ABLE Tech Connect – Vol. 1, Issue 3

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

What is Device Reutilization?

Help us give gently used Durable Medical Equipment (DME) a second life. Oklahoma ABLE Tech staff retrieves donated equipment; sanitizes and refurbishes devices; works with vendors to repair the equipment if needed; and reassigns DME devices to the best-matched Oklahoman for free. Any Oklahoman who needs medical equipment or devices, regardless of income, is eligible for the program. Priority is given to SoonerCare members. 

100% Donation Based Program 

This program is 100% donation-based — which means without community contribution, we don't have a robust inventory! Now is the time to schedule a DME pick-up or drop-off OR make a tax-deductible financial contribution by mailing a check to the Oklahoma ABLE Tech Reutilization Program office. 

Assistive Technology Highlights – Hearing

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. September is Deaf Awareness Month, so we're featuring AT from the Hearing category. 

Click on the devices listed below to view their information in NATADS, ABLE Tech’s AT inventory database. 

The September Hearing AT highlights are arranged on a side table in front of a black recliner.

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. 

 

Financial Education Tip: Credit Reports 

Pink graphic with yellow arrows. A paper that says credit report with a multicolor meter sits with a purple magnifying glass on top of it.

Did you know federal law allows individuals to obtain a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company?  Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are also currently offering free weekly online credit reports.  Monitoring your credit report is important to ensure information is accurate and up to date. Regularly reviewing credit reports helps to catch signs of identity theft early.  Go to the Annual Credit Report website to sign up for free weekly online reports or to pull your free credit report today!    

D/deaf and hard of hearing consumers can access the TDD service by calling 7-1-1 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-821-7232. For information on how to obtain your credit report in Braille, Large Print, and Audio Formats visit the Annual Credit Report Accessibility page or call toll-free at 1-877-322-8228.   

For additional information on understanding your credit score, managing debt, savings, and identity theft visit ABLE Tech’s Financial Loan Program page for more financial education resources.    

Hearing Resources in Oklahoma

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is always interested in helping fellow Oklahomans find and connect with other community resources. For Oklahomans who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, there are several organizations across the state that can provide information, support, fellowship, and educational opportunities.  

  • Hearing Loss Association of America – Central Oklahoma Chapter meets the second Thursday of every month at the Will Rogers Expo Center in Oklahoma City. Meetings are always looped and captioned. You can also join remotely via Zoom for remote participation. The HLAA COC chapter is all about advocacy, development, education, educational information, and public service. Visit the website to sign up for newsletters and find the next meeting and topic! 
  • Oklahoma Association of the Deafis another great organization supporting the Deaf Community in Oklahoma. Their mission is to promote, protect, and preserve the civil rights and quality of life of D/deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in Oklahoma. OAD has a very active social page – connect with them on Facebook! 
  • Tulsa Speech and Hearing Association – is a non-profit organization that serves the Oklahoma Deaf Community in a variety of ways, including the Deaf Teen Club, Sign Language Classes, Silent Dinner & Deaf Coffee meetups, and a Summer Camp. To learn more about these programs, visit the TSHA Events page. TSHA will host a variety of big events in the month of September to celebrate National Deaf Awareness. This year marks the 70th year. TSHA will host a silent dinner to mark the celebration. 
  • The Oklahoma School for the Deaf Outreach program promotes awareness about OSD and provides information on how all deaf and hard-of-hearing students, public schools, families, and the community can benefit from OSD on various levels.  The Outreach team is comprised of various OSD staff who work collaboratively to provide statewide services. 
    • As a statewide resource on deafness, OSD collaborates with families, school districts, agencies, and communities throughout the state to address language, communication, and education needs of children and students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Community programs allow OSD to advocate for and serve adults who are deaf or hard of hearing as well. OSD provides educational consulting, family and early childhood services, American Sign Language classes, an equipment distribution program, and educational interpreter services. 
  • The Oklahoma State Fair, held from September 14-24, 2023, hosts a Deaf Awareness Day each year! Check the schedule on their website for a whole host of events, including ASL interpreted events and special activities! 

Device Reutilization Program Webpage Gets a Facelift! 

Our staff has been working on updating the Device Reutilization Program webpage on the Oklahoma ABLE Tech website. Our goal was to streamline the user experience, namely, reducing the clicks it takes for users to find what they are looking for and creating better access to each component of the program: 

  • How to donate DME to the program 
  • How to apply to receive DME 
  • How to list DME on the Exchange site 
  • Various grant collaborations that help ABLE Tech fund DME 
  • How to receive replacement DME in the event of a disaster 

Take a look and let us know what you think. Feel free to share any feedback with abt.marketing@okstate.edu.

