[New-hampshire-students] NABS February Bulletin!
nabs.president at gmail.com
Sat Feb 13 19:15:46 UTC 2010
national Association of Blind Students
>From the Desk of the President
February 13, 2010
In This Bulletin:
1. Washington Seminar Report!
2. Legislative Update!
3. Scholarships for Convention!
4. NABS On Facebook and Twitter!
5. NFB 2010 Scholarship Program
Washington Seminar Report!
On Sunday, January 31, the National Association of Blind Students held
our annual midwinter meeting in Washington, D.C. It was my pleasure to
organize this year’s meeting. In addition to the usual informational
updates and talks from our NFB president, NFB governmental affairs
director and NFB scholarship chairman, we had an excellent panel
discussion of job-finding skills and another panel discussion of NFB
blindness skills training opportunities. We also conducted breakout
sessions where students could ask questions and receive information
about on-campus involvement, academic issues, assistive technology and
On Sunday evening, we held a NABS mixer and auction where students
could socialize and dance. NABS raised $750 in the auction.
Finally, on Monday morning, NABS held a student information fair where
representatives from RFB&D, BookShare, ETS, NewsLine, Blackboard, and
our three NFB training centers distributed information and talked with
students. This was our first time doing this, and I think it was quite
successful and informative for all who attended.
I’d like to thank everyone who attended our meeting, as well as all
those who presented information, for making it a success!
Sean Whalen, second vice-president of NABS, writes the following
regarding the NFB’s legislative work in Washington:
On Monday, February 1, NFB members from across the country, including
impressive numbers of students, converged on Washington DC to carry
our message regarding the legislative priorities of blind Americans to
Congress. Over the subsequent three days, we met with Senators,
Representatives and Congressional staff in virtually all 535
Congressional offices to educate them on issues of importance to the
blind. We talked to them about how important it is that cars can be
heard and how the proliferation of silent cars is a real threat to the
independent travel of the blind. We talked about implementing cheap
and easy common-sense solutions to ensure that blind individuals can
participate equally in society and the workplace by making certain
that we have access to home and office electronics and software. And
we showed them how the current rules governing eligibility for SSDI
benefits can actually serve as a disincentive to work for blind
Now, Washington Seminar is over, however, the legislative work for the
year has just begun. Whether or not you attended Washington Seminar,
you can help with the critical work of garnering Congressional support
for our bills. It is crucial that Members of Congress hear from their
constituents about these issues. Each one of us can play a vital role
in forwarding our legislative agenda. Simply call or write to your
Senators and Representatives and, if they are not already signed on as
a cosponsor for our bills, let them know why the issue is important
and ask them to sign on. If you do not know who your Representatives
or Senators are, you can look them up at www.house.gov and
www.senate.gov respectively. To find out whether or not your
particular member is a cosponsor of a given bill, go to Thomas.loc.gov
(no www) and enter the bill number for the legislation you are
interested in checking on. Bill numbers are as follows:
H.R. 734 Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in the House
S. 841 Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in the Senate
H.R. 886 Blind Persons Earnings Fairness Act (SSDI) in the House
S. 2962 Blind Persons Earnings Fairness Act (SSDI) in the Senate
H.R. 4533 Technology Bill of Rights for the Blind in the House
Note: There has not yet been a technology access bill introduced in
the Senate. This is all the more reason to reach out to your Senators
to see if they would be interested in introducing such legislation.
After searching for the bill, click on the bill title on the search
results page. From there, you will find a “cosponsors” link that will
take you to a page which lists all current cosponsors of the bill.
If you wish to call your Senators and Representatives, you may call
the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be connected to
your Senator’s or Representative’s office.
It doesn’t take long to reach out to your elected officials, and
contact from constituents is one of the biggest determinants of where
Members of Congress come down on issues. Let’s keep up the momentum of
last week. Working together we can build a brighter future for blind
individuals throughout the United States!
Convention Scholarships Available:
The NFB will be having its annual convention this year in Dallas, TX,
at the Hilton Anatole Hotel on July 3-8, 2010. Stay tuned for more
details regarding the convention and student activities. In the
meantime, if you have never attended an NFB convention before, you can
apply for funding to cover your expenses. Please contact your NFB
chapter or affiliate president to get a letter of support for your
funding application. If you don’t know who your affiliate president
is, go to
NABS on Facebook and Twitter:
The National Association of Blind Students now has a page on Facebook
and an account on Twitter! Become a fan of NABS on Facebook to stay in
touch and communicate with other blind students across the country.
Follow us on Twitter to receive announcements about what NABS is doing
both nationally and in our state divisions. You can find us by
searching for "National Association of Blind Students" on Facebook and
"NABSLINK" on Twitter.
Do you have a piece of news that you want us to post on Facebook and
Twitter? Please send it to the membership committee by writing an
2010 Scholarship Applications Now Available:
Each year the National Federation of the Blind awards thirty
scholarships to legally blind college and graduate students across the
country. The scholarship includes a cash award ranging from $3000 to
$12000, plus a free trip to the NFB national convention and often a
piece of assistive technology such as a KNFB Reader Mobile. The
scholarship application for 2010 is now on the Web at
Applications are due by March 31, 2010.
Already won a national NFB scholarship? You can apply again and
potentially win a second scholarship, also known as a TenBroek
In addition, many NFB affiliates offer scholarships to blind students.
You needn't be an active member of the NFB to win. Contact your NFB
state president for details.
President, National Association of Blind Students
nabs.president at gmail.com
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