NABS Notes | October

NABS Notes October 2016

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

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Call to action for Pearson STEM Survey

The NFB and Pearson seek to remove access barriers to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. To do this, we need to better understand the barriers blind STEM students have encountered and have thus designed a detailed survey to help us gather information regarding classroom training, support, and educational materials. Your participation in this survey is critical; the survey results will help us broaden access to STEM subjects for future blind students.

Please take time to complete this survey by
Friday, December 2.
Participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of twenty $25 Amazon gift cards.

Blind student Aleeha Dudley and US Department of Justice resolve Miami University of Ohio discrimination case



Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Stacy Brannan

Director of SmithCommunications SpecialistDisability Rights

800-282-9181, extension: 101

Blind student Aleeha Dudley and US Department of Justice resolve Miami University of Ohio discrimination case

October 17, 2016

COLUMBUS, OH -- Attorneys for Aleeha Dudley have reached an agreement with Miami University after the school failed to provide Ms. Dudley with equal and meaningful access to her curriculum to help her attain educational success as a blind student studying zoology

. As part of a separate consent decree reached with the United States Department of Justice, Miami University will change its practices for obtaining and utilizing technology, including requirements to make its website accessible, to ensure Learning Management Software is accessible, and to educate faculty and staff about the importance of accessibility and how to achieve this. It will also be easier for students to obtain accessible course materials in all formats, including ebooks and Braille.

The agreement for Ms. Dudley, negotiated by Disability Rights Ohio (DRO), the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, and Ohio State University Professor Ruth Colker, requires Miami University of Ohio to contribute $108,000 to help Dudley pay for her education at the university of her choosing. It will also repay $50,000 in student loans she and her parents took out for her education at Miami, in addition to paying $102,000 as compensation for the pain and suffering she experienced as a result of the discrimination.

With the support of the NFB, DRO and Brown, Goldstein & Levy filed the initial complaint on behalf of Dudley in January 2014 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The US Department of Justice joined the case in June 2015.

Ms. Dudley said:

"I am pleased that Miami University and I have reached an agreement that will allow me to continue to pursue my education so that I can achieve my goal of becoming a large-animal veterinarian. I also hope and believe that the consent decree into which the university has entered with the Department of justice will substantially improve the educational experience of current and future blind students at Miami University. No blind student, at any modern institution of higher education, should encounter the barriers that I experienced. My only intention throughout this process has been to further my own education and to make things better for other blind students. I hope my experience, trying as it was for me personally, now results in an equal education for Miami University students who are blind or who have other disabilities."

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:

"Blind students cannot take advantage of educational opportunities and go on to live the lives they want unless course content and the technologies used in the modern classroom are accessible to them. Aleeha Dudley's experience shows that inaccessible content and technology create significant barriers to educational achievement, and that is why the National Federation of the Blind has advocated and will continue to advocate for accessibility in higher education institutions across the nation. We are pleased that this matter has come to a successful resolution and believe that the steps Miami University will take going forward, as laid out in the most comprehensive roadmap to accessibility that has yet been included in a consent decree, will create an inclusive learning environment on its campus and serve as a model for other colleges and universities."

Kerstin Sjoberg-Witt, Director of Advocacy for DRO said:

DRO has been so pleased to collaborate with the National Federation of the Blind and Ms. Dudley on our shared goal of ensuring equal access to students with disabilities. Our coalition is also grateful to the Department of Justice for its role in obtaining the comprehensive consent decree. We hope that every successful accessibility case will make it easier for students in the future to get the accommodations they need. Colleges and universities around the country should take note and work to make content and technology choices that will allow all potential students to tap into their educational resources.

About Disability Rights Ohio:

Disability Rights Ohio is the federally and state designated Protection and Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program for the state of Ohio. The mission of Disability Rights Ohio is to advocate for the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. Disability Rights Ohio provides legal advocacy and rights protection to a wide range of people with disabilities.


The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that every polling place have at least one accessible voting machine available for every federal election so voters with disabilities can cast a private and independent ballot. To help ensure that blind and low vision voters are not denied this right, the National Federation of the Blind will host an Election Day hotline that blind and visually impaired voters, poll workers, and voting rights advocates can call when problems with accessible voting technology or other barriers are preventing a blind voter from casting a private and independent ballot.

The hotline will be available on November 8, 2016, by calling 1-877-632-1940

from 7 a.m. EST to 7 p.m. PST.

