August 2023 Newsletter

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

What is a Financial Loan?

The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), in partnership with Oklahoma ABLE Tech and BancFirst of Stillwater, can provide financing options with low interest and flexible repayment terms for Oklahomans to purchase needed assistive technology (AT) to help them live, work, and learn independently.

Qualifying purchases for the loan can be anything used as AT, in any amount - large or small. Common items financed through the program include:

  • Vision equipment and glasses
  • Hearing equipment and hearing aids
  • Mobility devices
  • Vehicle modifications
  • Daily living aids
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Communication devices
  • iPads for specialized use
  • Lift chairs
  • Home modifications
  • Smart Home technology
  • Ramps

These loans have a fixed, 5% interest rate, with easy, flexible repayment terms and may be used to cover copays. We offer special qualifying terms for applicants who have limited income or bankruptcy due to a disability-related circumstance.

To apply for a financial loan for assistive technology, visit the Financial Loan webpage and select the “Apply for a Loan” button.

Assistive Technology Highlights – Daily Living

Assistive Technology (AT) can be used in a variety of ways, 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. August is National Senior Citizens Month, so we're featuring AT from the Daily Living category.

Click on the devices listed below to view their information in NATADS, ABLE Tech’s AT inventory database.

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, and development; seating, positioning, and mobility; daily living; recreation, sports, and leisure; environmental adaptations; computer access; and vehicle modifications. Visit the Device Loan Program webpage to learn more.

A hand holds up the white and grey LiftWare Spoon to show the stay-upright capabilities. There is a kitchen range in the background.
The Liftware Level Spoon Plus Fork
The personal blender-sized, egg-shaped switch-adapted electric mixer sits on a dark grey kitchen countertop. There is a red button switch sitting in front of it.
The Mixer Switch Adapted

SoonerStart Success Story & Quarterly Recognition Award

The Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Department of Health partner to provide the SoonerStart Early Intervention Program. Oklahoma ABLE Tech partners with SoonerStart to provide assistive technology (AT) to infants and toddlers, ages birth to three, with disabilities. ABLE Tech provides AT to SoonerStart teams in the form of assessment kits. SoonerStart uses these kits when working with families. The goal is to increase access to and acquisition of AT that may benefit children with disabilities in the SoonerStart program.

Oklahoma County Success Story

Willow is a light-skinned little girl with long medium-brown hair pulled into a half-ponytail on top of her head. She is sitting on a leather couch in grey pajamas, with an iPad in a black case on her lap. The screen is on, and LAMP Words for Life is open.

Willow is an energetic two-year-old who was diagnosed shortly after birth with cerebral palsy, strabismus, and a traumatic brain injury. Willow loves to interact with her family daily. However, due to communication difficulties, expressing her needs and wants is challenging. SoonerStart providers, along with Willow’s family, developed goals to increase her expressive communication by using a speech communication device.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Device Demonstration Program enabled the family to compare the features and benefits of multiple speech communication apps. Features of LAMP Words for Life matched well with Willow’s needs and capabilities, and she is successfully using the app to communicate!

After the demonstration and selection, ABLE Tech’s Short-Term Loan Program provided Willow’s family with the opportunity to borrow LAMP Words for Life while they pursued acquiring the device through insurance.

Willow enjoys communicating with her parents and siblings using her device. Her favorite activity is selecting the command “GO” on LAMP to direct her SoonerStart provider to run. Willow is very motivated to communicate and enjoys being social with adults and peers in all environments.

If you think you know someone who might benefit from an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution like LAMP Words for Life, please complete the Oklahoma ABLE Tech Consultation form to be connected with our staff!

Fourth Quarter Team Winner

The Oklahoma County SoonerStart team has earned the Fourth Quarter Recognition Award! The team will receive $500 in new AT to add to their demonstration kit!

Oklahoma County SoonerStart is also our Annual Winner. They will be awarded an additional $800 in new AT for their demonstration kit!

To learn more about SoonerStart and AT for Early Intervention, visit our collaboration webpage!

SERC Update:  2022 Annual Report from the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Logo - Special Education Resolution Center

The mission of the Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) is to help school districts and parents resolve disputes at the earliest stage possible. In preparation for the upcoming school year, SERC would like to share this informative report from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

OCR’s mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence across the nation through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights laws. OCR safeguards the rights of students through the investigation of possible violations of civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), and the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act of 2001.

Read the 2022 OCR Annual Report. To learn more about SERC’s facilitation and mediation services, visit www.okserc.org.

Accessibility Course Highlight: It Depends: Different Issues, Different Solutions

Last month, we launched our ABLE Tech Course Catalog, which contains courses you can take at your own pace online. Our first course in the Intro to Digital Accessibility track, It Depends: Different Issues, Different Solutions, will teach you about disability and accessibility and help you frame new digital accessibility concepts.

Screenshot of the Introduction to Digital Accessibility Track section. The “Enroll Now” button is highlighted in a red box.

To take this course, go to the course catalog and enroll in the Intro to Digital Accessibility Track. To learn more about our course catalog, visit okabletech.org/courses.

