From the President

by Shawn Mayo

Greetings!  The countdown to the year 2000 is upon us.  I guarantee you that this edition of the Student Slate is Y2K compatible, and it is sure to provoke thought, discussion, and growth as we enter the new millenium.  And, even if, as some have noted, the millenium will actually begin with 2001, these articles are timeless.  Whenever you read the Fall/Winter 1999 issue of The Student Slate, I hope it finds you healthy, happy, and looking forward to what the new year has to offer.

Our National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind proved once again to be exciting for students.  The Resolutions Committee found students presenting and speaking on behalf of several of our guiding principles.  In fact, two resolutions had specific impact on students.  Resolution 99-16 dealt with the definition of a qualified reader, and resolved to allow the blind the choice to use one’s personal reader in a test situation.  Since July, significant advancement has been made towards this end which will be discussed at one of our upcoming NABS’ seminars.  Resolution 99-12 calls upon the interpretation of the IDEA law to allow a student to be taught Braille while members of the IEP team settle disputes.  While Resolution 99-10 concerning validation and standardized testing was defeated on our convention floor, a modified resolution is sure to appear at an upcoming National Convention of the NFB.  Discussion on this topic has kept the NABS listserv active!

In addition, a new board was elected to serve as officers of the National Association of Blind Students.  Our NABS board is: Shawn Mayo—President, Edward Bell—1st Vice President, Angela Howard—2nd Vice President, Brian Miller—Treasurer, Angela Sasser—Secretary, Billy Petrino—Board Member, Mariyam Cementwala—Board Member, Nicholas Schmittroth—Board Member, and Jason Ewell—Board Member.  We have a dedicated and cohesive team leading us into the 21st century.  It is through each member of NABS, our involvement in the National Federation of the Blind, and our collective activism that we are changing what it means to be blind!

You will want to plan to meet up with your fellow members of NABS at the Washington Seminar. The Washington Seminar will begin on Friday, January 28, 2000 with a student party! Beverages will be provided at our get together. In addition, registration and banquet tickets will also be available for purchase during the party to allow for students to get a little extra sleep and be on time to the seminar the next morning! On Saturday, January 29, 2000 registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. Registration is $5 and banquet tickets will be $25. Registration will be held outside the

Columbia Room where the student seminar will begin at 9:30 a.m. sharp and adjourn at 5:00 p.m. There will be a break for lunch where everyone is on their own. The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Lewis and Clark room. Sunday we will have the opportunity to attend our National Center and will be briefed in the early evening on the topics that we will discuss with our legislators throughout the remainder of the week.

We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street SW in Washington DC. Room reservations should be made AS SOON AS POSSIBLE with Mrs. Diane McGeorge at (303) 765-1313 or 1-800-401-4632. Rooms will cost $100 per night across the board (singles, doubles, triples, and quads).

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Angela Howard as she has continued to assist with the editing of The Student Slate. Angela was instrumental in soliciting many of the articles found in this edition.  Submissions have started coming in, and work has already begun for our Spring/Summer 2000 issue

I look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC.  If you have any thoughts or questions regarding NABS in particular, or to living the life of a blind student in general, please contact me, Shawn Mayo, via phone or e-mail.  Enjoy the Fall/Winter 1999 issue of The Student Slate.