NABS NOTES | October 2017

NABS Notes: October 2017

In this issue, you will find:
• President’s Note
• Board Meeting Minutes
• 2018 Washington Seminar Funding Program
• NABS Legislative Toolkit
• October Blog Post
• Committee Updates
• State Updates

President’s Note:

Thank you for reading our monthly bulletin! The National Association of Blind Students (NABS) is expanding and progressing each day with the help of our members. During the months of September and October, we had national student leadership present at the state conventions in Arizona, West Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Hawaii, Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Illinois, and Colorado. We had representation at the Hawaii, Utah, and Louisiana student seminars. Our energy is high and commitment is contagious. In this month’s President’s Note, I want to welcome you to join the conversation. We would not be where we are today without the overwhelming support from our national leaders and local members. Without suggestions and guidance from each of you, we don’t know what direction our membership wants to go in, so grab a seat at the table. I invite you to join in on a committee call or attend a membership call at the end of each month. Whatever you do, we want your voice to be heard loud and clear. With the 2018 Washington Seminar quickly approaching, we need your input more than ever. More importantly, we need your personal testimonies, expressing a high priority for equal access to education. Please communicate with Chairman Syed Rizvi to explore this initiative.
With Meet the Blind Month approaching its final day, please do not forget that we should treat each day as a way to educate the public on our skills as competent and successful blind students. Whether it is sitting down with a peer after a group project, educating the nice lady behind the Star Buck’s counter, or picking up the phone and calling a local non-profit, let’s make moves to ensure that the National Federation of the Blind’s philosophy is being shared widely within our communities. We never want to let an opportunity be missed because we didn’t want to speak up. If you need help figuring out the one minute elevator pitch on your story, reach out. We in NABS are eager to help explore your potential as a blind student.
Again, thank you for your dedication and participation in the National Association of Blind Students! Don’t be strangers!
Kathryn C. Webster
President | National Association of Blind Students

Board Meeting Minutes

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLIND STUDENTS,
A PROUD DIVISION OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
October 8, 2017
On the call: Cody is absent, all others present

Treasurers Report:

Revenue: 117.66
Expenses: 818.55

Committee Reports:

-Event planning: First event taking place in Arkansas. Will have 10-12 in attendance including two new students. No longer having an event in Utah for October, but will be pushed to march. Looking at doing something in California. Looking at getting a sound scavenger hunt together in Virginia for the end of October. Nathan Clark will be holding a “do you dream in color” screening at Towson University late October.
-Outreach committee: Having a blog post that is more relatable, so blog post will be written on someone's Halloween experience. Working with others to get more videos on our YouTube. Our call will be the last Sunday of the month with Expedia. *Changes to NABS NOTES: Ausbun: Let’s open it up to others to make it interesting? Cantan: Add another dynamic such as podcast? —Possibly starting up in January. Rizvi: NABS Nuggets… Williams: Adding more blog posts? Webster: student spotlight —have all thoughts to Tarik and Kathryn
Fundraising: Healthy cookbook this year! Another push is giving Tuesday! Trying to make a nice video/website to show what their money is going towards. Starting coupon cards—a few eateries on the cards with a discount. Eateries involved will have their branding on it. Will target local areas. Question on cookbooks: What is your distribution plan? Donated paper: will go to BLIND Inc. to go to Ed Shaham. 38 Participants in Fantasy Football.
-Legislative: Trying to start, as of today, is a Legislative liaison program to work with students in their individual states to get letters and school support letters. Legislative workshops to happen. Send Chelsea an overly dramatized plug!
What a NABS Rep is for?
-Similar to national reps in going to give advice and give a hand wherever is needed. -We don’t go in to just represent NABS, we go to support the division and help it grow! -Support the leaders. -Liaison—make yourself known; Rep: work hard beforehand. -Get out there and know the people! ADJOURNED AT 10:01 PM EST.

2018 Washington Seminar Funding Program:

Thanks to the incredible support from our national president, NABS, along with President Riccobono and our national treasury, will be sponsoring a diverse and selective group of students to attend the 2018 Washington Seminar, which takes place from January 29 to February 1, 2018 in Washington DC. Applications will go live early November, with decisions made in mid-December. Please visit our web site to apply. We need students present this year more than ever, so start planning ahead in order to join us in our nation’s capital!

NABS Legislative Toolkit:

The NABS Legislative Toolkit is a complete and comprehensive guide for all blind students to more actively participate in the fight for equal access. Included are step by step instructions on how to write your personal testimony, how to approach your university for support, and even how to hold a legislative workshop with your student division. The Legislative committee exists to further explain and assist students in their implementation of the kit. The National Association of Blind Students Legislative Committee knows that through changing laws, we can change lives. Join us, use this invaluable tool. Together, through collective action, we can achieve equality for the blind in the classroom, and beyond. This toolkit will be up on our web site soon, as well as distributed to student presidents.

October Blog Post:

Enjoy this October blog post written by Elizabeth Rouse. She is a sophomore at Central College located in Iowa. Miss Rouse studies English and hopes to pursue a career in writing. We hope you enjoy reading her interesting story on past experiences during the time of Halloween.

Every October when I was young, my parents took me to a pumpkin patch near my grandparents’ home. There were tons of fun activities to partake in, such as feeding animals in the petting zoo, eating cinnamon and sugar donuts, and wandering through a corn maze. However, my favorite part of this trip was walking through the haunted house with my grandfather. No matter how old I was, my grandfather would insist on holding my hand so that I could “protect him.” Ironically, because of my blindness, my grandfather was always protecting me from unforeseen dangers: stairs, doors, other patrons, et cetera. Many would see this as a difficult task, walking through a dark haunted house. However, I am proud to say that now, I can go through these dark places without my grandfather while using my cane.

