NABS Notes | March 2020

In these uncertain times, NABS is particularly excited to bring you this edition of NABS notes to keep you informed on the latest and greatest happenings across the country. In this edition, you can find:

  • a reminder about the quickly approaching national scholarship application deadline
  • information about free Aira for students
  • the March episode of the NABS Now Podcast
  • how NABS is supporting our members in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • new initiatives and updates from our NABS committees
  • how to get connected with NABS on social media

HEADS UP: National Scholarship Deadline is March 31st

The National Federation of the Blind's annual scholarship program is the largest of its kind in the nation. Every year, we award more than $120,000 to blind scholars across the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations. Students who are currently enrolled in postsecondary institution or will be attending in the fall are all encouraged to apply by March 31, 2020. More info can be found on the NFB scholarship program website.

FREE AIRA for Students Until May 2020

One of our NFB partners, Aira Tech Corp, has stepped up to provide additional support in light of COVID-19. They will be offering free Aira for any college student for the remainder of the spring semester ending in May 2020. If you know of a student who could benefit from Aira for their distance learning, please email for more information on the program.

NABS NOW Podcast Episode 3: A Trip Across the Globe

Colleges across the country are expanding study abroad programs offered to students, with some schools going as far as requiring that students take part in a studying abroad trip. Studying abroad offers a unique cultural experience that extends far beyond the realm of a traditional classroom. However, as a blind student, it can be tricky to know where to start. Panelists Johna Wright, Precious Perez, and Katelyn Macintyre have studied across the globe in Germany, Africa, and many places in between. They offer helpful insights about enrolling in a study abroad program and ensuring that the courses and excursions are accessible to you. Furthermore, they offer advice on making the most of your time in another country, creating memories that last a lifetime. Listen to the podcast here.

NABS Committee Updates

IMPORTANT Information Concerning COVID-19, Individualized Support & a Call to Action from The Legislative & Self-Advocacy Committee

Chair: Trisha Kulkarni Co-Chairs: Justin Salisbury, Mausam Mehta, and Justin Young The Legislative and Self-Advocacy Committee has been working diligently alongside NFB leaders to ensure that blind students have every opportunity to succeed academically in the face of the global pandemic of COVID-19. We invite you to read the NFB’s blog post that was published on Monday, March 16, 2020 entitled Don't Be a Barrier: Be Accessible NOW for more information from the national office about helpful resources and our organization’s call to action. We also launched our Inaccessibility in Online Education Support form, where students, parents, and educators alike can reach out to leaders of the National Association of Blind Students directly for individualized support with remote education. We intend to respond to all requests within 48 hours of filling out the form.

There are more resources to come from our committee, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to Trisha Kulkarni at with any questions. We also invite you to join our committee on the third Sunday of the month at 8:00pm EST. to get involved with our efforts. We are here to help and want to do everything in our power to see you succeed!

The All New Outreach Committee – More Than Communications

Chair: Nina Marranca Co-Chairs: Nick Petrillo, Robert Parsons, and Seyoon Choi The outreach committee is eager to expand with new ideas to promote the work that is being done within NABS, deliver insightful monthly content, and ensure that our mission to connect students across the country with the resources they need takes top priority. On that note, our membership call all about remote learning in light of COVID-19 will be on Sunday, March 29 at 8:00pm EST. Join us for our committee call on the second Sunday of each month at 8:00pm EST., as well as to get involved with our NABS NOW podcast planning, happening first Wednesday of each month at 8:00pm EST.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee Needs Story-Tellers and Talent in NABS

Chair: Rilee Sloan Co-Chair: Johna Wright The Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s next conference call will be held on April 5th at 7:00pm EST. We will hear from guest speakers belonging to the autism community and discuss our next steps.

We also created a Google Survey to receive anonymous feedback related to the committee’s activities, as well as general NABS behavior and policies related to diversity and inclusion. Please visit the survey to share your experiences and feedback with the committee. The committee is also proud to announce that we have created a GroupMe chat to maintain communication between our members and our leadership. Please join the group chat. It is the best way to remain up-to-date with our efforts.

The Committee has many plans to share the story of 1-2 diverse students every month on our social media. The posts will allow students to share their experiences and stories related to identity, intersectionality, and diversity. These posts can take the form of brief stories, poems, songs, art, and other creative outlets. Please email the Committee Chair, Rilee Sloan at if interested.

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Fundraising Fun!

Chair: Elizabeth Rouse Co-Chairs: Kyle Garcia and Hunter Kuester Join us this April at a special meeting time to talk over all things fundraising at National Convention. Because of the Easter holiday, we will meet the 4th Sunday of the month at 9:00pm EST. to discuss our annual NABS Walk-A-Thon and exhibit hall merchandise. We hope you’ll join us!

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