
Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement (ABLE) started out because of one woman’s passion for helping blind children in school. In the late 1950s, Sr. Melmarie Stoll took six-year-old blind student, Lois Davis, into her classroom. At that time, there were no materials available in braille for her to teach with.
Recognizing this need, a small group of trained braillists and braille students united to transcribe textbooks for the students in two Milwaukee area schools. When it became evident that Wisconsin had no central transcription agency to serve the entire state, this group decided to expand services statewide and include taped and large print materials.
With no funds to seed such an operation, nine enthusiastic volunteers sought donations from friends, organizations, and corporations to purchase materials and equipment. By 1965, and under the name of Volunteer Services for the Visually Handicapped, this hard working group of 180 volunteers was serving all of Wisconsin and beyond.