> Individuals who have experience in the operation of accessible voting technology will be manning the hotline to provide assistance to blind voters, election officials, and voting rights advocates.

Following the November 8th elections, the NFB will conduct an online survey to determine the experience of blind voters. A link to the online survey will be available from the NFB home page following the election.

Questions about the blind voter hotline or the blind voter survey may be directed to Charles Brown by e-mail at
or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2224;
or Lou Ann Blake, by e-mail at
or by phone at 410-659-9314, extension 2221.

Be sure to make your voice heard by exercising your right to vote!

News line expanded to include 2016 election information

Greetings Voters!

We have expanded our information on the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

We now have the following information available on NFB-NEWSLINE:

Transcripts of the following Debates:

  • First presidential debate September 26, 2016 from NPR
  • Second presidential debate October 9, 2016 from Fortune
  • Vice presidential debate October 4, 2016 from the Washington Post

When available, we will be posting the transcript from the upcoming presidential debate on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

These, in addition to the breaking news and newspaper article searches on both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, can be found using the telephone access method by pressing five on the main menu for "Newspapers in a Different State," then five for 2016 "Presidential Election." From there you can choose "Trump Positions," "Clinton Issues," "Republican Platform," "Democratic Platform," "Debates," "Breaking News," "Daily Newspaper," "International," or "Magazine" search results for Clinton or Trump. You will be able to read articles from today's and yesterday's publications.

To read about candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election using NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile, choose "Publications," then "Publication Options," then "All Publications" and look for"Trump Positions," "Clinton Issues," "Republican Platform," "Democratic Platform," "Debates," "Breaking News Search Results" or "Daily Newspaper Search Results" or "International Search Results" or "Magazine Search Results" for Clinton and Trump to read the most current information available.

We hope you can use this information to help make your voting decisions for this very important election.

If you want information about voting accessibility, you can visit this webpage Here

for more information or call your local elections board.

NABS Board Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes
, 2016

Meeting called to order at: 9:00 P.M

Members Present:.

  • Kathryn Webster (President)
  • Bre Brown (1st Vice President)
  • Syed Rizvi (2nd Vice President)
  • Luke Schwinck (Treasurer)
  • Michael Ausbun (Secretary)
  • Vee Gaspa (Board Member 1)
  • Tarik Williams (Board Member 2)
  • Chris Nusbaum (Board member 3)
  • Bryan Duarte (Board Member 4)

Committee Reports


  1. Committee participation has fallen; the board will fill in the gaps, while the committee looks for more members.
  2. Donations for action items are coming in; we always need more, though.
  3. The writing process for grants has begun to move.


  1. We have received a letter of support for the Accessible Instructional materials in Higher Education Act from the University of Nevada.
  2. We have received no further testimonials from students; we need letters, especially now that…
    H.R.6122, the Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education act has been introduced by congressmen Phil Roe
  3. Attendance for the last committee call was extremely low.


  1. The last committee call was not well attended.
  2. A twitter chat will be coming soon!
  3. The resource page is under construction; new information will include relevant legislative tools, training center programs—both youth and adult—and more. Stay tuned.
  4. Our September membership call was well attended, and well liked.
  5. The next membership call will take place on November 27.


  1. The next committee call will be coming soon; an announcement will come.
  2. Trivia will start this month.
  3. The first technology blog will go out Monday, October 3, 2016. It will be awesome,
  4. The NABS notes went out on time; a large majority of the updates were from the Jernigan Institute.

State Updates

Treasurer Schwinck:

MN; the convention went extremely well. Cody Beardsley has been reelected as student president; the rest of the board is new.

Second Vice President Rizvi:

NC: Kenia Flores has been appointed as the new president.

President Webster:

HI: Hawaii has a student division now!

New Business:

  1. There is going to be a twitter chat on October 23 stay tuned!
  • It will last for one hour, with questions coming every ten to twelve minutes.
  • It should be extremely interesting.
  • Communications should act as a bridge between all the other committees
  • Nesma (MDABS) will be contacting all the students.
  • If you have information that should be conveyed to the membership, you should send it to Board member Duarte
  • If we need something to go out on social media, we should contact Shannon (Hawaii).
  • Communication with your states is important. Make sure they are copasetic.
  • The state president’s call will be going forward this month as planned.
  • Flash drives: There has recently come to light a problem with delivery of our student success toolkits. We need everyone who is having troubles to contact us, because we do not know who has and who has not received their flash drives. Flash drives, with their envelopes have been returned to us damaged, missing, and in other various states. This is on ongoing investigation and we are trying to resolve the issue in general, and as case-by-case bases.
  • Chairs should be regularly contacting their cochairs and vice-versa.
  • How Eye See it Campaign is extremely dangerous. As leaders, and as students, we should certainly participate in the protest that has been initiated by the National Federation of the Blind. Post videos, pictures, or posts with the Hashtag in order to get our message across.

