ABLE Tech Connect – Vol. 2, Issue 1

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

FFY23 by the Numbers

Every year Oklahoma ABLE Tech works to enhance assistive technology (AT) services for people with disabilities in the state. In the federal fiscal year 2023 (FFY23), ABLE Tech received $504,673 from the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help Oklahomans access and acquire needed AT as well as provide training, technical assistance, public awareness, and information and assistance to those in need. These funds, coupled with $1.49 million in leveraged dollars, resulted in savings and benefits to Oklahomans which totaled $4.18 million! Over 38,702 individuals participated in ABLE Tech’s programs and services this year.   

We are so thankful to all agencies and organizations who partnered with us to enhance AT services for people with disabilities including:  

  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) Public Health Workforce 
  • Department of Human Services, Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) 
  • Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma (DDCO) 
  • National Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) Center  
  • National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) 
  • Oklahoma Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) – COEDD, INCOG, KEDDO 
  • Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT)  
  • Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)  
  • Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA)  
  • Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE)  
  • Southwest Americans with Disabilities Act Center (SWADA)  

Thank you to each of our partners for their collaborations and help in making 2023 another outstanding year!  

Assistive Technology (AT) Highlights 

February is Low Vision Awareness Month! Millions of people in the United States live with visual impairments that cannot be addressed with glasses, contacts, medicine, or surgery. Visual impairments can make it difficult to independently complete everyday activities like reading, cooking, learning, or working. Check out these Vision AT devices that our AT specialists are especially excited to share!  The Compact 10 HD Magnifier, EZ See Keyboard, Poke A Dot Jumbo Number Learning Cards and Low Vision Cutting Board sit on a grey kitchen countertop. There are 3 Poke A Dot Jumbo Number Learning Cards with different animals placed on top of the Low Vision Cutting Board.

  • Poke A Dot Jumbo Number Learning Cards - These are number flashcards for learners with low vision. They are jumbo-sized, brightly colored with a high contrast, and have a tactile popping element. 
  • Low Vision Cutting Board - One side is black, and one side is white, so you can choose your contrast level when slicing food. This device can be used alongside the SafeSlice fingerguard!
  • Compact 10 HD Magnifier - This is a lightweight and portable electronic magnifier. It has a 10-inch touchscreen with adjustable magnification.
  • EZ See Keyboard - A classic! This keyboard is large, has jumbo print on the keys, and has high color contrast.

Please keep in mind, AT devices are not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you'd like to set up an AT demonstration to find a device that is an appropriate match to your needs, please visit our AT Consultations webpage!

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Stillwater Smart Home Open House

If you have enabling technology questions, we have answers.

The team at Oklahoma ABLE Tech is excited to announce the official grand opening of the Stillwater Smart Home Demonstration Space in the Seretean Wellness Center on the OSU Campus. We're excited to share this space with you and invite you to join us for an Open House to learn how enabling technologies, assistive technology (AT), and durable medical equipment (DME) can help individuals with disabilities be more independent in their homes.

3:00 to 6:00 pm
February 13, 2024
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
1514 W. Hall of Fame Stillwater, OK 74078

Similar to the Oklahoma City site we opened last year, the Stillwater Smart Home space allows individuals, their families, and service providers the opportunity to:

  • compare the features and benefits of particular enabling technology devices, AT devices and services, and DME
  • see, touch, and try multiple devices to help in the decision-making process with hands-on exploration
  • receive information on the latest technology, low-tech solutions, and environmental adaptations

We'd love to see you there! If you plan to come, RSVP to help us get an appropriate headcount.

Financial Loan- Success Story

Bob and Jane of Muskogee County needed to purchase new hearing aids to help them hear and understand their grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they were speaking with them. 

ABLE Tech's low-interest Financial Loan Program provided them with a low-interest loan to make the purchase.

Bob and Jane commented, “We plan to enjoy visiting with family and friends by being able to hear them better.”

The Financial Loan Program’s low interest rates can help to make durable medical equipment and assistive technology purchases affordable. To apply for a loan, go to the ABLE Tech's Financial Loan Page or visit the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation's website.

Spring 2024 AT Workshop Series

On January 18, Oklahoma ABLE Tech staff conducted the first session of our recurring, three-part workshop series designed to develop participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies related to assistive technology (AT). In Part 1 of the series, participants examined the process for considering AT for students with disabilities. Additionally, Part 1 included reviewing the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (QIAT), specific legal requirements, an overview of the 10 AT categories, and resources for no-, low-, and light-tech Make ‘n Takes.  

There were more than 80 attendees including in-service teachers, administrators, and related service providers from across Oklahoma. 

Participants shared their eagerness to begin implementing what they learned during the course:  

  1. "I'm a new SPED teacher and have learned many things from this webinar, all being beneficial."

  2. "[I will be] Implementing documentation of AT consideration into the IEPs."

  3. "Great information, will be passing along to SPED director and other colleagues."

  4. "[I will] have the Big East form ready for any student that needs to be considered for AT."

