ABLE Tech Connect – Vol. 1, Issue 2

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

FFY 2022 National Rankings and Return on Investment

Trophy icon with a silhouette of the state of Oklahoma in the center

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is proud to report these national rankings for the federal fiscal year 2022 (FFY22) as compared to other State and Territory Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs.

State-Level AT Act Programs

  • Device Demonstration: #1 out of 56 programs participating with a total of 7,634 demonstrations
  • Device Short-Term Loan: #2 out of 56 programs with a total of 1,863 loans
  • Financial Loans: #1 out of 29 programs participating with a total of 342 devices
  • Device Exchange: #1 out of 27 programs participating with a total of 410 devices
  • Device Reuse: #14 out of 53 programs participating with a total of 2,042 devices

State Leadership AT Act Services

  • Training: #8 out of 56 programs participating with a total of 3,597 participants
  • Information and Assistance: #5 out of 56 programs participating with a total of 12,302 participants

In FFY22, ABLE Tech received $493,519 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 $1.27 million in leveraged dollars resulted in savings and benefits to Oklahomans for a total of $3.4 million! Over 34,000 individuals participated in ABLE Tech’s programs and services.

Assistive Technology Device Highlights

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. May is Better Hearing and Speech month, so we're featuring AT from the Speech Communication category!

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

The Lingraphica TouchTalk Plus and Text Speak Talking Keyboard are set up on a table in the demonstration room at Oklahoma ABLE Tech. The TouchTalk's screen is on, showing the home navigation menu to the different categories of communication card options.

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.

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

Graphic promoting GAAD with dark blue text on a light background. The acronym GAAD is within an incomplete circle with a keyboard icon attached.Global Accessibility Awareness Day is May 18. It’s a day to spread awareness about “digital access and inclusion and the more than one billion people with disabilities/impairments.” Help us celebrate the day by sharing a post with the hashtag #GAAD and a link to a GAAD event, sharing information about how to use WAVE to find detectable accessibility errors, or even committing to fixing your content.

Digital access is something everyone needs to know about. Will you join the club?

Please contact ABLE Tech’s Digital Accessibility Team at abt.a11y@okstate.edu if you have any questions!

SoonerStart Success Story and Quarterly Recognition Award

Katherine sits in a booster seat with a tray covered in colorful cereal. She is wearing pink footie pajamas and a blue bow while smirking at the camera. The Hensinger Head Support is situated around her neck.Katherine is a happy, easy-going, and playful thirteen-month-old working with Tulsa County SoonerStart providers. Due to developmental delays, Katherine uses multiple pieces of equipment to support head control, sitting, and standing. Recently, Katherine’s team utilized ABLE Tech’s Short-Term Loan Program to borrow the Hensinger Head Support. Using this device, Katherine can sit upright in her highchair, visually scan her surroundings, and interact with her family at mealtimes. With the Hensinger Head Support, Katherine is positioned in such a way that she can safely practice using spoons, bowls, straws, and cups while self-feeding. 

ABLE Tech would like to recognize Tulsa County SoonerStart providers’ exemplary service to Katherine and her family—and all those in their service area.  ABLE Tech is proud to partner with SoonerStart providers across Oklahoma. For additional information about early intervention services in your area, please visit the SoonerStart websites hosted by the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Department of Education


Third Quarter Team Winner

The Tulsa County SoonerStart team has earned the Third Quarter Recognition Award! The team will receive $500 in new AT to add to their demonstration kit!

SmartHome Demonstration Site in OKC

The shower section of the demonstration site is outfitted with AT devices related to personal care, a shower chair and grab bars.Thanks to a partnership between ABLE Tech and the Oklahoma Human Services Developmental Disability Services Division, our SmartHome Demonstration Sites project is well underway!

SmartHome technology allows individuals to control appliances, thermostats, lights, and other devices remotely using a smartphone or tablet connected to the internet. Now more than ever, SmartHome technologies are being used to help individuals with a disability, and those who are aging, become more independent, or maintain independence.

SmartHome technologies may include enabling technologies, assistive technologies, and durable medical equipment (DME). All of these provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to be more independent in their homes and/or receive remote support from family members or caregivers.

With this project, ABLE Tech can provide immersive, hands-on exploration and demonstration of technology to help you discover potential independent living solutions. Individuals and their families, caregivers, or friends can visit the SmartHome Demonstration Sites in person or virtually. Contact ABLE Tech for additional information or to schedule a consultation or tour!

Empowering Voices AAC Workshop a Great Success!

event graphic with an illustration of a young child using an AAC device to say hello. graphic text is within the post.