  • Meeting adjourned at: 10:13 P.M.

    NABS Committee Updates

    Communications committee

    As promised we featured the first ever NABS Trivia called "Do you know your NFB?" We had 6 questions go out quizing you on everything from national leaders, state leaders, NABS leaders, and philosophy. The person who submitted their answers first was:
    Aleeha Dudley
    and a close second for this month was:
    Nathan Clark

    Thank you all for your participation and I am going to push to have a prize given for the winners. Here were the questions and answers for your reference.

    1. What are the three objectives of the National Federation of the Blind?
      Answer: the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality, the education of the public to new concepts concerning blindness; and the achievement by all blind people of the right to exercise to the fullest their individual talents and capacities
    2. List the years Jacobus TenBroek was president of the National Federation of the Blind.
      Answer: 1940-1961 and 1966-1968
    3. What is the address of the national office?
      Answer: 200 East Wells Street
      at Jernigan Place
      Baltimore, MD 21230
    4. Who was NABS President from 1971-1977?
      Answer: Marc Maurer
    5. What does AIM HE stand for?
      Answer: Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education
    6. Who are the affiliate, and student presidents of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas?
      Answer: Norma Crosby and Bre Brown

    Fundraising Committee

    The fundraising committee is currently conducting a series of nationwide restaurant fundraisers. we expect to hold 10 which is expected to bring in $2,000. The push for Washington seminar has begun with planning for the NABS cafe and a search for auction items. The fundraising committee is also planning to sell braille cookbooks for the holidays. more information to come. our activity has already picked up and will continue to increase. if you are interested in helping fund our movement we would be more than happy to put your skills to use! please contact the NABS fundraising chair Luke Schwinck at 620 717 3122.

    Legislative Committee

    • We are looking for new members for the committee! If you are passionate about politics, enjoy advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, or simply want to lend your voice to our movement, please give either Michael Ausbun or Vee Gaspa a call, text, or email!
    • We have received no new letters; although we are always looking for more AIM-HEA letters. If you reside in Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, Road Island, South Dakota, Vermont, or Wyoming, we need your letters! For more information, please contact Michael Ausbun or Kathryn Webster
    • Washington Seminar is fast approaching, and with it, NABS is currently planning to have our scholarship program again. Please stay tuned for more information.

    Membership Committee

    No updates from the membership committee.

    October Blog Post

    Join me in reading this months blog post titled, "A Fellow Student Doing the Right Thing". This months post was authored by Bre Brown the president of the student division in Texas. Bre attends Texas State University and was a graduate of the Louisiana Center for the Blind. In her article she explains how she handled an interaction with one of her sighted peers on her college campus. Follow the link below and enjoy reading!

    Read more

    Thank you and enjoy

    Student division updates by state


    Greetings from Arizona,

    In Arizona we are off and running with our newly elected board and working hard on membership building. The chair of our fundraising committee McDaniel along with Jessica the chair of our membership committee have an awesome event planned for November 4th. The vent will be held in Tucson at the Villas where our local training center SAAVI Services for the Blind, students reside. Jessica and McDaniel will be BBQing hamburgers and hotdogs while engaging around 30 students in the southern Arizona area. We are very excited to introduce the Arizona Association of Blind Students and welcome them all to learn what we do and how they can get involved.

    Apart from that we will be organizing a similar event in the northern Arizona area for the Phoenix students. We are excited to build our membership so when Washington Seminar comes around we are ready to hit Capital Hill strong to fight for the AIM HE Acts adoption. Thank you for reading our updates and lets go build a federation!


    Hello to all from California. We just wrapped up our state convention on October 23. We had an amazing time of fellowship and fun. Enormous thanks to Mr. Bryan Duarte our NABS liason and our NABS rep. for our convention this year. He was so helpful and participative. And let me tell you, he can sell raffle tickets like none other. Thank you Bryan for all your hard work, and for bringing us all the latest in news from the national front.