Mark your calendars for Part 2 of the workshop series scheduled for February 15, 2024.  In this session, participants will learn the steps involved in conducting an assistive technology (AT) assessment. We are excited to offer two options for Part 2: in-person in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and virtually via Zoom. For those attending in person, this allows attendees to have hands-on experience with multiple AT devices. Learn more about the two options and register online!  You need NOT have attended Part 1 to register for Part 2.  We look forward to seeing you in February!   

For additional information or if you have questions, contact Dr. Joshua Hawkins at Oklahoma ABLE Tech. 


Empowering Voices: Effective AAC Evaluations Workshops 

On December 1, 2023, Speech-Language Pathologists and Special Education Teachers attended the Empowering Voices: Effective Augmentative and Alternative (AAC) Evaluations workshop at Oklahoma ABLE Tech. Attendees learned how to conduct an effective AAC evaluation/assessment using the SETT framework and explore feature matching. Additionally, Averie and staff introduced report writing, funding options, and moderated hands-on exploration of light/low/no-tech, mid-tech, and high-tech speech communication assistive technology (AT).

Oklahoma ABLE Tech will be offering the FREE Empowering Voices workshop three times this spring.

  • Friday, February 9, 2024, at Oklahoma ABLE Tech in Stillwater, Oklahoma (at capacity) 

  • Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Soaring on Hope in Tulsa, Oklahoma 

  • Saturday, April 6, 2024, at Oklahoma ABLE Tech in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  

The course is designed for speech therapists, educators, and other professionals (i.e., occupational therapists, physical therapists, paraprofessionals) who work with individuals of all ages with communication difficulties. Learn more about the workshop and register on the AAC Workshops webpage!  

If you have any questions, contact Averie Hinchey-Lucas

Area Agency on Aging Grant Funds

Continued collaborations for additional opportunities and grant funding for durable medical equipment (DME) and AT for independence in the home!

The Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma (KEDDO), Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG), and Central Oklahoma Economic Development District (COEDD) Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) have partnered with ABLE Tech to provide Masonic Grant funds for qualifying residents who reside in their respective counties. Through this partnership, ABLE Tech’s Device Reutilization Program is assisting recipients in the purchase of needed assistive technology (AT) and durable medical equipment (DME).

To qualify for the Masonic Grant funds, individuals must live in one of the AAA specific counties, be 55 years of age or older, be of low to moderate income, and have a need for AT and DME to maintain an independent lifestyle. Once the individuals no longer need the purchased equipment, it is intended for those items to be donated back to the Device Reutilization Program for use by another individual who needs such items.

  • COEDD - Hughes, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, and Seminole counties
  • INCOG - Tulsa, Creek, and Osage counties
  • KEDDO - Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCuratin, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha counties

To learn more about the grant funds, or to see if you qualify, please contact the ABLE Tech Device Reutilization Office at 405-967-6010 or email atreuse@okstate.edu.

Brush up on your digital accessibility skills and register for TechAccess Oklahoma!

Dark purple and white graphic with the text "Take the Leap into Digital Accessibility, February 27-29, 2024 at TechAccess Oklahoma" and the Oklahoma ABLE Tech logo.

We're so excited to announce more of our speakers for TechAccess. This conference lineup is stacked, if we do say so ourselves– you won't want to miss this. Did we mention the conference registration is free?

Oklahoma's Premier Digital Accessibility Conference
February 27-29, 2024
Rose State College • Jeanie Webb Student Union, FNB Community Bank Ballroom

Lindsay Foster has over two decades of educational experience as an elementary classroom educator, a technology applications instructor, an instructional technology coach and coordinator, and instructional designer. Lindsey Morris is a learning experience designer who has worked in various educational settings, from K-12 to higher education and corporate training, providing her with a strong foundation in instructional design, project management, and universal design for learning (UDL). Lindsay and Lindsey will bring you a session called Join the Resistance: Gaining Stakeholder Buy-In at Your Organization, which will provide a humanistic perspective on accessibility best practices and implementation using personas.

Darren Denham is the Assistant Director of Digital Accessibility for the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) where he has worked with web content and accessibility since 2005, presenting technology in a manner that is approachable and easy to understand. Darren's session, Digital Accessibility: You're Not the Imposter You Think You Are, will instill in attendees a newfound confidence and practical knowledge to contribute to a more accessible digital landscape.

Glenda Sims (often called the Goodwitch of A11y) is the Chief Information Accessibility Officer at Deque, where she shares her expertise and passion for the open web with .gov, .edu, .org, and .com, and co-founded axe-con, the world's largest digital accessibility conference. Glenda aims to help us prepare for the future of AI in accessibility with her session, Accessibility and the 3 Bears of AI.

In-person spots are filling quickly! Check out the schedule and session details on our website!

Quick Accessibility Tip: Website Zoom Controls

Did you know you can quickly enlarge text and images on almost any website with just a few easy steps? Read on to find out how!

The screenshots below were taken in Chrome, but this also works in Edge and Firefox too.

1. Go to any website.

2. Open your browser’s settings menu.

Screenshot of a web browser window showing the location of the Browser Settings button in the toolbar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Look for the Zoom setting in the menu.

