Save the Date!
ABLE Tech will host the semi-annual partner meeting virtually on September 15, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
It is required that at least one person from each partner organization attend, but partners are welcome to invite anyone who would benefit from the AT information to be provided. Please mark your calendars!
Join us. Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/92475733436
Financial Loan Program Update
$521,593 Grant Awarded from the Administration for Community Living (ACL)
The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation, in partnership with Oklahoma ABLE Tech, has been awarded a $521,593 grant. The program is one of 4 state alternative financial loan programs to receive a 2021 Administration for Community Living (ACL) grant.
These funds will be used to increase direct lending, support new loan products, incorporate new credit-building activities, fund operations, and support additional programs to provide needed assistive technology to Oklahomans who may not be able to afford it.
SoonerStart & ABLE Tech Collaboration News
Payne County Success Story
Cyrus is a joyful two-year-old boy with Bainbridge-Ropers Syndrome seen by Payne County SoonerStart, a collaborative partner of ABLE Tech. Cyrus has been busy developing skills for crawling while engaging with fun assistive technology (AT).
Cyrus, SoonerStart Providers, and family use the Sensory Rumble Roller during play to help Cyrus learn to bear weight on his hands and knees. As a result, Cyrus is now more confident, stable, and holding the crawling position for up to three minutes. Additionally, SoonerStart providers have demonstrated to Cyrus the Z-vibe, orthotics, a Nosey Cup, and various other devices during sessions. These multiple demonstrations of AT have resulted in outside referral sources such as Stillwater Orthotic Prosthetic Solutions and are helping Cyrus become more independent in his daily activities.
Tulsa County Success Story
Kinsley is an adorable, one-year-old girl with Prader-Willi Syndrome living in Tulsa County. Kinsley is participating in the SoonerStart Early Intervention Program to gain more independence in gross motor activities. One of the focus areas in therapy is using assistive technology (AT) to improve Kinsley’s motor plan to stand from sitting.
SoonerStart collaborated with ABLE Tech to provide an AT demonstration of the Cube Chair and Activity Table. Kinsley uses the Cube Chair for an ergonomically correct sitting position and the Activity Table for stability to stand. Kinsley enjoyed exploring and learning activities on the table while providers worked on sitting to stand.
Congratulations 4th Quarter Team Winners:
The Payne and Tulsa Counties SoonerStart teams have earned the 4th Quarter Recognition Award! Each team will receive $500 in new AT to add to the demonstration kits!
Congratulations to the Annual FY 2021 Team Winner:
This year's SoonerStart Annual Winner is the Tulsa County team. They will receive an additional $800 for their outstanding work and contributions!
Assistive Technology (AT) Support Team
- Fall 2021 Workshop Series -
Oklahoma ABLE Tech invites all educators, Speech & Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, administrators, and paraeducators to attend an upcoming, three-part workshop based on several steps of the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology.
The workshops will equip all participants to better be able to consider, assess, implement, and evaluate possible AT devices to support students with disabilities as they participate in educational and social opportunities within inclusive environments in their schools. The fall workshops will be held virtually using the Zoom webinar platform.
Save the dates below, and visit the AT Support Team webpage for registration links and other updates.
- September 16th: Workshop Part 1 - Consideration of Assistive Technology (AT)
- October 21st: Workshop Part 2 - AT Assessment and AT in the IEP
- November 18th: Workshop Part 3 - AT Implementation
Device Loan Program Success Story
Junior, a 4-year-old student at Tulsa Public Schools, has developmental disabilities. The teachers at the school were trying to find ways to help Junior be included in group time and become more independent. To try and accomplish this, the team borrowed a PowerLink 4 from ABLE Tech’s Short-Term Loan program. A PowerLink 4 is a switch interface control unit that allows switch users to control up to two electrical devices with a single switch. Examples of switches include Big Red, Jelly Bean, or any other type of switch, allowing for more enhanced cooperative play. This device lets Junior participate in group learning activities and have independent playtime.
Reutilization Program News
July 2021 brings exciting changes for ABLE Tech’s Device Reutilization Program. First, Shelley Gladden, Program Manager for ABLE Tech, is taking the Reutilization Program under her leadership. This allows the leadership of all state-level activities required by the Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program to be under one unit. These programs include Device Demonstration, Device Short-Term Loan, Alternative Financing, and Device Reutilization. ABLE Tech is excited to have all programs working in unison to seamlessly provide Oklahomans with disabilities access to and acquisition of needed AT. Second, ABLE Tech is proud to announce the renewal of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) contract. This will be the 11th year OHCA has partnered with ABLE Tech to support the Device Reuse Program. This collaboration allows needed durable medical equipment (DME) to be distributed to SoonerCare recipients for free when equipment matches their needs. With the new contract year, DME retrieved, refurbished, repaired, and reassigned will be expanded to include pediatric equipment. This will allow ABLE Tech to provide a more robust service to SoonerCare recipients in a broader scope of service to Oklahomans at large.
Be sure and check out the current inventory of available items in the ABLE Tech Reutilization Inventory.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility
ABLE Tech hosted Oklahoma's annual information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility conference, TechAccess Oklahoma, virtually again this year. From April 20 through April 22, speakers from as far away as Norway presented 9 sessions over Zoom.
In all, over 600 people participated across all three days. We even had one attendee online from New Zealand, where it was 1:00 in the morning. Many thanks to our long-time supporters of the event, the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services!
We're already looking forward to TechAccessOK 2022, and are hopeful that we will be able to offer an in-person event for our amazing technology accessibility community in Oklahoma.
Want to keep up with ABLE Tech's digital accessibility events?
Sign up for our Accessibility Updates newsletter.
Welcome New Staff
Gretchen joined Oklahoma ABLE Tech full-time as the State Leadership Program Manager at the end of June 2021. Dr. Cole-Lade earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Boston University, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in Exceptional Needs in 2001 and renewed the certification in 2011, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Professional Education Studies with an emphasis in Special Education from Oklahoma State University.
For the past ten years, Dr. Cole-Lade prepared early childhood education pre-service teachers to meet the needs of their future young children in inclusive classroom settings. Prior to teaching for Oklahoma State University, she was a special education teacher, having spent the majority of her long career teaching students with severe disabilities. She lives in Enid and has two adult children and four grandchildren. Gretchen is also the guardian of her brother, Michael, who has severe disabilities and lives in a group home in the Washington, DC area.
Richard Buntin joined the Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness Sponsored Programs in May 2021 as the Fiscal Operations Specialist. He received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Grand Canyon University.
Richard has retired from the US Air Force where he served 10 years as an Aircraft Electrical/Environmental Systems Technician and 10 years in Financial Management. He lives just outside of Stillwater with his wife and has three children and six grandchildren.