By John A. Horst
Even though we are into the sixth month of the current year, the PCB office is still open to receiving memberships. We have not increased the PCB membership over the past several years. While there have been some additions to the membership, PCB has also lost members due to poor health, deaths, and other reasons. It is an aging membership and unless we can draw in additional persons the future does not look great.
For this report I would like to call for a membership increase among middle age and older people, those who have suffered vision impairment due to macular degeneration or other eye conditions that older people may experience. Most of these persons are not familiar with our blindness culture and may be hesitant to identify with it or us because they are apprehensive about losing more vision. My experience in talking to these persons either individually or in groups is that they are most concerned about what new medication or surgical procedure is available to restore sight or delay its loss. If one talks about low vision or blindness skills, they resist that information. That is where we are called upon to assist them in working through this process. If they can be led to some acceptance of vision loss, they may be potential PCB members. There are a great many of these persons out there. It is a membership source we should be reaching. A discussion of how best to do this is a subject that chapters and the PCB Membership Committee could be considering. The potential for new members is there. The challenge is how best to reach them.