June 2024 Newsletter

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

Assistive Technology (AT) Highlights

The Switch Adapted Musical Whale Popper, Rib It Ball, 20 Games in One, and 30 Love Tennis Kit are placed on the grass.

Summer is here, which means we're all spending more time outdoors. Check out these AT picks to make summer activities more accessible and enjoyable for individuals with disabilities.

  • 30 Love Tennis Kit - This tennis kit has large racquets with shorter handles. Tennis is a great sport for practicing sound localization skills and socialization and meets national physical education standards. We also have soccer, football, basketball, and catch kits!
  • Switch Adapted Musical Whale Popper - This ball popper is great for teaching cause and effect, enhancing language skills, providing auditory and visual stimulation, and encouraging movement. The whale-shaped toy features sound effects, music, and colorful balls! It can be activated with its original button, or plugged into a switch.
  • Rib It Ball - Rib It Balls come in two sizes, large and medium. They're inflatable, crinkly, and easy to catch. The two colors and high-contrast ribbing make it easy to see and catch or throw.
  • 20 Games in One - This all-in-one device comes with 20 games! The games are classics, like Farkle, Pig, Seven Up, and Slam. The dice are large wooden lightweight blocks that are easy to read & roll. The bucket has a handle that carries everything, so the games are easy to store.

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

Celebrating the 34th Anniversary of the ADA

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. 2024 marks the 34th Anniversary of the ADA!

The ADA ensures people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA makes our communities more inclusive. It means people with disabilities can join in activities and events without facing barriers. Use the hashtags #ADA34 and #ThanksToTheADA on social media to be part of the nationwide celebration.

If you want to learn more, check out our fact sheets that provide overviews of the laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities.

New Regulations on Digital Accessibility

Speaking of fact sheets, the U.S. of Justice recently updated Title II of the ADA. These new regulations increase the digital accessibility requirements of state and local governments. Read their Fact Sheet on the new rule for more info. Reach out to our Digital Accessibility Team at abt.a11y@okstate.edu if you have any questions!

For more information on digital accessibility, visit our Digital Accessibility Resources page, or contact us at abt.a11y@okstate.edu.

OkAT Seeks New Board Member

The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), a nonprofit organization, partners with Oklahoma ABLE Tech in the low-interest financial loan program for the purchase of assistive technology. OkAT is seeking a board member for the current year. The term is three years, and board members meet to review loan applications and attend a quarterly board meeting, all via Zoom. If you are interested in serving on the board, please contact Natalie Rohwer at 405-744-4254 or complete the OkAT Board Member Questionnaire.

The OkAT and ABLE Tech joint logo.

Device Loan Success Story - Kenshin

Kenshin is a young boy who has Cerebral palsy and Persistent Atrial

The Music Jam Playmat, the Mostop Voice Control Elephant, and the Number Robots are placed on a table.

Fibrillation (PeAF), and gets tired of toys quickly. He recently found success trialing the Music Jam Playmat, the Number Robots and the Mostop Voice Control Elephant from the Oklahoma ABLE Tech Device Loan Program. 

The Music Jam Playmat is a touch sensitive mat fit for one or more players. Its drum and keyboard have various instruments and melodies. The mat has adjustable volume and a jack to plug in external music devices. Two drumsticks are included. This is a wonderful way to practice gross motor skills, music appreciation and teaching cause and effect. 

The Number Robots are 10 brightly colored pieces for numbers 1-10. The Number Robots provide a fun, interactive, hands-on way to explore number recognition, counting, and math skills. Use the Number Robots to help individuals become excited and engaged during math activities. These robots are good for finger dexterity, problem-solving, and critical thinking.  

Use the Mostop Voice Control Elephant along with a speech-generating device or app to increase engagement and participation! The Mostop Voice Control Elephant has 7 voice commands that it will respond to. The voice commands can be used to support, teach, and practice pragmatic functions using the speech generating device. 

Kenshin’s guardian was having trouble finding educational toys that Kenshin enjoyed while also improving his skills. Since his trial, Kenshin’s speech and occupational therapy skills have improved! 

SERC Update -  Meeting the Needs of Students with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) often co-occurs with other diagnoses in students with disabilities. The effects of this particular diagnosis are frequently external behaviors that cause difficulties both in and out of school. These children test the patience of adults around them. Their behavior challenges our competence. The number of students with an ODD diagnosis has increased, and the diagnosis itself is associated with confusion as to how to categorize and treat these students' behaviors. Check out SERC's recent Wisdom Wednesday Webinar with Dr. Bev Johns on this topic entitled "You Can't Make Me: Strategies for Meeting the Needs of Students with Oppositional Defiance Disorder." You'll learn more about who these children are, other factors and diagnoses that occur with ODD, how the biases of adults can stand in the way of meeting their needs, and effective strategies in supporting these children. 

To learn more about ODD and watch this Wisdom Wednesday Webinar, visit the SERC website.

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

Assistive Technology and Accessible Education Materials Technical Assistance Documents

Each year, Oklahoma ABLE Tech reviews, updates, and republishes the Assistive Technology Technical Assistance (AT-TA) and Accessible Educational Materials Technical Assistance (AEM-TA) documents.

The AT-TA document explains, "The purpose of this document is to help Oklahoma Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams provide assistive technology devices and services to students with disabilities as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)."

The AEM-TA document states, ”The purpose of [AEM-TA] document is to assist entities in Oklahoma in understanding best practices regarding AEM service delivery including related accessible technology and assistive technology devices and services.” 

These documents are essential resources for practitioners and administrators. They contain information for setting up and maintaining processes related to delivering Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services and providing Accessible Educational Materials (AEM).

In January 2024, the United States Department of Education published AT guidance in a “Dear Colleague Letter” and a document titled “Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Technology Devices and Services." One important update in the 2024 AT-TA document is the inclusion of references to specific "Myths and Facts" where relevant.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech continues to support Oklahoma students and teachers through its core programs. The publication of the AT-TA and AEM-TA documents is part of that support.

If you are interested in viewing these documents, you can find them (here). If you have any feedback about the documents, please contact Dr. Joshua Hawkins

ORC Update - DRS Priority Group 2 Opens

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) congratulates the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) for their hard work and dedication, resulting in the opening of Priority Group 2 on June 17, 2024. This allows DRS to offer services to all eligible Oklahomans who were previously placed on the waitlist for this group. The DRS Executive Team has worked diligently to reduce the waitlist, marking a significant step forward since Priority Group 1 was opened in February 2023

If you are seeking employment but face barriers that prevent you from doing so, contact DRS. You can call 800-487-4042 or visit the website and use the Self-Referral Portal and apply for services.

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. 

Device Exchange Program

Let us help connect you to another Oklahoman for a direct exchange. The Device Exchange Program can be used as a person-to-person exchange of equipment, which functions like a free, classified, online marketplace. Oklahoma ABLE Tech can help you donate, sell, or locate equipment, such as wheelchairs, modified vehicles, lift chairs, and other devices/supplies, for a reasonable price. Check back often, as the list changes daily.

To find or request an exchange, visit the NATADS Exchange Portal.

Listing DME for Sale or Exchange

To list equipment in the exchange portal, you must first create a secured account in NATADS.

Once your account has been created, log in, then click the "Add Classified Item Listing" button at the bottom of the page. Complete the Classified Item Entry form. Make sure to add a detailed description and pictures.

Once you click "Save," your listing will go to our Device Reutilization Program staff for approval.

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
  • Brian Sargent, Device Reutilization Site Coordinator
  • Adam Thiel, Digital Accessibility Coordinator
  • 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.