[Nmabs] The Return of: NABS Notes

Darian Smith dsmithnfb at gmail.com
Mon Feb 10 14:36:58 UTC 2014

From the Communications Committee:

 NABS Notes
February 2014
In this edition of NABS’ monthly bulletin:
1. We’re Bringing Updates Back
2. Washington Seminar Roundup
3. The TEACH Act Petition on Change.org
4. State Announcements
We’re Bringing Updates Back
The Communications Committee of the National Association of Blind Students is proud to present once again, the NABS Monthly Bulletin! Check this space for monthly updates from the NABS board, national initiatives, and from fellow state student divisions. Bre Brown and Gabe Cazares, both hailing from the great state of Texas, are heading up the Communications Committee, so if you have anything you’d like to see included in this space please contact them at bre.brown24 at gmail.com orgcazares at nfbtx.org respectively. We look forward to hearing about all the exciting things our state student divisions are doing!
Washington Seminar Roundup
The week of Monday January 27 through Thursday January 30, 2014, saw hundreds of blind Americans with cane or dog guide in hand, converging on our nation’s capitol for our annual NFB Washington Seminar. As is customary, the National Association of Blind Students came out in full force. Monday morning brought with it our annual Mid-Winter Seminar, which First Vice President Karen Anderson skillfully chaired. We heard from members of our National Center staff, from Jeannie Massay, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma who spoke to us about scholarships and our NFB scholarship program, in addition to moderating a NABS forum in which members got the opportunity to voice their opinions on ways we can continue to improve this great division. President Maurer also addressed our crowd of students, encouraging us to continue getting involved in our movement. State student divisions updated us all on the exciting projects and programs they are currently working on; see the end of this update for some of those announcements.
The afternoon segment brought with it our NABS resource fair in which students had the opportunity to peruse information and services provided by a number of companies and organizations, including our three NFB training centers.
NABS Café, an evening of music and entertainment was held shortly after the conclusion of the Great Gathering-In Monday Evening. Federationists from all across the country came together to support our national student division, as well as to hear wonderful music selections performed by fellow Federationists, and to participate in our very lively and wildly entertaining auction. Special thanks go out to fundraising co-chairs, Cindy Bennett and Candice Chapman, as well as their impressive team of volunteers for planning and executing this event. Special thanks also go out to Corb O’Cconnor for serving as our lively auctioneer, as well as to all the Federationists who took time out of their evening to grace our event with their musical abilities.
The TEACH Act Petition on Change.org
the National Association of Blind Students is proud to be leading the charge with the Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act, or the TEACH Act, as its most popularly known with the guidance and direction of Lauren McLarney and our Government Affairs Team. Mary Fernandez, Jamie Principado, and Lauren McLarney have been working with change.org, to create a petition on their website to bring awareness to this issue. Not only have we managed to get the petition created, but thanks to the reach of social media and student’s constant use of it, we have made this one of the most rapidly growing petitions on the site. As of the time of the writing of this article we have 115,285 signatures. While this number is incredibly exciting, the House of Representatives of the United States represents 313 million Americans, so we still have work to do. If you haven’t already, please read, sign, and share the petition far and wide. If you’ve already signed and shared, consider doing it again. Visit www.change.org/teachact to see awareness in action, additionally please post on social media using the hashtag #teachact.
About H.R. 3505, taken directly from our online petition:
The Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act (HR 3505) will provide equal access to educational materials to students with disabilities across the country. The new TEACH Act guidelines will offer a direct path for schools towards compliance with current disability law, and gives directions to manufacturers which will increase the number of affordable, accessible options in the marketplace.
State Announcements
Note: All announcements are printed below as they were received from their senders. No effort to edit for content, grammar or clarity has been made on the part of NABS.
Colorado Association of Blind Students, Colorado Center for the Blind, and Colorado Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Present: Student Connect 2014 Western States Seminar April 10-13, 2014
Connect to build success in the classroom and beyond!
What happens when you get a group of intelligent, enthusiastic, and ambitious blind students from across the western United States together for a weekend? You have a MIND BLOWING Student Connect 2014 Western States Seminar where students gain information about tools and resources, learn to network, brainstorm creative solutions to common problems facing blind students, and HAVE FUN!
Join the Colorado Association of Blind Students at Connect 2014 on April 10-13 for the year's most dynamic student seminar in the Western United States. Seminar sessions will be held at the Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton Colorado. There will be presentations and information about all aspects of college. From the high-school transition to graduation and finding a job, from the classroom to the intramural sports field, we will address all the tough questions about how to be a successful college student.
Our hotel room block is available at the Hampton Inn, Highlands Ranch located at 3095 W. County Line Rd. Littleton, CO 80129. Room rates are $89.00 per night regardless of occupancy number. There is FREE hotel shuttle within a 5 mile radius of the hotel including the CCB. Make your reservation NO LATER THAN March 10, 2014 by calling 855-261-5567. Mention that you are with the Colorado Association of Blind Students Student Seminar to receive the 89.00 room rate. DO NOT wait! Make your reservations today!
Registration will be $50 and will include Friday lunch, Saturday Lunch, and Saturday dinner. To REGISTER or get more information contact Antonio Rozier at arozier at cocenter.org. You can also call 404-376-5661.
CONNECT to the latest innovations in science, technology, math, and science for blind students.
CONNECT to scholarships, employment and internship opportunities, and blind professionals.
CONNECT to the largest network of blind students in the United States!
More info and tickets at http://studentconnect14.brownpapertickets.com/
This year we have divided into 2 really strong committees for membership and fundraising.  The membership committee is working to recruit more members through a variety of means, including a brochure which will be circulated to various state agencies for the blind and to teachers of the visually impaired.  Our corresponding secretary has just launched our web site, and is in the process of adding new content.  In the future this web site will house the information about our organization and board member bios, as well as an archive of our minutes and recordings of our meetings.  The web site domain iswww.nfboabs.wordpress.com. 
Our fundraising committee is currently working on two projects.  Our short-term fundraiser will be a gift card raffle, with the winners being announced at the spring affiliate board meeting in late April.  Our long-term fundraising project is to produce and sell Braille bookmarks.  On one side the book marks would feature the Braille alphabet and an NFB logo, complete with a picture of Whozit.  The other side would have a simple text description of Braille and a puzzle for sighted readers to solve.  The puzzle would read, “Seeing occurs in the mind.”  These bookmarks will be great accessories for blind and sighted readers alike.      
We’re looking forward to a year of growth in Ohio.  More about our recruitment and fundraising efforts will follow.    
The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas! The Texas Association of Blind Students is gearing up for our fourth annual NFBT Youth Conference hosted jointly with the Texas Parents of Blind Children. We are excited to be bringing this dynamic and interactive conference for blind students, parents of blind children, and related professionals to Houston Texas, the weekend of April 4-6, 2014. We are equally excited to be welcoming Pam Allen, Executive Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, and board member of the National Federation of the Blind as this year’s national representative and keynote speaker. Get all the details on this year’s conference, including hotel rates, registration cost, and pertinent agenda information by visiting www.nfbtx.org, or by following the hashtag #NFBTYC14.

Darian Smith
2nd Vice President, National Association of Blind Students
(415) 215-9809
dsmithnfb at gmail.com.
twitter: @goldengateace

Follow the National Association of Blind Students on twitter: @nabslink.
“ A good Head and a good heart are always a formidable combination” 
 - Nelson Mandela.  
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