Screenshot of the Browser Settings menu with the Zoom section and buttons highlighted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Use the Plus and Minus buttons in the menu to increase or decrease the zoom level by one step.

And… that’s it! Keep selecting that Plus button to go even bigger! 

But we hear you, you’re too busy to bother with clunky menus. You want to go fast! Try these shortcuts instead to skip straight to Step 4 above!

  • Hold CTRL, and use the Plus key on your keyboard to zoom in, or the Minus key to zoom out.
  • Hold CTRL, and scroll your mouse wheel up to zoom in, and down to zoom out.

How’s that for fast? Have fun with it, but don’t let all that power go to your head.

SERC Update - 2024 Wisdom Wednesday Webinars

A white and blue graphic with text that reads, “Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) presents: Wisdom Wednesdays. Special Education Dispute Resolution Webinars. Working together and through conflict to support students with disabilities can be challenging for parents and schools. Learn helpful information, tips, and techniques from the experts that can help you navigate through difficult situations. Join us for this 1.5-hour webinar series every month from 12 pm to 1:30 pm CST.” Above the text is a clipart that reads, “Free Webinars.” Below the text is the SERC logo and the Oklahoma Department of Education logo.

These webinars are free and take place on Zoom Wednesdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Registration is available online. The 2024 webinars will start with a three-part series entitled So You Think You Want to File a Due Process Hearing Request. 

Many people find due process hearing in Special Education a mystery. Jo Anne Blades, J.D., hopes to help you solve that. The webinars do not contain every piece of information one needs to navigate the process, but Due Process will be explained in a way that may make more sense! Parents are most often making the filing, so Sharon Coppedge Long, Director of the Oklahoma Parent Center, will be assisting Jo Anne Blades and Allison Fennell Conch with the presentation.

  • Part 1, Initial Considerations, will be presented Jan. 24, 2024.
  • Part 2, Getting Ready for the Hearing, will be presented on Jan. 31, 2024.
  • Part 3, What Happens at the Hearing? will be presented on Feb. 14, 2024.

For more information and to register for the 2024 webinars, visit the SERC webinars webpage.


SERC’s mission is to help school districts and parents resolve disputes at the earliest stage possible. To learn more about SERC, visit their website. 

ORC Update

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) is pleased to share the FFY23 ORC Annual Report. This report represents the dedication and hard work of all members of the Council. All goals and objectives for this year were met or will be continued in FFY24.

Download the report on ORC’s website.

We hope you use this report as a resource and share it with others if you have the opportunity.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the ORC.


ORC's mission is to facilitate consumer education and empowerment, to assure services are of high quality and lead to the employment of individuals with disabilities within Oklahoma. To learn more about ORC, visit their website. 

SoonerStart Success Story and 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.

Cleveland County Success Story

Gianni is almost three years old and experiences speech delays that create frustration, especially when he cannot communicate his needs and wants.

Gianni is an olive-skinned toddler with short dark hair. He is standing next to a refrigerator, on which a low-tech communication board with various images of different foods is displayed where he can reach.

With the help of a low-tech assistive technology (AT) communication board, Gianni can now communicate quickly and clearly with his mom and dad.  

These communication boards display photos, objects, or icons. These boards are used to help individuals make decisions and communicate them, as well as to build vocabulary. 

Trialing the choice and core boards from Oklahoma ABLE Tech gave Gianni a way to communicate what he wants to eat and drink. This communication style has significantly decreased frustration for Gianni and his family. Gianni’s mom hopes this will encourage him to begin verbalizing many of the words he points to on his communication board. 

Gianni’s new goal is to learn the correct names and pronunciations of familiar food and drink items. Gianni is verbalizing more since his mother introduced the low-tech assistive technology!


Second Quarter Team Winner

The Cleveland County SoonerStart team has earned the Second Quarter Recognition Award! The team will receive new AT to add to their demonstration kit!

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

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
  • Austin Bricker, Reutilization Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Richard Buntin, Fiscal Operations Specialist
  • Cameron Cheek, SAS Interpreting Coordinator
  • Carolina Colclasure, ORC Program Manager
  • Leslie Dady, Administrative Operations Specialist
  • Shannon Esmeyer, SERC Administrative Assistant
  • Allison Fennell-Conch, SERC Program Manager
  • Shelley Gladden, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology Core Programs
  • Brent Greyson, Instructional Design & Accessibility Specialist
  • Peyton Haley, Accessible Communications Coordinator
  • Josh Hawkins, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology in Education & OSU Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
  • Averie Hinchey-Lucas, Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Stephanie Hesser, Financial Loan Program Specialist
  • Rob Keiter, SERC Program Coordinator
  • Angie Larison, SAS Accessibility Specialist
  • Lyssa Prince, Assistant Director, Digital Accessibility
  • Natalie Rohwer, Financial Loan Program Coordinator
  • Lindsey Romero-Kopenhagen, SAS Program Specialist
  • Louise Ruleford, Program 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.