2020 Summer Newsletter – 4th Quarter
ABLE Tech Provides Virtual Training and Demonstrations
With schools all over the world providing instruction online, ABLE Tech is also moving trainings to a virtual format. Registration for free, fall AT Assessment workshops is open to PK-12 educators, service providers, and administrators. CEUs are available! See the ABLE Tech Events Calendar for more information.
ABLE Tech is also providing AT demonstrations virtually! A demonstration lets an individual or small group compare and contrast features of an AT device, or group of devices, to learn if the AT will meet their needs. ABLE Tech can ship an item for a hands-on demonstration in which someone familiar with the device guides you via a Zoom meeting or FaceTime. The person guiding you can be an ABLE Tech staff member or even a therapist or teacher.
Device Short-Term Loan Program Reopens with New Application Procedures
The ABLE Tech Device Short-Term Loan Program was temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but is now up and running as of July 7th. If you have submitted a loan request in the last 90 days, the device loan team will be reaching out to you to see if the item is still needed, or if a new loan request needs to be submitted.
This temporary closure allowed ABLE Tech to implement a new AT inventory program. These changes to ABLE Tech’s AT inventory system will make accessing the Device Short-Term Loan Program more user-friendly for people to borrow AT. This new AT inventory process allows Oklahomans to register, log in, and submit requests to borrow devices. The addition of multiple functionality features now allows users to narrow the search for AT to borrow and see items available in real-time. The system is quick, reliable, and completely confidential. Create a free account on this site.
Check out the Device Short-Term Loan Program and get your request in, so you can be first on the list! Need help determining what to borrow? ABLE Tech staff are available for virtual demonstrations and can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-257-1705.
Hearing Aids Added as an Accepted Donation
ABLE Tech is excited to report that hearing aids are now an accepted item for donation to the Device Reutilization Program. The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) is working directly with ABLE Tech and the Starkey Foundation Hearing Aid Recycling Program to allow ABLE Tech to accept gently-used hearing aids and other hearing devices.
Donated devices will be valued and applied to an account credit for future assistance to individuals in need of purchasing hearing aids. Any make and model can be donated, as well as accessories for hearing aids. To donate, please contact ABLE Tech at 800-257-1705. Tax receipts are available upon request.
SoonerStart & ABLE Tech Collaboration – Success Stories
Payne County Success Story
Olivia is a sweet 1-year-old girl with Joubert Syndrome. Olivia receives early intervention services from the Payne County SoonerStart team to help in the development of motor skills. The SoonerStart Occupational Therapist suggested consulting with ABLE Tech for ideas and suggestions on adapted toys and AT. After consultation with ABLE Tech staff, the mother and daughter participated in a demonstration to explore recreation and vision toys along with self-feeding devices. Olivia was able to play with multiple toys to see which devices were best responded to and found several that fit the motor development category. The collaborative consultation service improved the awareness of AT that is available to help Olivia’s development.
4th Quarter and Annual Team Winner
The Payne County SoonerStart team has earned both the 4th Quarter and Annual Recognition Awards. The team will receive $1,300 in new assistive technology (AT) to add to their county’s demonstration kit!
TechAccess Oklahoma 2020 Report
For the fifth year, Oklahoma ABLE Tech presented TechAccess Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s premier web accessibility conference. ABLE Tech ran the event over two days on Zoom in order to protect the health and safety of the growing technology accessibility community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also reduced the program, running a single track of sessions on June 4th and 5th.
Roughly 125 individuals participated throughout the day on Thursday, and on Friday participation dipped a bit to just over 100.
In the conference evaluation, 96.8% of respondents rated their experience with the conference “great” or “good”.
Some comments from the group include:
- “For being so small, it’s a great conference and I always learn something.”
- “I’m so glad you’re doing this. It’s so necessary, especially since things seem to change and evolve all the time.”
- “This is a not-to-miss event for me.”
- “Outstanding speakers and information.”
Thanks to all of the sponsoring agencies for making this such a great event, including the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, the Online Consortium for Oklahoma, WebAIM, and Popetech!
Reutilization Program News
April, May and June have certainly been unprecedented months for the Reutilization Program. Reutilization has installed 23 ramps, thresholds, and/or accessible pathways for temporary use (up to 3 months borrow-time) for Oklahomans living with paralysis! The mid-year report was sent to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and we are well on our way to meeting the goals of this program.
The program just moved into new offices on the south side of 3325 North Lincoln Boulevard, Suite B in Oklahoma City within the same building. This in-house move provides a tremendous amount of warehouse space allowing the program to expand its services. The pediatric DME program is gaining speed, as well. Over $60,000 in donations of equipment has been received since July 2019!
