January 2023 Newsletter

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

Happy New Year!

Quote with blue background and festive holiday light strand across the top: "May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility." – Mary Ann Radmacher, Oklahoma ABLE Tech logo as signature.

As we look fondly back on 2022, we are so excited to see what the new year brings to Oklahoma ABLE Tech and our staff!

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you in 2023!

Oklahoma ABLE Tech National Rankings

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is proud to report these national rankings for FFY22 compared to the 55 other Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs.

State-Level AT Act Programs

  • Device Demonstration: #1 out of 56 programs participating with a total of 7,538
  • Device Short-Term Loan: #2 out of 55 programs with a total of 2,174
  • Financial Loans: #1 out of 29 programs participating with a total of 368
  • Device Exchange: #1 out of 28 programs participating with a total of 641
  • Device Reuse: #17 out of 55 programs participating with a total of 1,427

State Leadership AT Act Programs

  • Training: #9 out of 56 programs participating with a total of 2,919
  • Information and Assistance: #5 out of 56 programs participating with a total of 9,945

Celebrate National Braille Literacy Month in January!

Jan Levine sits in front of a brown photo backdrop. Jan is a white woman with long grey-brown wavy hair and wears glasses.Oklahoma ABLE Tech is proud to have supported our own in-house volunteer braillist, Jan Lavine, as the invited presenter at the December 1, 2022, Zoom meeting of the “I Love Braille” group sponsored by the East Bay Center for the Blind of Berkeley, California (EBCB). As both a Library of Congress certified braille transcriber and braille proofreader, Jan spoke about braille proofreading: the qualifications, tools used, proofreading reports, and notable proofreading errors she has encountered over the years. The “EBCB I Love Braille” participants for Jan’s talk were both domestic and international, with the furthest to attend hailing from India, Nigeria, and Cape Town, South Africa.

Participant feedback included such comments as: “Today’s I Love Braille was really one of the best”; and “Jan, the guest speaker today, was highly interesting, positive, enthusiastic, and articulate. What a pleasure to hear her speak! Kudos to you, Professor Shah, for arranging this outstanding guest speaker! I greatly admire all that Jan has done with braille and will continue to do in the braille field.”

Way to go, Jan, Happy National Braille Literacy Month, and a Happy World Braille Day on January 4, 2023!

AT Device Highlights - Braille AT

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 that might be helpful for people who use braille.

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

A shelf in the Oklahoma ABLE Tech demo room showing off the Brailliant Braille Display, BrailleNote Touch 32, Uno Braille, and Braille Sudoku Set.

Learn more about AT for people of all ages on the ABLE Tech AT Discovery webpages.

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Partnership

The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) is currently providing intensive technical assistance to Oklahoma—with Oklahoma ABLE Tech serving as the lead agency receiving and relaying support to schools and other educational, employment, and community-based entities. Accessible educational materials are “print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or enhanced in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of learner variability, regardless of format (e.g. print, digital, graphic, audio, video).” The National AEM Center has many useful online resources including:

These resources are free! To learn more, please visit the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials website. Also, please view Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Accessible Educational Materials webpage to download our AEM-Technical Assistance Document and other materials. Contact Dr. Joshua Hawkins at Oklahoma ABLE Tech (joshua.hawkins@okstate.edu) with any questions.

Digital Accessibility Training Opportunity: TechAccess Oklahoma 2023

Save the Date! Oklahoma’s premier digital accessibility conference, TechAccess Oklahoma, will return April 18-20, 2023. This year marks the 8th iteration of this conference, and it will once again be held virtually over three, half-days in Zoom. We’ll hear from accessibility experts across the country who will bring you content ranging from beginner-level to advanced. Last year, attendees rated our speakers 4.5 out of 5 stars on average, so you won’t want to miss this year’s sessions! 

Questions or comments on TechAccess Oklahoma 2023? Let us know at abt.a11y@okstate.edu.

Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) FFY22 Annual Report

Each year ORC submits an Annual Report of activities to the Governor and Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). This year’s report is ready to view! A few highlights include:  

  • fulfilling all membership requirements of Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act with appointments by the Governor.
  • complying with the federal Rehabilitation Act mandates through its strategic plan process.
  • providing a letter of support for House Bill 1792 – A bill that changes the term “handicapped” to “disabled,” “a person with a disability,” “visually impaired” or related language.
  • partnering with the DRS Professional Development Unit and supporting the attendance of four DRS Staff at the 2022 Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) Annual Conference and Automobility Expo.

View the full Federal Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report (PDF).

Contact Carolina Colclasure, ORC Program Manager, at carolina.colclasure@okstate.edu with any questions.

Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) - Training Opportunity

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue is a nationally recognized training that helps people have difficult conversations. The focus of the training is not just about communication - it's about helping people get the results they want and need through their interactions with others. 

Crucial Conversations wordmark on a red background.

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue can help you in your conversations with:

  • School Administrators
  • Staff and personnel including general education teachers
  • Related service providers
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) team members
  • Parents and advocates

The Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) is now able to offer Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue classes in-person and in a virtual format. The in-person format consists of two days, and the virtual format consists of five, 2.5-hour-long sessions that can be scheduled over three days or one session at a time.

Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue is available at no cost to those attending through our partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. 

In-person regional classes have now been scheduled for January through March 2023. These include individual classes for parents/advocates, special education directors, and school administrators. For more information about these classes including in-person and virtual agendas and links to register, please visit the Stakeholder training page on the SERC website.

If you are interested in scheduling a future training session for your district, please contact Rob Keiter at rob.keiter@okstate.edu or (405) 569-3105.

The Spring AT Workshop Series Starts on January 19

From the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR):

Assistive technology (AT) enables children with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of life (home, school, and community) and helps them access their right to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The IEP team must determine whether an individual child needs an assistive technology device or service, and if so, the nature and extent to be provided.

Hundreds of IEP team members attend ABLE Tech’s AT Workshop Series every year to learn how to help students find and acquire needed AT solutions. If you haven’t attended the training series before, or if you have but need a refresher, hope you’ll make time to attend!

Dates have been set for the Spring 2023 AT Workshop Series:

  • Part 1 – January 19 – Consideration of AT
  • Part 2 – February 16 – Gathering Information and Trialing Devices
  • Part 3 – March 23 – AT in the IEP and Implementation

These workshops will take place via Zoom from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. on their designated dates. Visit the Oklahoma ABLE Tech AT Support Team Workshops webpage to register!

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
    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
  • OSU – Department of Communication
    Sciences & Disorders
    Stillwater, 405.744.6021
  • 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, Chief Wellness Officer/Director, OSU Department of Wellness
  • Allyson Robinson, SLP, 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, 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.