April 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter banner | Oklahoma ABLE Tech | Making Life Accessible for Oklahomans of All Ages and Abilities

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is On the Road!

Josh stands with a group of 13 occupational therapy students and two instructors in their classroom at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center after a presentation.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech has been spreading the word about our programs and services! Through multiple public awareness events and training opportunities, Oklahomans are being informed and educated about ABLE Tech’s core programs: Device Demonstrations, Device Short-term Loans, Device Reutilization, Financial Loans, and Digital Accessibility; and educational supports and services.

If your organization is interested in having ABLE Tech staff present, provide training, or contribute in any way that might be beneficial to your organization, please fill out our form to request a booth or presentation. Contact Dr. Joshua Hawkins with any questions.

Assistive Technology Device Highlights

Assistive Technology (AT) can be used in a variety of ways, and for a variety of purposes. It can support people in carrying out everyday tasks and activities, enhance their safety, support their social participation, monitor their health, and more. This month, we're featuring AT from the Seating, Positioning, and Mobility AT category.

Click on the devices listed below to view their information in NATADS, our AT inventory database.

A light blue Vidget seat, a dark blue walker tray, and the Etac transfer aid are arranged in the reception area of ABLE tech.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech's Short-Term Device Loan inventory offers almost 5,000 devices in many AT categories including hearing, speech communication, vision, learning cognition/development, seating/positioning/mobility, daily living, recreation, environmental adaptations, computer access, and vehicle modifications. Visit the Device Loan Program webpage to learn more.

Success Story - Payne County

Avery sits in a postural support seat testing a Koosh switch. She is on the floor in the ABLE Tech demonstration room with her mom and a SoonerStart provider. They are surrounded by switches, adapted toys, and seating devices.Avery is a seventeen-month-old girl who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in the summer of 2021. Cerebral Palsy typically affects a person’s posture and ability to move and maintain balance. 

Avery, her mom, and several SoonerStart providers recently visited Oklahoma ABLE Tech to explore assistive technology (AT) devices that might improve her quality of life. The goal of the visit was to trial and select: a seating device that would support Avery in an upright position; equipment to increase her core strength; and cause-and-effect switch toys to develop her executive functioning.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech staff were pleased to assist Avery, her mom, and our SoonerStart partners with the process of identifying, selecting, and borrowing three different devices that will enable Avery to play and function more independently. 

Program Partner Highlight – OSDH Pediatric Audiology Program

Logo - Oklahoma State Department of Health

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Pediatric Audiology Program is now a Device Demonstration Program partner!

The OSDH Pediatric Audiology Program's mission is to improve opportunities for Oklahoma infants, toddlers, and children by establishing hearing healthcare in rural county health departments for the early detection, diagnoses, and treatment of childhood hearing loss no matter where a family lives, providing family-centered support, and outreach education.

Comprehensive diagnostic audiological assessments are available for children from birth through 21 years of age. No referral is necessary and there is no out-of-pocket expense for families. The family does not have to reside in the county where the clinic is located.

OSDH Pediatric Audiology Program’s clinic locations are mainly housed in county health departments in the following cities: Ada, Bartlesville, Claremore, Clinton, Enid, McAlester, Lawton, Moore, Muskogee, and Stillwater. The other clinics are at Oklahoma City SoonerStart, Tulsa County SoonerStart, and the JD McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities. To make an appointment, a family or provider needs to call the desired location directly. 

Find clinic contact information on the OSDH Pediatric Audiology Program partner webpage.

OSDE Special Education State Systemic Improvement Plan

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) Special Education Services State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) is a comprehensive, ambitious, yet achievable multi-year plan for improving results for children with disabilities. Oklahoma has selected early literacy for students kindergarten through third grade as the state’s target area.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is excited to collaborate with OSDE in the development of instructional materials and online content related to assistive technology (AT) and accessible educational materials (AEM) in the classroom.

Learn more about the SSIP on the OSDE webpage.

Assistive Technology Guidance Resource Pages

Oklahoma ABLE Tech, with the support and guidance of the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), has generated a series of documents intended to guide P-12 educational professionals (e.g. special education teachers, administrators, and related service providers) through the Assistive Technology (AT) Assessment process.