Spotlight on Success
Brandi from Warr Acres cares for her son who has a seizure disorder. He has had an increase in seizures at night, which is very concerning to her since night seizures are the largest cause of death in epilepsy patients. She had been thinking about purchasing an Embrace2 seizure monitoring watch for her son for some time to help monitor and alert her of when he has a seizure; however, COVID-19 impacted their finances. Through ABLE Tech’s Financial Loan Program, and in partnership with OkAT Foundation, she was able to get the financial assistance needed to make the purchase of the Embrace2. The device has notified her two times in the last two weeks of seizures he had in the middle of the night. Brandi says, “With the notification, we can prevent him from having additional seizures at night or having seizure clusters that could cause him to be put in ICU”.
The ABLE Tech Financial Loan Program is available for any type of AT device purchase. For more information, go to the Financial Loan page on ABLE Tech’s website.
AT Device Feature
Zip-Up Weighted Vest
The Zip-Up Weighted Vest is a versatile weighted clothing choice. It is lightweight and easy to layer, with interior pockets for removable weights. Its grounding weight is intended to provide calming benefits, perfect for stressful situations at home, in school or on the road. The vest comes in four sizes small, medium, large, and extra-large.
Interested in borrowing this item for a short-term loan? View in the ABLE Tech inventory. Search: Zip-Up Weighted Vest
Fire Safety Grant Program
Oklahoma ABLE Tech, along with its grant partners, OkAT Foundation and Fire Protection Publications, has been awarded 13 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Fire Safety Solutions grants over the last 18 years, with the goals and outcomes of providing lifesaving equipment to individuals with hearing, vision, or mobility impairments. Each year it is determined if additional funding has been granted. Unfortunately, the grant was not funded this year. Therefore, ABLE Tech will be eliminating this program.
All remaining smoke alarms, specialized alert devices and supporting educational materials will be disseminated to local fire departments or other service programs that provide smoke alarm and safety equipment installation. A small amount of equipment to manage troubleshoots or other faulty equipment replacement will be stored at the ABLE Tech Reutilization office in Oklahoma City.
If you have equipment that needs to be replaced, please contact ABLE Tech at 800-257-1705 to determine if there is equipment that can be shipped to replace the faulty item.
As ABLE Tech and its partners bring this program to a close, we can proudly say we have accomplished a great service to the disabled community.
- Served over 2,800 Oklahomans with disabilities statewide
- Provided over 11,500 smoke alarms and over 2,900 specialized alert devices
- Provided $718,500 in AT at no cost to the consumer
- Developed an online curriculum to provide state-of-the-art training for smoke alarm installations for people with disabilities that has reached thousands of professionals nationwide
Oklahoma AT Center Locations and Partners
Oklahoma ABLE Tech and its partners operate device demonstration and loan programs to increase access to AT.
Alzheimer’s Association –
Oklahoma City, 405.319.0780
The Children’s Center
Hearing Loss Association
of America, Central Ok Chapter
Oklahoma City, 405.717.9820
Indian Nations Council
Moore Autism Center
Oklahoma City, 405.521.4880
OSU – Dept of Communication Sciences & Disorder
Pathways Therapy Center
Stillwater Eye Care
The Scholl Center
United Access (Mobility)
Oklahoma City, 888.939.1010
OSU Department of Wellness – Oklahoma ABLE Tech Staff
- Todd Misener, Chief Wellness Officer/Director, OSU Department of Wellness
- Linda Jaco, Associate Director, Sponsored Program
- Kimberly Berry, Assistive Technology Teacher
- Jo Anne Blades, SERC Program Manager
- Rob Carr, ICT Accessibility Program Manager
- Melisa Cranfield, Reutilization Program Manager
- Lisa Croston, Grants-Contracts Fiscal Officer
- Matt Dalthorp, Site Coordinator Assistant
- Shannon Esmeyer, SERC Administrative Assistant
- Shelley Gladden, Loan Program Manager
- Tammie Honeyman, Sponsored Programs Administrative Associate
- Rob Keiter, Coordinator Special Education Resolution Center (SERC)
- Kelli Jones, Business and Administrative Operations Specialist
- Kim O’Meilia, Marketing and Communications, Accessibility Specialist
- Clara Orr, Business and Administrative Operations Specialist
- Lyssa Prince, ICT Accessibility Coordinator
- Allyson Robinson, SLP, Assistant Director
- Natalie Rohwer, Financial Loan Coordinator
- Shelby Sanders, Assistive Technology Specialist
- Brian Sargent, Reutilization Site Coordinator
- Tabatha Scott, Speech Pathologist Specialist
- Amy Woods, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
This publication is available in alternative formats; please call 800.257.1705 for more information. The Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness is the lead agency for Oklahoma ABLE Tech. ABLE Tech is funded through the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and maintains coordination and collaboration efforts with partners throughout the state of Oklahoma.