The Empowering Voices: Effective Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Evaluations workshop held on Saturday, April 15, was a great success! More than 25 attendees, including speech-language pathologists, educators, occupational therapists, and other professionals who work with individuals of all ages with communication difficulties, came to the in-person training at ABLE Tech’s Stillwater office. The workshop provided valuable insights into the AAC evaluation process. Attendees learned about the importance of conducting a thorough assessment and how to make informed decisions when selecting AAC devices for individuals with communication difficulties. The workshop also featured interactive sessions where attendees explored multiple AAC tools, the SETT Framework, and determined the best tools to trial with individuals based on feature matching. Overall, the workshop was well-received, and attendees left with a greater understanding of how to effectively conduct AAC evaluations as a team and acquire devices for individuals with communication difficulties. 

After the workshop, an attendee said, "I wanted to first let you know how beneficial the AAC workshop was this past weekend! Thank you for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge. I will be finishing up the post-test today, and I’ve already shared my excitement and the things I’ve learned with other SLP friends. I told them to keep checking your website for another workshop at some point!"

For information about upcoming trainings, visit ABLE Tech’s website. 

SERC – Upcoming Wisdom Wednesday Webinar

Assistive Technology in the Classroom
by Gretchen Cole-Lade, NBCT, PhD

Join the Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) on May 17, 2023, for Assistive Technology in the Classroom presented by Gretchen Cole-Lade, NBCT, PhD, the State Leadership Training Specialist at Oklahoma ABLE Tech.

ABLE Tech is Oklahoma’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program. ABLE Tech provides a variety of AT resources for educators and families to support students with disabilities in all aspects of their lives. Dr. Gretchen Cole-Lade is a former Special Educator, higher education professor, and currently ABLE Tech’s Training Specialist. Her Wisdom Wednesday presentation will provide information regarding ABLE Tech’s resources, as well as discuss the four federal laws which impact the consideration, assessment, and implementation of AT in public school classrooms.

Register on Zoom!

For more information about SERC, visit their website.

The ORC 2022 Legislative Primer is Now Available!

Logo - Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) is proud to share the 2022 Legislative Primer. It contains information and data about the services and impact of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). It is also an excellent tool for advocates to use when talking to their Legislators about the importance of these services.

The digital copy is available on ORC’s website and can be shared with the public as needed.

For more information about ORC, visit their website.

Program Partner Highlight – OK DRS Vocational Rehabilitation

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services logoThe Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation (DRS) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program is now a Device Demonstration Program partner! The purpose of VR is to help eligible individuals with disabilities prepare for work and become gainfully employed.

The primary vocational rehabilitation services are counseling and guidance with job placement. However, other services may also be provided as needed for an individual to compensate for, correct, or prevent disability-based barriers to employment.

The services a person receives are determined by the person's Individualized Plan for Employment. This plan outlines a person's employment goal and the services that are needed to enable the person to achieve that goal. The IPE can be written by a VR client and counselor working together, or it can be written by the client according to guidelines the counselor will explain.

To learn more about eligibility or to apply for services, visit the DRS VR Core Program Partnership webpage!

Financial Loan Success Story

A close-up of a low-profile hearing aid in an ear.Mary of Tulsa has severe hearing loss and recently used Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Financial Loan Program to purchase hearing aids.

Mary said “I now communicate with my grandchildren, husband, and others without having to ask them to repeat all the time. I plan to engage more in social activities with family and friends. This program has allowed me to finance my hearing aids; otherwise, I would still be asking people to repeat things or just not know what was being said.”

Are you looking for ways to find funding to purchase assistive technology? Reach out to Natalie and her team to find out more about ABLE Tech's low-interest Financial Loan Program.

ABLE Tech Partners with KEDDO, INCOG, and COEDD Area Agencies on Aging!

ABLE Tech is excited to announce its most recent collaboration with three of the Oklahoma Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to support the purchase of assistive technology (AT) and durable medical equipment (DME) for Oklahomans. Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma (KEDDO), Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG), and Central Oklahoma Economic Development District (COEDD) AAAs have partnered with ABLE Tech to assist with using Masonic Grant funds for residents who reside in their respective counties. Through this partnership, ABLE Tech’s Device Reutilization Program is assisting qualified recipients in the purchase of needed AT and DME.

To qualify for the Masonic Grant funds, individuals must live in one of these 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. The average amount spent per client is on average up to $300 but may vary with exceptions. This collaboration should infuse more AT and DME donations into the Device Reutilization Program. 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.

The participating AAAs cover the following counties:

  • KEDDO – Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha Counties
  • INCOG – Tulsa, Creek, and Osage Counties
  • COEDD – Hughes, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Payne, and Seminole Counties

Overall, this collaboration is allowing ABLE Tech to serve and provide over $24,000 worth of AT and DME to individuals!

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.

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,
    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
  • 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
    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, 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-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 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.