Oklahoma ABLE Tech Advisory Council

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Advisory Council

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 bachelor’s 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. Jo Anne manages the day-to-day operations of the programs for due process and mediation in special education for the state of Oklahoma.

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.

Kristen Coleman

Kristen is a Special Education Program Specialist with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services.

Rodney Collier

Rodney is the Disability Special Emphasis Program Manager for the Oklahoma National Guard. He accepted the invitation to be a part of the ABLE Tech Consumer Advisory Council in October of 2021.

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.

Darci Forrester

Darci accepted the invitation to be a part of the ABLE Tech Consumer Advisory Council in September of 2021.  She is the parent of a teenage son with Autism, who uses AAC to communicate.

After graduating high school as Valedictorian, Darci attended East Central University and the University of Oklahoma. As an IT consultant with 25 years of experience, she has worked in almost every role ranging from support (both hardware and software) to programmer/analyst. She enjoys helping people solve problems by making technology accessible and practical. 

She is a Norman Public Schools team member for AEM (Adaptable Educational Materials) Cohort and is the 2021-2022 Vice-Chair for the OSDE IDEA-B Advisory Panel.  

Darci resides in Norman with her husband Keith and their son and is employed by Norman Public Schools as a skills trainer for Project SEARCH.

Melinda Fruendt

Melinda is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS). Director Fruendt formerly served in the Chief of Staff position at OKDRS. Director Fruendt is a member of the current class of the Center for Advancement of Leadership Skills of the Southern Legislative Conference.

She earned the Workforce Champion award in 2016 from the Oklahoma Association of Workforce Development Boards and the Oklahoma Workforce Association.

Director Fruendt was previously OKDRS chief of staff for OKDRS’ seven divisions with 25 statewide programs focused on employment, education, independence, and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits.

Her past positions include executive-level project coordinator for OKDRS and program manager of the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council, an OKDRS partner.

Natasha Kester

Natasha is the durable medical equipment (DME) Coordinator for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. She collaborates with ABLE Tech specifically to support the operation of the Device Reuse Program.

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.

Janice Morris

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

Pam Pulchny

Pam is the Executive Director at Oklahomans for Independent Living in McAlester, Oklahoma. Pam accepted the invitation to be a part of the ABLE Tech Consumer Advisory Council in July of 2021.

Jen Randle

Jenifer Randle’s GOOD LIFE includes hanging out with family & friends, teaching, reading, watching sports, playing video games, and writing science fiction. She completed her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Kansas, a Certificate in Competitive Integrated Employment for People with Significant Disabilities from Utah State University. Jenifer was a Special Education Teacher for fourteen years and has coordinated the Oklahoma Youth Leadership Forum since 2008. Jenifer is now the Council’s Executive Director. She’s proud to be an Oklahoma Partners in Policymaking graduate, a credentialed Person-Centered Thinking Trainer, and Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador.

Dan Shephard

Dan is a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS). Dan accepted the invitation to be a part of the ABLE Tech Consumer Advisory Council in July of 2021.

Tricia Shull

Tricia is the parent of a son who uses assistive technology. Tricia accepted the invitation to be a part of the ABLE Tech Consumer Advisory Council in July of 2021.

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 UCEDD-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