Be Your School’s Assistive Technology (AT) Hero! 

AT in schools is so important because it makes life possible and ensures every teacher provides an appropriately ambitious education for students with disabilities. 

Blue graphic with white action bubble. There is a male superhero to the top left and a female superhero to the bottom right. It says Consideration of Assistive Technology (AT) Workshop. September 14, 2023. via Zoom. 8:00- 10:30 p.m.

Register now for Part 1 of Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Assistive Technology Workshop Series! Part 1 will be held virtually on September 14th from 8:00-10:30 am. Participants will review the process for Consideration of Assistive Technology (AT) for students with disabilities, discuss legal requirements related to AT consideration, and discover potential solutions available to help meet students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals.

To learn more and to register, visit the Support Team Workshops webpage. We look forward to seeing you in September!   

SERC Update

Special Education Resolution Center logo. The Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) staff would like to connect our readers to this article by Understood: What is assistive technology? The article explains AT and how it can be used in schools in different academic areas. 

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 Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is celebrating 30 years of service to Oklahomans with disabilities on October 17, 2023, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the DRS State Office parking lot at 3535 NW 58th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. 

Yellow and black 30 years emblem. Small Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services logo on the top and 30 years on the bottom of the center. Around the edges it says celebrating years of service and to Oklahomans with Disabilities.

DRS became a standalone agency on July 1, 1993, when former Governor David Walters signed Senate Bill 356, establishing DRS. It was formally part of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Thirty years later, DRS is still helping its clients find employment and independence. 

Please register ahead of time if you plan to attend to help provide a head count for materials and goodies. ORC and Oklahoma ABLE Tech will host exhibitor booths at the event as well. Come say hi! 

Also, a special shirt has been designed to celebrate the event, which can be ordered online. A shipping charge will be added to the order once the customer has entered their address on the payment screen. 

The mission of the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) 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. 

Quick Accessibility Tip: How to Pin an Interpreter in Online Meetings 

It is always great to see ASL interpreters in an online meeting, but sometimes the meeting organizer may not know that they need to "pin" or "spotlight" an interpreter so that participants who need to see the interpreter always have them in view. If this is the case, both Zoom and Teams let you, the user, take control of your pins. 

On Zoom, go to the Participants tab, select the menu next to the interpreter's name, and then select "Pin."

 A screenshot of the Zoom participants list with the menu for a participant expanded and "Pin" button highlighted.

On Teams, go to the People tab, select the menu next to the interpreter's name, and then select "Pin for me."

A screenshot of the Teams People list with the menu for a person expanded and "Pin" button highlighted

Also, did you know that in Zoom, "spotlight" works much the same way, but it's an option only for organizers? This works the same way as the "pin" functionality, but it sets a pinned video for ALL attendees. 

We hope this quick tip is helpful! For more tips like this, check out our brand-new Digital Accessibility blog. Every other week, the team will share a tip like this one to help you start implementing more accessibility practices into your digital life! 

Korean Special Educator Visitors 

Oklahoma ABLE Tech recently hosted a group of Special Education Teachers from South Korea. They were touring several educational programs throughout the Southern United States and opted to tour our offices in Stillwater, located on the Oklahoma State University campus. The teachers, who teach early childhood or elementary-aged students, were interested in all aspects of ABLE Tech services—but particularly those that were applicable in their classrooms. 

Louise Ruleford, one of our Program Specialists, introduced them to assistive technology (AT) from all 10 categories: Hearing; Speech; Vision; Cognition, Learning, and Development; Seating, Positioning, and Mobility; Daily Living; Recreation; Environmental Adaptations; Computer Access; and Vehicle Modifications.  

Jan Lavine, certified Braille Transcriber and Proofreader, and ABLE Tech volunteer is, coincidently, fluent in Korean and instructed the teachers on Braille basics and several of the instruments that are used to generate Braille text.  

Finally, Averie Lucas, our Speech-Language Pathologist, facilitated several demonstrations with opportunities to trial multiple Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.  

The teachers expressed their gratitude at the conclusion of the tour and committed to “try to use what we learned.” We wish them all the best as they return to Korea to share what they learned at Oklahoma ABLE Tech. 

Group Photo - Korea Visit August 2023
Averie points to an iPad on a stand in the device demonstration room while four Korean men with short black hair and a Korean woman with long brown hair observe.

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
  • Jo Anne Blades, SERC Program Manager
  • 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
  • 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.