[PABS] Convention Meeting Minutes

Lizzy lizzym0827 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 15 14:24:03 UTC 2016

Hey Everyone!
Here are our minutes from the convention PABS meeting:

Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students
Convention 2016 Business Meeting Minutes:
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm:
A Penn State professor Presented on her research on improving 
accessible tech.  If you'd like to participate, email her at: 
blindsurvey at psu.edu
Our National Rep and President of the DC affiliate, Sean 
Callaway, presented on: The importance of students in civil 
rights.  Encourages us to stay strong and advocate for ourselves 
while getting our work done academically, reminds us to work as a 
He says you can call him at: 202:352:1511
Or email him at: callaway.shawn at gmail.com
Our PA State Affiliate President, Jim Antonacci, Presented on: 
How students make his job worth doing.  Told his personal story, 
talked about living the life you want as a blind person.  Along 
with the commitment of the NFB to helping students.  He says, 
"The NFB is, and will be, here for you." Pennsylvania makes it a 
point to invest in students, but we as students must do our part 
too.  He strongly encourages us to stay in touch with each other.
Then Our Convention coordinator, Lynn Heights, represented BVBS 
in her speech: She talked about BVS, said that it's a joint 
effort and should never be hard or make you angry, encourages 
students stay in touch with their counselors.  Suggests that 
people exiting high school go to an NFB Center, it will give you 
the tools you need to be successful and become competitively 
employed.  Our NABS Liaison, Tarik Williams, spoke next: He says 
that he is a resource.  Got a degree in English from West 
Chester, then went to LCB (and now goes to Louisianna Tech).  
He's on the NABS communications committee, and would love blog 
posts from students.  He says, "Go to washington seminar!!! We 
need students there to represent AIM-HE! There is NABS funding 
Gave his info- his email is: williams.tarik20 at gmail.com
And cel: 570:807:9932
He said, "NABS would love to have you on a committee to make 
blind students more successful."
Hindley asked him to explain what a NABS Liaison does.
Tarik then explained his goals in making things possible for 
State Scholarship winner, Nana, spoke to us next.  She goes to 
U-Penn and is majoring in International Relations.
Denis then spoke to us about winning a National Scholarship: She 
is a third-year-PHD student at Penn State; majoring in counselor 
education and supervision.  Says that she tried for a national 
scholarship 3 times and got it on the third time.  Spoke about 
the importance of positive blind role models that come with a 
national scholarship.  Says to contact her with questions about 
PHDs, national scholarships, statistics, etc.  she is very happy 
to help.
David Denoteris, the Executive Director of PA office of Voc 
Rehab, spoke next: Told his story; talked about the importance of 
braille.  He says, "If it is to be it's up to me, if it is to be 
it's up to you." You have to help yourself." He then adds the 
following advice: You have to be a great note-taker (for 
yourself), it's a small thing that you can do to make a huge 
difference.  He says, "access = success" BVS has youth programs 
for students with different disabilities (blind science program, 
deaf, autistic, college prep etc.).  He says: "Don't be afraid.  
Don't be afraid to try something, don't be afraid to fail 
forward, try something new." He says that if no one's told you 
that they believe you, we believe in you and that the one good 
thing that we have in this room is each other.
Recommends the book: Walking Alone and Marching Together.  
Includes that you must be diligent and persistent.
Lizzy Presented next, on internships, and will post links later.
Jason presented a philosophy discussion: Question posed; a 
teacher who doesn't think you can take a class.  We all had a 
great discussion.
Jason spoke about: blind.training
A great tech learning resource.
President: Lizzy Muhammad
Vice-President: Tom Brown
Secretary: Angel Ayala
Treasurer: Jason Polanski
Board member: Anna Walker

Meeting Adjourned: 8:55 pm
Respectfully Submitted,
Lizzy Muhammad
Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students - Former Secretary

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