July 2023 Newsletter

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

What is a Device Loan?

The Device Short-Term Loan Program provides Oklahomans with disabilities and their family members, caregivers, or service providers the opportunity to borrow assistive technology (AT) devices at no cost for up to six weeks. ABLE Tech programs serve a wide range of audiences, from children ages birth to three years old, to students in K-12 and higher education, adults in employment and community settings, to generally aging individuals.

Mr. Gilbert is an older light-skinned man with a vision impairment. He is sitting at an office chair, smiling gently at the camera.
Mr. Gilbert trialed various Daily Living devices to find the AT that best fit his needs!

Trialing AT from ABLE Tech or a partner AT center could help individuals:

  • Test AT to help make a more informed purchasing decision
  • Ensure compatibility between the AT device and the intended user
  • Serve as a back-up device while waiting for a repair or waiting for new equipment
  • Solve short-term accommodation needs

If you’re not sure which of the 4,500+ available AT devices might be the best fit, ABLE Tech staff is available to help find an AT solution!

If the device you are interested in is not in our inventory, let us know! Borrowed items are delivered by mail or may be picked up/dropped off in person. If your first trial isn’t successful, please contact us to help you discover another potential AT solution.

Check out our device loan inventory!

Assistive Technology Highlights – Recreation, Sports, & Leisure

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. July is National Recreation Therapy Month, so we're featuring AT from the Recreation, Sports, and Leisure category.

The 30 Love Tennis Kit lies in front of the Giant Right Center Left Dice Game and Carle the Smart Robot, all set up outside on the grass.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.

Accessible Educational Materials

Oklahoma ABLE Tech, in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, recently hosted leaders from multiple states as well as representatives from the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning (AEM Center at CAST) and Applied Engineering Management Corp. The group met over two days to discuss an initiative to standardize Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)-related data collection and use. It was the first meeting of its kind in Oklahoma or the nation! The intent of this initiative is to develop a robust data collection system that will facilitate more effective implementation of AEM resources for students with disabilities. Additional meetings will occur over the next year. ABLE Tech plans to update Oklahomans regularly about this initiative!

Updated AEM and AT Technical Assistance Documents 

Annually, Oklahoma ABLE Tech oversees the revision and updating of two technical assistance documents: the Accessible Educational Materials Technical Assistance (AEM-TA) Document; and the Assistive Technology Technical Assistance (AT-TA) Document.

Both the AEM-TA and AT-TA documents are intended to support educators and administrators in the development and maintenance of practices and systems related to the implementation of AT and AEM in the classroom.  Each provides expert guidance, standards for practice, and exemplars—in addition to useful supplementary resources. 

Check out the updated versions of both documents on the ABLE Tech website.

Learn About Digital Accessibilty with Us!

Side profile view of a woman with olive skin and very dark hair. She is viewing the Accessibility Course Catalog on her left desktop monitor.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Digital Accessibility team just released the first set of online self-paced accessibility courses on topics about disability and accessibility. Courses will continue to be added over time, so check back soon to see what we're up to! 

Currently, you can take one foundation course in either the Intro to Assistive Technology track or Intro to Digital Accessibility track. The course is the same in each! You can also take a series of short courses called Accessible Webpage Design & Content Authoring.

Have questions or want to let us know how the courses go? Contact us at abt.courses@okstate.edu.

SERC Update

Logo - Special Education Resolution Center

The Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) publishes a quarterly newsletter called the SERC Scoop. This newsletter contains information about SERC and the services it provides along with informative articles, webinars, and professional development materials related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and special education dispute resolution issues. The newsletter also includes news about our stakeholder training opportunities and helpful information regarding choosing which process would be the best for families and schools in dispute. Read the June Scoop, and while you’re on the webpage, subscribe to receive the quarterly newsletter by email!

The ADA Celebrates its 33rd Anniversary

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. This historic civil rights law protects the rights of people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places. 2023 marks the 33rd Anniversary of the ADA!

The ADA ensures all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Use the hashtags #ADA33 and #ThanksToTheADA on social media to help highlight the ADA nationwide celebration.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Southwest ADA Center, offer a number of fact sheets that provide overviews of the laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities.

ORC Update

The Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation (CANAR) held its 2023 Mid-Year Conference June 5-9, 2023, at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, NY.

The theme for the conference was “Weaving Ways of Healing,” and it focused on providing information, tools, and resources to assist the Tribes facing COVID challenges in aiding the tribal communities and consumers in finding success, independence, health, and wellness. Four representatives from Oklahoma attended the conference.

Oklahoma participants in the CANAR Conference including (from Left to Right) Gina Bundy, Ron Baker, Carolina Colclasure, and Adrian Smith.

On the first day, the group split into three groups and attended talking circles based on their role, which included Directors, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselors, and staff. In these groups, the participants could share best practices and ask questions about specific situations they were dealing with at their programs.

Corinne Wiedenthal was the keynote speaker on the second day, and she provided an update from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). There were various breakout sessions, including the Provision of Holistic, Cultural Appropriate & Responsive Tribal VR Services, Protection & Advocacy Systems for Individuals with Disabilities, and Provision of Transition Services for Tribal Youth.

On the last day, Dr. Lori Quigley gave a memorable keynote presentation on Indian Residential Boarding Schools. It included pictures and a description of the trauma experienced by children forced to live in the boarding schools. The breakout sessions included topics like Grant Writing, American Indian Job Development and Placement Guide, and Ethics and Culture.

The next CANAR conference will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in December 2023.

Financial Loan Program Success Story

Charlie is a light to medium-skinned man with long salt-and-pepper hair and a beard. He sits in his new scooter and his torso is turned to face the camera. There is other medical equipment on display in the background.

Charlie needed an affordable loan to purchase a scooter to regain mobility. The ABLE Tech low-interest Financial Loan Program helped him purchase a power scooter that allows him to get around easier and more safely. Charlie said, “I can get around the house better. I really appreciate the help.”

The Oklahoma ABLE Tech Financial Loan Program’s low 5% interest rate can help to make durable medical equipment and assistive technology purchases affordable. To apply for a loan, visit the Financial Loan Program webpage.

Financial loans for assistive technology are provided by the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), in partnership with Oklahoma ABLE Tech and BancFirst of Stillwater.

New Device Reutilization Partner – Lawton Public Library

Lawton Public Library logo

We are excited to announce a new collaboration with the Lawton Public Library! The site will operate as a donation site for individuals to drop off their gently used durable medical equipment that is no longer needed.

This is the first site donation location in this part of the state. The Lawton Public Library will be an ongoing donation site at the main library address: 110 SW 4th Street, Lawton, OK, 73501. Individuals can drop off equipment during library hours. Frequent donation drives will be promoted throughout the community of Lawton.

You can contact the library at 580-581-3450 or email libraryhelp@lawtonok.gov. Please contact the Lawton Public Library in advance to make arrangements for donations of larger items such as hospital beds and patient lifts.

For a full list of accepted DME, donation locations, or to learn of other options to return DME to OHCA, visit Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Donation page.

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

 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
  • 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.