In the recently revised Special Education Services Policies and Procedures (2022), Assistive Technology is referenced 68 times! Of particular interest are those instances in the eligibility determination section. Five (5) of the thirteen (13) disability categories “require” the inclusion of an AT Assessment as a component of the comprehensive evaluation. The five (5) categories are Deaf-Blindness, Hearing Impairment Including Deafness, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, and Visual Impairment Including Blindness.

The guide pages ABLE Tech has developed correspond to each of the six (6) steps in the AT Assessment process. These guides, in addition to the documents associated with each step, are available both in EDPlan and on the Oklahoma ABLE Tech website.

Please direct questions to Oklahoma ABLE Tech State Leadership Program Manager, Dr. Joshua Hawkins.

Last Chance to Sign Up for Our Free AAC Workshop!

Empowering Voices: Effective AAC Evaluations
April 15, 2023
9:00 am to 3:30 pm
Stillwater, Oklahoma

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out, this workshop will provide valuable insights and practical skills for effectively supporting individuals with communication difficulties through AAC. You’ll have the chance to get your hands on a variety of AAC devices, from low-tech to high-tech!

Registration closes on April 7, 2023. Space is limited, so register now!

Event graphic. Empowering Voices: Effective AAC Evaluations. April 15, 2023. 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. Stillwater, Oklahoma. Illustration of a young child using an AAC device to say "hi."

SERC – Upcoming Wisdom Wednesday Webinar

Introducing the IEP Team Relationship Reset
Dr. Rob Keiter, SERC Program Coordinator

Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires collaboration between families, educators, other professionals, and community resources.  In the ideal environment, individualized education program (IEP) team members listen to each member’s point of view and work together to develop a high-quality IEP. Many of us have been in IEP meetings where it didn’t take long to realize the biggest issue in the meeting wasn’t the “issue” that was being discussed but rather the interpersonal dynamics and interactions between the team members. When using technology, sometimes we need to do a “reset” to get things to work again. Is it possible to reset a team when it’s stuck?

The goal of this presentation will be to start a conversation about how we might go about resetting team relationships when and where collaboration is being sabotaged by the interactions between team members. The conversation begins by considering a strategic intervention that would include practical techniques leading to improved relationships and results on the IEP team. The training is designed for parents, school personnel, and individuals who work with organizations serving children with disabilities.  Some of the topics we’ll be talking about include: What is an IEP Team Relationship Reset? How do we know it’s needed? What does it look like? Where do we begin?

Register on Zoom for the April webinar.

For more information about SERC, visit their website.

TechAccess Oklahoma Speakers Announced!

Event graphic on a purple background. TechAccess Oklahoma 2023. 3 days, 8 sessions, 1 goal.We’re excited to announce the speaker line-up for TechAccess Oklahoma 2023! Watch out for individual session details on our social media pages soon.

  • Christina Adams, Testing for Non-Testers: Simple Techniques to Add to Your Process
  • Kate DeForest, Small Shifts to Improve Digital Accessibility
  • Geoff Freed, Getting Image Descriptions Right
  • Corbb O’Connor, Most Accessibility Learning is Broken: Let’s Fix it Together
  • Mike Paciello, Pivoting to an Inclusive Organizational Culture
  • Karen Pellegrin, Getting Started with Procuring Accessible IT
  • Judith Ritsch & Jessica Plith, How the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights Resolves Web Accessibility Investigations
  • Karey Jo Wise, Accessible Qualifications

Don't miss out! Register for TechAccess Oklahoma held virtually from April 18-20 on Zoom.

People With Disabilities Awareness Day was a huge success!

Logo - Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council

The 2023 People with Disabilities Awareness Day (PWDAD), held at the Oklahoma History Center on March 7, 2023, was one for the books! 653 people were in attendance, along with 70 program/organization exhibit tables.

From the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services:

  • Total Volunteers - 93
  • Total Exhibitors - 211
  • Guest Only - 349
  • Total Attended - 653
  • Total Programs/Organizations Exhibit Tables - 70

101 State Representatives, 48 State Senators, and the Governor’s and Lt. Governor’s offices were visited, and packets were distributed by 38 individuals, three guide dogs, and two interpreters. Volunteers also made sure lawmakers knew about the day and were provided with valuable information. 