Fall 2023 AT Workshops

Registration is now open for the Oklahoma ABLE Tech Fall 2023 AT Workshop Series! These workshops are designed for educators, related service providers, and administrators needing a wide range of Assistive Technology (AT) knowledge, providing standards-based training, hands-on practice, and dynamic coaching for everyone—from novice to expert.

  • Part 1 – Consideration of Assistive Technology, September 14, 2023, via Zoom
  • Part 2 – Gathering Information and Trialing Devices, October 12, 2023, hybrid
  • Part 3 – AT in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Implementation, November 9, 2023, via Zoom

Please note, Part 2 – Gathering Information and Trialing Devices will be offered both in-person in Stillwater, OK, and via Zoom. ASHA Continuing Education Units will ONLY be offered to in-person attendees of this session.

For information about each session and to register, visit the AT Support Team Workshops webpage!

ORC Update: DRS Celebrates its 30-Year Anniversary

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) celebrated 30 years of being an independent agency on July 1, 2023.

When Governor David Walters signed Senate Bill 356 on June 11, 1993, he established DRS as a standalone agency. Prior to the new law, DRS was formally part of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Thirty years later, DRS is still helping its clients find employment and independence.

DRS will recognize the anniversary from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on October 17, 2023, at the DRS State Office parking lot at 3535 NW 58th Street. More details will be released later.

Logo - Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) would like to congratulate DRS on this important milestone. ORC recognizes the amazing job DRS has done in these 30 years to better the life of thousands of Oklahomans and celebrates the hard work of all the staff and partners. We look forward to many more successful years partnering with you!

To learn more about ORC, visit orc.okstate.edu/.

New Project Collaboration: Wearables Research

We are excited to announce our newest project: a collaborative research study to determine how health-tracking wearable technology can be used by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to monitor their health measures.

The goals of this research are to determine if individuals with IDD are able to 1.) interpret the data provided by the wearable to make lifestyle changes, 2.) report to healthcare professionals, and 3.) if the trends of users with IDD adopting and reporting health tracking data reflect the results of the nation.

Research collaborators include: The Oklahoma State Department of Human Services, Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Oklahoma State University’s Institute for Developmental Disabilities, the Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma, and the University of Kansas.

The study will include at least 52 participants. We will release more information and research results as it becomes available!

Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan program inventories include wearable technology! To learn more about wearable AT, contact our AT specialists at abletech@okstate.edu.

Make Plans to Attend Our OKC Open House!

Event graphic. Save the Date. August 24, 2023. 3:30 - 6:30 pm. Open House. New Device Reutilization Program and Smart Home Demonstration Space. Oklahoma ABLE Tech logo.

Join us for the first-ever Open House to see the new Oklahoma ABLE Tech Device Reutilization Program & Smart Home Demonstration Space! Staff will be on hand to answer questions and give tours.

We're so excited to share our latest projects with you! This come-and-go event will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 pm at our OKC office, located at 4301 Will Rogers Parkway, Suite 950, Oklahoma City, OK 73108.

To further the efforts of ABLE Tech's Device Reutilization Program, if you bring a blood pressure monitor or one (1) package of adult-sized incontinence briefs to the Open House, we'll enter you in a drawing for a door prize!

Please RSVP to the event so we can plan appropriately for refreshments and small attendee gifts.

New Staff - Cameron Cheek, SAS Interpreting Coordinator

Cam is a light-skinned woman with long dark brown hair. She is wearing a white blouse and a black blazer, smiling at the camera. She stands in front of a red brick wall with long green grass behind her.Originally from Abilene, TX, Cam joined the Oklahoma State University Student Accessibility Services office as an American Sign Language Interpreter in June 2018. She completed her bachelor's in Multidisciplinary Studies in 2020 and will complete her master's in special education in 2023. She is certified by Oklahoma's Quality Assurance Screening Test (QAST) as a 5/5 and is working towards testing for her National Interpreting Certification (NIC). As of July 2023, she is transitioning to a leadership role as the new Interpreting Coordinator for Student Accessibility Services.

Cam said, "My job is unique because I have the opportunity to work with students by discussing and implementing accommodations that help them be successful in higher education, but I also get to work with them in the classroom as one of their interpreters. Our students are so intelligent, and it brings me such joy to be able to make their environment more accessible. You never know what you'll be handed with interpreting, and our students teach me things every single day.”

Cam's goal is to provide accessible communication and education for individuals who are d/Deaf or have hearing loss in the OSU and Stillwater community while providing support and guidance for the interpreting team. In Cam's free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, participating in the arts, and making bread.

Oklahoma AT Center Locations and Partners

Oklahoma ABLE Tech and its partners operate device demonstration and loan programs to increase access to AT.

  • 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
  • Norman Regional Rehab Services
    Norman, 405-307-1786
  • 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 Reboot Center
    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, Director of Accessibility Programs
  • Jo Anne Blades, SERC Program Manager
  • Austin Bricker, Reutilization Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Richard Buntin, Fiscal Operations Specialist
  • Cameron Cheek, SAS Interpreting Coordinator
  • 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 Program Specialist
  • 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.