Striding for Gold in the Silver State, by Ron Milliman

Wow! Where did the year go? Here it is time for our 2011 ACB national conference and convention already. As you know, the theme this year for our Walk/Run-A-Thon is "Striding for Gold in the Silver State," and we encourage everyone to register for and participate in it this year. But there is another big step you can take to help yourself and all of us in ACB too. That big step is to join the ACB Monthly Monetary Support Program, better known as the MMS Program. If you already participate, we greatly appreciate your support. We also encourage you to increase the amount of your contributions.

It is often said: "Nobody does anything unless there is something in it for them." So, if you join the MMS Program or if you increase the amount of your contributions, what is in it for you? Why should you want to join or increase your participation?

ACB exists exclusively to assist blind and low-vision people. To achieve its mission and goals, it has to hire and maintain a staff of people. Those people are working for us. Would you expect all of our vital staff, like our executive director, Melanie Brunson, and the people that work with her in our Arlington office, to work for nothing? Would you expect all of our staff, like our chief financial officer, Lane Waters, and the people that work with him in our Minnesota office, to work for nothing? They work for us, and they rightfully expect to be paid a fair wage for their hard work. Wouldn't you?

Obviously you receive "The Braille Forum," since you are reading this article. Think of all the really interesting and valuable information you get from reading this publication. It costs a great deal of money to publish this magazine each month. Isn't it worth supporting?

Are you receiving SSI or SSDI? ACB has fought long and hard to achieve increases in these benefits for you, to maintain the blind tax deduction for those who can benefit from it. We have access to ATM devices, and we now have accessible voting machines in most states, largely thanks to the efforts of ACB. You can get information from the SSA and other government entities in an accessible format now because of ACB's efforts. Soon you will have accessible paper currency, almost entirely the results of ACB's persistence and willingness to take on the federal government.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Now, isn't ACB worth supporting? Soon many of us will be Striding for Gold in the Silver State at the 2011 national conference and convention, a gathering we benefit from in numerous ways: good fellowship, sharing ideas, being able to see a huge array of accessible products and devices, and much more. It requires an enormous amount of money each year to put on such a gathering. We all benefit from our conference and convention, both directly and indirectly, in many ways. Isn't this, too, worth supporting?

So, I am asking all of you to step up and support the ACB by joining the MMS Program, and if you already participate, I am asking you to step up and increase your contributions. Again this year, everyone who has either joined the MMS Program since last year's conference and convention or who increased their monthly contributions by at least $5 per month will be included in a drawing for some really great prizes, like a Touch Memo, similar to the PenFriend but it includes a rechargeable battery and washable labels.

You can join the MMS Program or increase the amount of your contributions by going to the ACB web site, www.acb.org, or if you are coming to the conference and convention in Reno, we will have a table set up where you can join; it will be on the 2nd floor of the hotel. Of course, you can contact me by e-mail at rmilliman@insightbb.com or call (270) 782-9325, and I will assist you.

See you in Reno!