ORC is a proud sponsor of PWDAD! For more information about ORC, visit their website.

Two-Wheeled Walker Surplus

The two-wheeled walkers are folded and placed vertically side-by-side on shelves in Oklahoma ABLE Tech's warehouse.Our Device Reutilization Program has a large inventory of two-wheeled walkers available! Any Oklahoman who is in need of medical equipment or devices, regardless of income, is eligible to receive items from the Device Reutilization Program.

If you need a two-wheeled walker and have a doctor's prescription, please fill out our application on the webpage linked here: https://bit.ly/3CwmpeU

Call the Reutilization office at 405-967-6010 if you need assistance completing your application!

Assistive Technology Grant Funding Available

The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) recently received a $20,000 grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and its Services for the Elderly iFund grant program to be used to assist in funding the Device Reutilization Program.

Seniors 65 and older in Oklahoma, Cleveland, and Canadian counties in need of durable medical equipment (DME) may be eligible to participate in this grant. This grant opportunity can be used to acquire items such as walkers, lift chairs, blood pressure monitors, and other needed DME that individuals may not have access to funds to purchase. To learn more or to see if you qualify, call the Oklahoma ABLE Tech Device Reutilization Program at 405-967-6010.

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 Chapter
    Tulsa, 918-392-5009
  • Bethany Children's Health Center
    Bethany, 405-789-6711
  • Handicapped Vehicle Services Unlimited
    Tulsa, 918-622-8400
  • Indian Nations Council of Governments,
    Area Agency on Aging

    Tulsa, 918-579-9477
  • Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma,
    Area Agency on Aging

    Wilburton, 918-465-2367
  • Moore Autism Center
    Moore, 405-735-8478
  • Newby-Vance Mobility
    Guthrie, 405-518-0167
  • NewView Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City, 405-521-4880
    Tulsa, 855-811-9699
  • Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
    Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired

    Oklahoma City, 405-951-3400
  • Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
    Vocational Rehabilitation

    Oklahoma City, 405-538-7986
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health
    Pediatric Audiology Program

    Moore, 405-794-1591
  • OSU – Department of Communication
    Sciences & Disorders
    Stillwater, 405-744-6021
  • OSU - Esports Arena
    Stillwater, 405-744-5173
  • OSU - University Counseling Services
    Stillwater, 405-744-5458
  • SoonerStart
    Oklahoma City, 405-271-8333
  • Speech Pathway, LLC
    Oklahoma City, 405-652-9683
  • United Access
    Oklahoma City, 888-939-1010

OSU Department of Wellness - Accessibility Programs Staff

  • Todd Misener, Assistant Vice President and Chief Wellness Officer, OSU Department of Wellness
  • Allyson Robinson, Assistant Director
  • Jo Anne Blades, SERC Program Manager
  • Austin Bricker, Reutilization Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Richard Buntin, Fiscal Operations Specialist
  • Carolina Colclasure, ORC Program Manager
  • Gretchen Cole-Lade, State Leadership Training Specialist
  • Leslie Dady, Administrative Operations Specialist
  • Lisa Dobson, SAS Program Coordinator
  • Shannon Esmeyer, SERC Administrative Assistant
  • Shelley Gladden, State Level Program Manager
  • Brent Greyson, Instructional Design & Accessibility Specialist
  • Peyton Haley, Accessible Communications Coordinator
  • Terri Harris, Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Josh Hawkins, State Leadership Program Manager
  • Averie Hinchey-Lucas, Speech-Language Pathologist Specialist
  • Stephanie Hesser, Financial Loan Program Specialist
  • Rob Keiter, SERC Program Coordinator
  • Angie Larison, SAS Accessibility Specialist
  • Lyssa Prince, Digital Accessibility Program Manager
  • Natalie Rohwer, Financial Loan Program Coordinator
  • Lindsey Romero-Kopenhagen, SAS Administrative Support Assistant
  • Louise Ruleford, Program Specialist
  • Shelby Sanders, Assistive Technology Specialist
  • Brian Sargent, Reutilization Site Coordinator
  • Adam Thiel, Digital Accessibility Coordinator
  • Amy Woods, Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Kimberly Young, Reutilization Program Specialist
  • Michele Young, Fiscal Grant Manager

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.