ABLE Tech Connect – Vol. 2, Issue 3

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

Assistive Technology (AT) Highlights

August.. Back to School season…

  • Weighted whiteboard – The weighted bean bottom of the whiteboard is helpful for kids with sensory needs. The added weight may help students remember to stay in their seats as they practice their work. After an active summer, having to reacclimate to obeying classroom rules can be hard. Students can write directly on the whiteboard and use the space to work out math problems or place their worksheet on the lap pad and use the whiteboard as an alternate writing surface. Recommendation: elementary schools
  • Boogie board – This is a reusable writing tool that does not require power. You can erase the boards easily, as well as lock it to prevent accidental erasing. The boogie board can be used with one of the included templates, such as graphing or lined paper, or you can insert your own into the device. Capture your work and scan it to upload using the Blackboard app. We also have an alternate size and flashcards. Recommendation: middle school
  • MX Keys Mini Wireless Keyboard – This is a Bluetooth connectivity mini wireless keyboard. It can connect to a laptop, desk monitor, or iPad. The keys have indents on them for added comfort and are backlit with automatically adjusting lighting. Recommendation: high school
  • Casa Desk Pop Up Kit – This is a foldaway desk kit for easy storage and compact carrying from the lecture hall to the classroom to the dorm to the library. It comes with a laptop stand, keyboard, and large touchpad. It also has Bluetooth compatibility and can be used with Windows, MacOS, iPadOS, and ChromeOS. Using the stand to raise the laptop’s height can encourage better posture and is ergonomic. Recommendation: higher education/college/workforce

Resources for Schools

As we get ready for the new school year, we want to remind you about the helpful resources ABLE Tech offers for teachers, administrators, and service providers working with school-aged children.

  • AT Services and Professional Development for PK-12: Throughout the school year, you can access Assistive Technology (AT) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) documents, the Online AT Curriculum, and video and webinar playlists. These resources help you learn about and use best practices.
  • AT Support Team Workshops: Each year, ABLE Tech holds workshops on the AT Assessment process, funding opportunities, and other important activities related to AT selection, acquisition, and use. Sign up now for Part 1 of the AT Assessment Workshop series.
  • AT Consultations and Assessment Resources for Educators: ABLE Tech provides forms, resources, and AT Consultations to help educators and service providers offer assistive technology to students with disabilities. The Consultation Intake Form and AT Assessment Process resources are available all year.
  • Accessible Educational Materials: A Beginner’s Guide to Implementing AEM and other resources are available to help with accessing, acquiring, and training on AEM.

If you have questions or need help, contact Dr. Joshua Hawkins at joshua.hawkins@okstate.edu.


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.

Payne County Success Story

James is a light-skinned toddler with long brown hair and bangs. He is wearing a dinosaur shirt and has a blue chewy tube necklace around his neck. James is a young boy who is a recipient of SoonerStart services. SoonerStart works in partnership with Oklahoma ABLE Tech to demonstrate assistive technology (AT) to infants, toddlers, and their families. James and his caregiver trialed a Chewy Tube after a device demonstration from Deanna Cook, James’ SoonerStart provider. Chewy Tubes and Chewlery are oral motor devices that provide sensory and emotional regulation. 

Before using a chewy necklace, James frequently bit himself and his caregiver when he was frustrated, causing marks, broken skin, and sometimes bleeding. The team’s goal is to continue to support James in his communication development and sensory regulation to decrease the frequency of frustration. The success of the Chewy Tube demonstration prompted James’ caregivers to purchase Chewlery for everyday use. 

Since using his Chewy Necklace, James does not harm himself or others. He now has a tool that helps him achieve self-regulation quickly and safely. 

Fourth Quarter and Annual Team Winners

The INSERT COUNTY HERE SoonerStart team is the Fourth Quarter Recognition Award winner! They will receive $650 in new AT to add to their AT demonstration kit.

The Payne County/District 3 SoonerStart Team is the Annual Recognition Award winner! They will be awarded $1,000 in new AT for their demonstration kit.

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


 SAS Update – 


Device Loan Requests

The Short-Term Loan Program is ready for you to submit device loan requests for the school year. Please submit your device loan requests and indicate in the notes section if you would like us to wait until a specific date to send out the device once school has started. While we cannot guarantee the device will be available on the date provided due to waitlists, we will do our best to have the device sent to you by the requested date. Here are a few reminders regarding device Short-Term Loan requests:

  • If you are requesting for a minor, please do not put their name on the account or application. An adult’s name is required on the account and application.
  • The person submitting the application is responsible and liable for the device. Ensure that the items are returned by their due date.
  • Please keep the shipping materials and papers sent with the device loan to return the device(s) back to ABLE Tech by the due date. We have included a return shipping label in the box for you to use.
  • If the device you are requesting shows 0 available, it means all those items are currently out on loan. Please continue to submit a loan request, and you will be added to the waitlist.
  • If you are requesting an iPad, please list the names of the apps you want in the notes section of the application.
  • If you are requesting an iPad or a communication device with a keyguard, please specify the keyguard details in the notes section (i.e., app(s)/language system(s) and grid size).
  • Typically, only one high-tech communication device is sent at a time due to cost and waitlists. You can submit a request for up to three items at one time. We will put you on the waitlist for other high-tech communication devices submitted.
  • You may be contacted for more information regarding the loan request.