Although I have grown out of the haunted house stage of my life, I can still enjoy the pumpkin patch. Choosing the perfect pumpkin is all about feeling. Everyone gets lost in a corn maze, so as long as I refrain from tripping, I blend in with my peers (except for the cane in my hand.) My blindness has never hindered me from embracing my childlike love of Halloween. It is my hope that in sharing this memory, you will learn to love this holiday in just the same way.

Committee Updates:

Fundraising Committee:
NABS Cafe, Giving Tuesday, and the 2nd annual NABS cookbook are just some of the many items on the agenda for the fundraising committee. On November 28, 2017, Giving Tuesday will again be happening nationally. On a day where so many non-profits receive funds from various donors, we hope to be a part of the festivities. We are in the process of creating a website that will highlight many of the students who have benefited from NABS nationally, this website will enable donors to see just how meaningful this division is to our students. If you have any questions, or have ideas of potential donors who would be interested in the mission of NABS, please e-mail Co-Chair Dustin Cather at Cather.Dustin@gmail.com Although NABS Cafe will not be taking place until the end of January 2018, we are hard at work preparing for our annual auction. Whether it’s technology, fragrances, autographed memorabilia, baskets, or general donations, we are requesting assistance in getting items from all of you, if you would like to help us in any way, please e-mail Co-chair Janae burgmeier at janae.burgmeier@gmail.com Thanks to the help of so many of you, we are proud to say that we are adding the finishing touches to the 2nd annual NABS cookbook, with recipes on shakes, non-bake desserts, Paleo items, and so much more, we have no doubt there’s something for everybody. If you have any questions about the cookbook, please e-mail Co-chair Ed Shaham at personal.edward@gmail.com There are so many more things going on, if you have any more questions, or are interested in getting involved with the Fundraising Committee, please reach out to Chair Shannon Cantan at ShannonCantan.NFB@gmail.com

Outreach Committee:
In the outreach committee, we are doing our best to reach as many people as possible. We have been very active on social media. In addition, our Blog posts have been consistent and prompt. This month’s blog post was by Miss Elizabeth Rousse. We are currently working on different ways to grow membership and reach out to blind students. If you would like to contact the committee chair, email Tarik at williams.tarik20@gmail.com.

Legislative Committee:
The legislative committee is now implementing their new legislative toolkit. Sub committees are working with student divisions across the country to implement the kit, which facilitates the collection of personal testimonies and university support letters. The committee is working to prepare students for Washington seminar. The legislative committee is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in helping please contact Syed Rizvi at SyeDrizviNFB@GMail.com.

Event Planning Committee:
The Event Planning Committee is working on the annual NABS Cafe which will include a live and online auction, cash bar, and other various activities. For any questions please contact committee chair Luke Schwinck at luke.schwinck@hotmail.com

State Updates:

Arizona:

As the temperature begins to cool down ever so slowly we are busy hosting events for Meet the Blind Month. So far the Arizona affiliate along with students have been a part of several blindness awareness events including a viewing of the film "Do You Dream in Color" at our state capital. During this event we were fortunate to have two state legislators come speak to us about their support for the work we are doing. We also have participated in a large event in Tucson hosting a table and handing out literature. In the Phoenix area Brittany Bomboy along with the East Valley chapter went to the local libraries and read Braille with kids. Still to come we are planning to have a day of service at a local charity called "Feed My Starving Children" making food boxes. Thank you all for the work you are doing and we are so grateful to be working with you to raise awareness around blindness. Let’s continue to build this federation and show society that blindness is not a characteristic which will hold us back.

Massachusetts:

Hello fellow Federationists! October was a great month for the Massachusetts Association of Blind Students. We just hosted our fall social on Saturday, October 14. For Meet the Blind Month, we decided to take a trip out into our community to one of the most visual places you can go, the Museum of Fine Arts. Our treasurer, Meaghan Roper, had arranged for us to take a "Feeling for Form" tour, which is an accessible tour of the museum. The guides provided vivid, detailed descriptions of the marvelous artwork. We also got to participate in tactile exploration of some of the sculptures. That's right! We got to touch the super old, super cool artwork! How awesome is that? It was a wonderful experience for our students, who really enjoyed the tour, but it also was a chance to convey in important message to our community. Even the most visual of activities can be made accessible and should be made accessible. Blind people are fully able to engage and participate in any activity. The only thing in our way is access barriers. Shout out to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for having this lovely program to make the museum accessible. We didn't have to use those pesky audio description things that still require a sighted person to tell you the correct number to input for each art piece. We also got to engage with our guides about blindness issues, which was a wonderful chance to educate some people directly. They were very receptive. We really appreciate them donating their time to help make this fall social event possible. We look forward to planning more events like this one! Here's to a fantastic school year, federation family!

Iowa:

Here in Iowa we are very excited to announce that we are now an official student division!! We have been working hard since our state convention. We have started forming committees and working on expanding our membership.

Louisiana:

The Louisiana Association of Blind Students is excited, because our annual student seminar is coming up. From Friday, November 3 to Sunday, November 5, blind students from all across the state will gather in Ruston, at the Louisiana Center for the Blind, to learn the message of the NFB and socialize with other high school and college students. Our theme this year is "Let the Misconceptions Fall Away." This is the most important time of year for LABS, and we're looking forward to another great seminar!

Utah:

Greetings Students! On October 21, we hosted our second successful Fall Student Seminar! Thank you to everyone who attended and participated! If you missed our seminar, don’t worry! We have monthly conference calls on the third Wednesday of every month at 8:30 PM MST. The call line is 605-475-4000 and the code is 230539. We’d love to have you participate!

The National Association of Blind Students is a proud division of the National Federation of the Blind.
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Live the life you want; blindness is not what holds us back.