NABS NOTES | June 2019

NABS NOTES | June 2019

In this issue, you will find:
* Annual NABS Business Meeting Pre-registration
* NABS Superlatives
* NABS Walk-a-thon
* Google Calendar for National Convention
* NABS Regional Seminars
* June Blog Post
* NABS Committee Updates
* NABS Facebook Group

Annual NABS Business Meeting Pre-registration:

If you are joining us at our annual NABS business meeting at National Convention, you can avoid the crowds by preregistering.

Contact Syed Rizvi,, with any questions.

NABS Superlatives:

As our family reunion in Vegas quickly approaches, be sure to submit your nominations for our first-ever NABS superlatives! Visit the link below to place your nominations before July 3rd, and get ready for some laughs as we determine the winners together at our annual business meeting at National Convention. Cast your vote here.

Contact Trisha Kulkarni,, with any questions.

NABS Walk-a-thon:

Register for our 3rd annual NABS Walk-a-thon, one of our most exciting fund-raising initiatives. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 9, at National Convention. Sign up here.

Contact Dustin Cather,, with any questions.

Google Calendar for National Convention:

This is a link to a public Google calendar for the upcoming national convention. You can access and subscribe to this calendar from within apps if you want to see the whole convention agenda or add individual events.

NABS Regional Seminars:

2019 Pacific Regional Student Seminar

When: August 9 - 11, 2019
Where: Enchanted Hills Camp, Napa Valley, California

Register here.
Contact Justin Salisbury,, with any questions.

2019 Southeast Regional Student Seminar

When: August 16 - 18, 2019
Where: Westin Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia

Register here.
Contact Kenia Flores,, with any questions.

June Blog Post

The Art of Our Playing Field

By Tony Gebhard

From the Editor:

Tony Gebhard is a born musician, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, travel junky, aviation nerd, and is all about mental health advocacy. He has been involved actively with the Federation since 2017 when he attended his first state convention in Michigan. Tony will be attending school in the fall and he will major in marketing. He has a deep passion for journalism and capturing those who feel lost or without a voice. He has two published albums and currently sings and plays guitar for a metal band based in MI called Lost In Hope. Tony is always open to meeting new folks in the Federation and is working closely to bringing out the best in any individual.

Whether you’re focusing on an intensive game of goal ball, while scraping up your knees from catching quite the fast serve on defense. Making a strong effort to hit that auditory ball during a beep baseball game, or running a 5k until your lungs go crazy! There’s athleticism in our blood waiting to be exploited by our mental power and perseverance. How do we center ourselves in really diverting from the excuses and stepping onto a field or track with confidence? Let’s figure it out together.

First things first. Not everyone is going to strive to be number one on a team, in a sport, or hobby. However, taking those few moments to recognize our progress and give that long awaited pat on our backs is essential for making ends meet in our minds. It doesn’t stop there, though. Sports amongst our blind and visually impaired community exist and there’s endless other options into putting ourselves in our own version of bootcamp. To strengthen, exercise, and push for that self esteem boost that we’ve longed for. I’ll take just one second to express: I’ve tripped over roots on hikes, run into teammates on soccer fields, broken toes while trying to reflex to blocking a ball from our goal zone. What I’m trying to get at is failure is a part of growth. Sweat, doubt, muscle pain, excuses, and other forms of resistance are the very essence of what will determine our next rep in a set or finish during a workout goal.

You’re a hero. Failure exposes our version of progress and realism in being a human being. I believe in you. Feeling hurt or having pushback means we have some work to do. We wish somewhere on this green earth that there was an antidote that turns us into Iron Man, but that isn’t the case, my friends. Wouldn’t that be dope, though?

Where to start on this journey… The question asked when getting passed that initial anxiety. Ten push ups in the morning, ten at night. How about a lap around the block where you live? A nice 20 minute stroll on the treadmill. A local visit to a gym nearby to survey the potential equipment. As blind people, an orientation at a gym can be a nightmare at first. Especially if its floor is layered with rows and rows of different machines. Some of my exposures to a few Planet Fitness locations were disastrous. I get it. The last thing we want is to be constantly grabbed and or bombarded with redirections. Yet, to name a couple, Aira works wonders for guided navigation by a well trained agent who can assist with ambient description and even on-screen navigation for some of those touch oriented machines on the floor. Yet, Aira requires a paid subscription. So, next in line is Be My Eyes. Both apps are available on IOS and Android.

Options exist, friends. We all struggle day to day with keeping up on our classes, work, hobbies, and hardworking endeavors. A boost, wise word, a motivational speech, or some kick in the pants is all we need to get ourselves in action. No shame, no self hatred, self judgement, none of these things are necessary. Love yourself and what it is you do. You’re worth the very breath that comes through those lungs each day. Significant purpose lies in your hands and heart. If you feel as though you do not know yours right away, welcome to the flock of many others who are binding time and space just to seek their own. We’re in this together.

What is it that makes you feel whole? Do you play a sport? An instrument? Participate in a school junction? We insist that you share with us over Facebook, Twitter, or email. Use the hashtag #MyHeartsPurpose to signify that pride and feeling of belonging. Thank you for reading and let’s go build the federation and rock this universe until it collapses at our feet.

Resources and Athletic Opportunities:

  1. United States Association Of Blind Athletes
  2. NFB Sports and Recreation Division
  3. International Blind Sports Federation
  4. Check out this article by Tyler Merren, A totally blind olympic Metalist from Michigan.
  5. An amazing motivational video by David Goggins, A story of racism, hardship, abuse, and pure endurance.

NABS Committee Updates:

Fundraising Committee (Chair, Elizabeth Rouse)

The Fundraising Committee is excited for our annual Walk-A-Thon on Tuesday, July 9. As of now, we have raised around $3,000, but every dollar benefits students across the nation. We encourage all students to continue to post, share, and fundraise.

At national convention, we will be selling keychains, water bottles, and T-shirts. Visit any of our social media sites to find photos/descriptions of our products. See you in the exhibit hall!

Join us every second Sunday of the month at 9 PM Eastern on the NABS line.

Outreach Committee (Chair, Janae Burgmeier)

The outreach committee’s theme this month was fitness! We featured several discussion posts on Facebook and on the listserv. Our blog this month was written by Tony Gebhard. We have also been collecting video snippets from students about their advice and memories of passed conventions. Tony has been doing the editing for these videos. Thanks Tony! Our call this month will feature a Judo expert and other students who enjoy being active. In the future, we hope to partner with NFB divisions for each month to help students build a better network.

Join us on the first Monday of the month at 9 PM on the NABS line.

Legislative Advocacy Committee (Chair, Justin Salisbury)

The legislative committee has been hard at work promoting active conversations about the 14C online dialogue. We encourage students to stay informed about this and other legislative initiatives.

Join us on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 8 PM Eastern on the NABS line.

NABS Facebook Group:

Join our Facebook group here

National Association of Blind Students
A proud division of the National Federation of the Blind