If you have questions regarding the Short-Term Loan Program, please check our program webpage or contact the Short-Term Loan Program at abt.deviceloan@okstate.edu or via phone at 405-744-8342.


SERC Update –  Chevron Doctrine

In June of 2024, the Supreme Court overturned a past decision known as the Chevron doctrine, which allowed federal agencies to interpret the laws they administer. Most of the time, federal regulations mirror what the statutes (laws) state; however, in some cases, the regulations go beyond the statutes. This recent ruling may have an impact on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in that the federal regulations have historically been what is followed in special education case law, rather than the statutes. Now, it is unclear how far the federal agencies may go in interpreting the meaning of the statutes. At this time, it is uncertain how this may ultimately impact certain provisions in the IDEA where the regulations go beyond the statutes. Take a look at the SCOTUS blog for additional context.


SERC’s mission is to help school districts and parents resolve disputes at the earliest stage possible. Learn more on the SERC website


Financial Loan Success Story

Carrie in Cleveland County needed a blood pressure monitor to accurately monitor her daily blood pressure per her doctor’s orders. With the help of the funds donated by the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and its Access to Healthcare iFund grant program, the Reutilization Program was able to provide Carrie with the needed equipment. Carrie wrote, “I am grateful for your assistance with the blood pressure cuff and helping to prolong my life.”

Are you looking for ways to find funding to purchase assistive technology or DME? Reach out to Natalie, the Financial Loan Program Manager, and her team for financial loans and other statewide resources.

A woman's arm rests on a table. There is a blood pressure monitor attached to her arm.

ORC Update – Oklahoma Transition Institute

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) would like to announce that the 2024 Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI) will be held on November 6-7, 2024, in Oklahoma City, OK. The Oklahoma Transition Council (OTC) is seeking presenters for the event and encourages the submission of proposals from professionals and advocates who wish to share knowledge and strategies for improving the transition process for youth with disabilities.

The OTI will cover a variety of topics critical to successful transitions, including:

  • Opportunity Gaps and Barriers
  • Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Family and Youth Engagement
  • Interagency Collaboration and Transition Planning
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Independent Living

The OTC encourages proposals that provide innovative approaches, evidence-based practices, and collaborative solutions to these critical areas. This is an excellent opportunity to contribute to meaningful discussions and share your expertise with a dedicated audience.

Proposal submission guidelines are listed in the Call for Presenters, which can be accessed on Google Forms.

If you are interested in presenting a topic in a workshop setting as part of this conference, please submit your proposal by 11:59 PM Central Time on August 31, 2024.

For more information, please contact Yolanda Scott at yolandascott@cowib.org.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and thank you for your commitment to enhancing transition outcomes for youth with disabilities.


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


Join Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Device Reutilization Team

Are you passionate about making a positive impact and empowering individuals with disabilities through technology? Look no further! Our Reutilization Program is currently seeking a motivated individual to join our team. We have an immediate position available as a temporary employee, with the opportunity to apply for permanent, full-time employment with excellent benefits.

As a member of our program, you will have the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause by helping individuals with disabilities access and utilize necessary durable medical equipment to gain independence in their lives. Your role will involve refurbishing and revitalizing gently used durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and adaptive devices. By doing so, you will enable individuals with disabilities to enhance their independence and overall quality of life.

Responsibilities:

  • Evaluate, clean, and repair donated durable medical equipment.
  • Assist with warehouse inventory of equipment, including sanitizing, barcoding, and adding to inventory.
  • Collaborate with our team to ensure equipment is matched with individuals appropriately.
  • Provide training and support to users on how to effectively utilize the equipment.

Requirements:

  • Strong technical skills and familiarity with different types of durable medical equipment.
  • Basic repair skills, such as replacing scooter batteries, and being able to use industrial sanitization equipment, following all safety protocols.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to effectively interact with individuals with disabilities.
  • Passion for making a positive impact and improving the lives of others.

Join us in our mission is to improve the lives of all Oklahomans by providing assistive technology (AT) devices and services, financing opportunities, digital accessibility services, advocacy, and education. Apply now to be a part of our ABLE Tech Reutilization Program and create a lasting impact in the lives of those we serve.

To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter highlighting your relevant experience and why you are interested in joining our program. Resumes can be sent directly to Shelley Gladden, Assistant Director of Accessibility Programs, at shelley.gladden@okstate.edu.


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, Device Reutilization Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Richard Buntin, Fiscal Operations Specialist
  • Meg Busteed, Device Reutilization Program Manager
  • Cam Cheek, SAS Interpreting Coordinator
  • Carolina Colclasure, ORC Program Manager
  • Shannon Esmeyer, SERC Administrative Assistant
  • Allison Fennell-Conch, SERC Program Manager
  • Orfa Foster, Administrative Operations Specialist
  • Shelley Gladden, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology Core Programs
  • Brent Greyson, Instructional Design & Accessibility Specialist
  • Peyton Haley, Accessible Communications Coordinator
  • Terri Harris, Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Joshua Hawkins, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology in Education & Department Head, OSU Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
  • Averie Hinchey-Lucas, Speech-Language Pathologist & Device Demonstration and Loan Programs Manager
  • 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 Manager
  • Lindsey Romero, SAS Program Specialist & Interim Coordinator
  • Louise Ruleford, Device Demonstration and Loan Programs Specialist
  • Adam Thiel, Digital Accessibility Coordinator
  • Chelsey Thompson, SAS Program Specialist 
  • Amy Woods, Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Kimberly Young, Device 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.