    I'm going to make you all jealous now, and brag that our affiliate's special guests this year were Dr. and Mrs. Maurer. And as you all know, there are, quite simply, no bounds to the empowering, exciting and amazing insights from our esteemed former NFB President. And no limits to the graciousness and kindness of Mrs. Maurer.

    California also welcomed several new board members. While we are sad to see others go, we know that they are still in our federation family and will continue their great work in other endeavors. Very special thanks to Henry "Hoby" Wedler, who served as our treasurer; Miso Kwak, our wonderful Second Vice-President and Jimmy Cong, our fun and energetic board member. You all have been such a pleasure to work with. And we all thank you for your hard work and dedication.

    We excitedly welcome Candace Luther as our new 2nd VP; Vejas Vasilliauskas as our new treasurer; Roger Oberholtzer will serve as our Secretary; and Jane Suh as our newest board member. I am so excited to see where we will go with these dynamic and wonderful folks.

    We are looking forward to continuing to build a strong and impactful student division in California over the next year, as we continue to diligently share the philosophy of our wonderful organization. Best to you all from sunny California. Let's go build our federation!


    As the semester moves on, the Colorado Association of Blind Students has had some social time to meet and mingle with students. And most importantly, our state convention is coming right up. We will be continuing to sell energy shots to keep everyone at the convention energetic. We'll be electing a new board at our business meeting and hearing from speakers like Scott LaBarre, Shawn Callaway, and Kathryn Webster, who is coming in as our NABS rep. Additionally, we'll talk about accessibility, science, and have open discussions where students can ask questions and get answers. We're all looking forward to what the convention will hold and we'll get back to you on that in the upcoming month!


    DC is pleased to announce that we gave out our first ever DC Scholarship at our state convention to Star White who is in school to be a TVI. We are also in the process of starting a student division. If you would like to join please contact Chrichelle Brown at


    The Hawaii students were energized throughout the 2016 National
    Federation of the Blind of Hawaii State Convention, presenting a
    formal division charter to the affiliate. Many new leaders were
    elected during the inaugural business meeting. On Friday afternoon,
    September 30, the newly chartered Hawaii Association of Blind Students
    and Recent Graduates joined together to discuss philosophy, purpose,
    vision, and goals. Congratulations to our newly elected president
    Gloria Tuuao; and to our state scholarship winners! Our auction items
    were a huge success, igniting a stable bank account as we enter our
    first formal year of operation. We left the weekend ready to change
    what it means to be blind, gearing up for the year ahead. We are now
    planning local fundraisers and recruitment tools to begin meeting our
    yearly objectives. We hope to have strong representation during the
    2017 Washington Seminar!


    In Iowa we are currently working on getting students involved and excited about starting an official NABS Division at our 2017 Stare convention. We had our first conference call last Wednesday and 13 students attended. We are very excited to get started!


    The Oregon Association of Blind Students (ORABS) was successfully established during the NFB of Oregon state convention on Oct. 14 2016. Elected officers are listed below. President: Samrawit Biyazin. Vice-president: David Bouchard. Secretary: Chrys Buckley. Treasurer: Trevor Attenberg. Our monthly meeting will be held every first Sunday of the month from 6 to 7 PM at the Smith Memorial Student Union, Portland State University. We will be focusing on increasing membership, fundraising, and building the capacity of our members in terms of self-advocacy, self-dependency, and other related issues. I will be keeping you posted as we move forward.


    Howdy all: On October 29th, the texas Association of Blind Students
    will be holding our first walk-a-thon fund raiser in Austin, TX. This
    event is open to all, we will be having light snacks and water, music,
    braille cards, and more. We will be able to answer the questions
    people may have about blindness. People can can walk, run, roll, skip,
    etc. around the track as many times as they wish. We are looking
    forward to seeing everyone there.
    Secondly, our state convention is just around the corner. It will be
    November 4-6 in McAllen, TX. We will be having our student table in
    the exhibit hall, and our business meeting on Friday. All students who
    fill out our survey in the exhibit hall will be entered in to a
    drawing to win $25.00 at the student meeting. The student meeting
    agenda will be available soon. We are pleased to welcome Ever Lee
    Hairston as our national representative, and we are ready for some
    good ole Texas fun.