[nabs-l] Vote Syed Rizvi for Second Vice President of the National Association of Blind Students

Syed Rizvi syedrizvinfb at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 00:13:14 UTC 2016

Good evening my Federation family,


I hope this message finds you well.

My name is Syed Rizvi and I am the President of the Massachusetts
Association of Blind Students, the National Federation of the Blind of
Massachusetts student division. I was brought to America by my parents when
I was two years old with high hopes of having a brighter future.  I have
struggled with my degenerative vision since I was five years old; and have
since been constantly in search of answers, guidance, and support. While I
was confident in my intelligence, my lack of knowledge in regards to
nonvisual methods of doing my work compelled me to fall behind my sighted
counterparts. I desperately wanted success. My parents believed in me, my
siblings supported me, and my friends treated me just like everyone else.
Still, I worked ten times harder than those around me to achieve the same


Two years ago, I attended my first event hosted by the National Federation
of the Blind, a Massachusetts student social in Boston. I quickly, if not
instantaneously, realized that finally, God had answered all my prayers.
Surrounding me were all these students living the lives they wanted without
blindness holding them back. Without hesitation, I immediately immersed
myself with new friends and, in creating relationships, began to work to
further the movement of the National Federation of the Blind. I adopted more
responsibilities in terms of leadership and collaboration. My growth did not
stop there, and will never cease as I continue to embrace our positive
blindness philosophy.


To ensure that blindness would no longer deter me from pursuing my
aspirations and to solidify my philosophy, I halted my undergraduate college
career, left my home of 17 years, quit my job, and flew over a thousand
miles to Ruston, Louisiana. There, I attended blindness training at the
Louisiana Center for the Blind, perhaps the greatest decision I have ever
made. Alongside Federation leaders, newcomers, and mentors, I learned from
passionate individuals in order for me to flourish in any path I decide to


After graduating from LCB on May 23, I returned home with a newfound
understanding of the abilities of all blind people. This summer, I will be
working for the Director of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in
Massachusetts to ensure that section 504 and section 508 of the
rehabilitation act are properly enforced in our commonwealth. This fall, I
will be venturing down to Texas start my journey as an Accounting student at
the University of Texas at Austin.


It was at the 75th annual national convention that I first found out about
NFB training centers and the Student Division of the National Federation of
the Blind. It was there that I eagerly signed up to work for every NABS
committee in order to fully understand how our organization operates. For
the past year, I have been working diligently alongside national student
leaders. My fellow blind students, we have so much work that must be done to
ensure we have equal access in higher education and in the workforce. I
would not be where I am today without the support received from my
Federation mentors, and I am sure that holds true for most of you as well.
The relationships I've formed with current NABS leadership, as well as my
state affiliate and other state student divisions demonstrates my dedication
and passion for what we are fighting for each day.


On Friday, July 1 <x-apple-data-detectors://2> , I will be running for the
position of 2nd Vice President of the National Association of Blind
Students. Now, I am asking for your support. Each and every vote counts as,
together, we shift the leadership, refine initiatives, and initiate novel
projects and ideas for the betterment of our community. I promise to
continue my efforts as your 2nd VP; and to be open to suggestions, concerns,
and ideas as we continue to build the National Federation of the Blind. 



Syed Rizvi

President | Massachusetts Association of Blind Students


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