Oklahoma ABLE Tech Advisory Council

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Advisory Council

Melinda Fruendt

Melinda is the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS). Fruendt formerly served in the Chief of Staff position at OKDRS.

Gretchen Cole-Lade

Gretchen is an Assistant Professor with Oklahoma State University She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses which prepare pre-service early childhood education teachers to meet the diverse needs of all children in their future classrooms. As a retired special education teacher, Gretchen pursued funding and implemented a variety of Assistive Technology devices in her classroom to support her students with severe disabilities.

Kristen Coleman

Kristen is a Special Education Coordinator with the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Latisha Coats

Latisha Coats has worked for the Oklahoma Parents Center, Inc. (OPC) since 2008. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Minor in Accounting, from East Central University in 2004. Latisha and her husband, Vince, have 3 daughters, Sara, Abby, and Cori.  Her hobbies include spending time with her family, camping, and cooking.

Carolina Colclasure

Carolina is the Program Manager for the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council. She began her role as Program Manager in March 2018. She has experience working with under-served populations with disabilities in Oklahoma as she is bilingual in Spanish. Carolina's work experience includes serving as Grant Coordinator for Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program (OKDMERP) since 2016 and working at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services prior to that.

Bill Dunham

Bill is Area Clinic Manager - Oklahoma Amputee Empowerment Regional Coordinator, Hanger Prosthetics.

Jo Anne Pool Blades

Jo Anne is the Program Manager for the Special Education Resolution Center (SERC). She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron, School of Law in 1990 and a Bachelors Degree from Texas Tech University in 1974. With 17 years of experience in teaching children, she began practicing law in primarily educational matters. During her practice, she served as a Special Consultant to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth regarding special education and Section 504 issues. She also served as Attorney Consultant to the legislatively created Education Advisory Panel in Oklahoma. Through her experiences, she has learned the value of resolving disputes at the earliest stage possible. Ms. Blades has been Program Manager for the Special Education Resolution Center, since its inception in 2005. SERC was created by a contract between the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Oklahoma State University. Ms. Blades manages the day to day operations of the programs for due process and mediation in special education for the state of Oklahoma.

Audrey Farnum

Audrey Farnum works in the Administrative Proceedings Section of the Oklahoma Tax Commission as a staff attorney and Administrative Hearing Officer. Her experience with assistive technology includes screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays, document scanning, and OCR, accessible mobile devices and accessible web design. Audrey's hobbies include rowing, tandem cycling, reading, sports, and music. She is linked to the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, the United States Association of Blind Athletes, and the Sports and Recreation Division of the National Federation of the Blind.

Jan Lavine

Jan works for OSU FPP and is experienced in braille-generating computer software/hardware, and screen enlarging software. She is linked to Life Member, National Braille Association; Hadley School for the Blind and National Federation of the Blind. Her hobbies include reading, braille, cooking, and home improvement.

Jeff Hughes

Jeff is the Director of Progressive Independence (PI) located in Norman, OK. PI is one of five Centers for Independent Living in Oklahoma.

Janice Morris

Janice is a Legal Advocate with Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc., the federally funded protection and advocacy system for the state of Oklahoma. 

Erin Taylor

Erin is the Adult Advocacy and Training Coordinator with the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma.

Nancy Ward

Nancy works at the Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc., Oklahoma City. She has more than 40 years of self-advocacy experience both statewide and nationally. Nancy also serves many organizations including UCEED-LEND, Consumer Advisory Committee, Oklahoma People First, Inc., and Self Advocacy Leadership Training.

Lori Wathen

Lori works for Sooner SUCCESS and is linked to SERC Advisory, IDEA-B Advisory, Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma (DSACO), Moore Transition Team and Oklahoma PTA. Lori has a son with Down syndrome who has utilized AT throughout his elementary years for educational and recreational purposes. She is married to Brian Wathen and they have one child.