NABS NOTES | May 2019

NABS Notes: May 2019

In this issue, you will find:
• President’s Note
• 2019 NABS Mentorship Program
• 2019 NABS Walk-A-Thon • Campaign Training for People with Disabilities
• I-Stem Advanced Technical Training
• 2019 National Scholarship Finalists
• 2019 Southeast Regional Student Seminar
• 2019 Pacific Regional Student Seminar
• May Blog Post
• Committee Updates
• NABS Facebook Group

President’s Note:

One day count down until preregistration for the 2019 National Convention closes! You know what that means: get those registrations in, so you can save $$$! The NABS leadership is busy at work planning for the incredible festivities. Think: exciting business meeting (more interactive than ever before), an awesome student networking event to kick off the week, and a carnival we are co-hosting with the American Action Fund. Happy 100th birthday to the American Action Fund! But, perhaps, most influential is our 2019 NABS Mentor Program. Who wants to go through convention solo? I think no one…I certainly would not have wanted that my first couple of conventions. Below, you will find more information, but please do sign-up!
We can also all agree that the Mandalay Bay hotel is beyond enormous…which means lots of walking. I encourage each of you to sign-up for our NABS walk-a-thon. Contact Dustin Cather ( to register for free and get your individualized link for promotion. Even if you aren’t joining us at convention, we wish you all the best throughout the final stretch of the semester, as well as whatever summer plans you have!

See you soon,
Kathryn Webster, President

2019 NABS Mentor Program:

The planning for the 2019 NABS mentor program is underway! Applications are open from May 11 to June 11, 2019. Apply to be either a mentor or a mentee here

Contact the coordinators with any questions:
Mausam Mehta,
Katy Olsen,

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

Campaign Training for People with Disabilities:

Course descriptions are now available for Elevate: Campaign Training for People with Disabilities. This five-week webinar series will teach participants the skills they need to run a campaign for local elected office, including creating operations, communications, fundraising, and voter outreach. This course is open to everyone, and they particularly encourage multi-marginalized people with disabilities to join us as you learn from five experienced political consultants of color about how to run for office. Participants will be sent presentation materials in accessible formats 48 hours before each webinar. If you need additional accommodations or have questions, please contact Sarah Blahovec, Disability Vote Organizer, at with subject ”elevate”, or by phone at 202-207-0334 ext. 1103.
Click here to register and find updates as the series approaches.

I-Stem Advanced Technical Training Program:

If you are interested in technology and have any prior experience, consider applying for this exciting program. You can find the application here

2019 National Scholarship Finalists:

The 2019 National scholarship finalists have been announced. View the list!

2019 Southeast Regional Student Seminar:

Event Information:

What? Southeast Regional Student Seminar
Where? The Westin Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia (right outside Washington DC)
When? August 16 - 18, 2019

Register here

Contact Mausam Mehta, or Kenia Flores, with any questions you may have.

2019 Pacific Regional Student Seminar:

Event information:

What? Pacific Regional Student Seminar
Where? Enchanted Hills Camp, Napa Valley, California
When? August 9 – 11, 2019

Register here

Contact Justin Salisbury, or Kathryn Webster, with any questions.

May Blog Post:

Convention Advice by Vejas Vasiliauskas

Note from the Editor: Vejas Vasiliauskas is a third-year English major at Loyola Marymount University. When he isn't doing schoolwork, writing articles for his school's newspaper, or spending time with friends, he can often be found shut in his room, writing whatever comes to his mind. He is considered pursuing a paralegal or law career after graduation and will be interning this summer at Loyola Law School's Coelho Center.

I attended my first national convention in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 7, and have wonderful memories of that time. On pre-registration day Mark Maurer, the then-president of the NFB, used his opening remarks to engage children in a brief discussion. It is there that I met my life-long friend, Amena Thomas, and our families really got to know one another. It was also there that I learned something seemingly basic but which many people would not have thought about: when an elevator arrives and beeps once, it goes up, and two beeps means that it will be going down.

I am now 22 and have attended 10 national conventions total. As the years have gone by, the levels of independence I have obtained have grown vastly. I love being able to attend meetings tailored towards my interests, and the fact that I can try at least one new meeting per year. I enjoy catching up with friends with whom, if I did not have blindness, or the NFB, in common, I would probably rarely see. Most of all, I love how there is no judgment among others, and the fact that we can become and gain new mentors every day.

I know that, for first-timers, convention can be overwhelming. After all, the hotels are huge! (They have to be, to accommodate the thousands of these who attend). But you must be willing to put yourself out there. Don't be worried to ask for help. Even very experienced travelers can sometimes have difficulties. There are hotel staff, UPS workers and other attendees alike who will be more than willing to guide or point you to the right direction. But you should also do your own exploring.

Check the agenda in advance so that you know where you will want to go each day. Breaks are important, but try to always have some plans. The agenda is usually out by the middle or end of June, and changes from then are rarely implemented. There will usually be food options from cheap dining to fancier restaurants, and you are obviously welcome to eat wherever you choose. Just know that when making plans with friends, dining may have to be very quick as you jump from one meeting to another. Last but not least, enjoy yourself! If you can't make it to convention this year, I hope that you will at least consider coming at a later date once you are able.

Committee Updates:

Fundraising Committee

Chair: Elizabeth Rouse
The Fundraising Committee is celebrating our three national training center restaurant fundraisers! Each was a huge success. Special thanks to all the students who took on the challenge to lead the effort to raise money for NABS. Now, we are looking ahead to national convention, where we will be selling water bottles and T-shirts. We have a fantastic design, photo/description to come, and we hope everyone saves some money to rep some NABS swag!

If you are interested in participating in all things fundraising, join us on our next call. We meet the second Sunday of each month at 9pm eastern.

Outreach Committee

Chair: Janae Burgmeier
The outreach committee worked during the month of May to promote convention. We led social media discussions and a membership call about what to expect, tips and tricks, and what events to attend the week of July 7. We also hosted a call with the Performing Arts division. We would like to continue building partnerships with the other national divisions within the NFB. Next month’s theme will be about blind athletes and staying healthy.

We meet the first Monday of each month at 9pm eastern.

Legislative Advocacy Committee

Chair: Justin Salisbury
We are promoting our newspaper campaign, in which we ask students to publish opinion articles about subminimum wages for workers with disabilities in their school newspapers. We have already received several excellent articles from students around the country, and we welcome you to join in the effort.

We meet on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 8pm eastern.

NABS Facebook Group:

Join our Facebook group!

National Association of Blind Students
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Kathryn Webster, President
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