Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Buddy Thomas



This media release was originally released on Oct. 6, 2017. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Shop manager, bladecrafter is DRS Disability Employment Awareness Month spokesperson

Thomas hammering metal on an anvil wearing heavy fireproof gloves.

QUAPAW, Okla. – Two jobs are not enough for Tulsa Native Norman “Buddy” Thomas. Someday, he hopes to add a third job helping others who are deaf “chase their own passions and dreams.”

Thomas is shop manager at Metal Fab Trophy and Screen Printing in Miami. He also owns Tree of Liberty Bladecraft and Forge, a professional grade knife-making business recently featured in national Blade magazine.

He has made 200 knives or other weapons, but Thomas considers himself an apprentice.

School for the Blind Jazz Band to perform Oct 15 at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa

Five students play saxophones in a mall

TULSA, OKLA. – The Oklahoma School for the Blind will celebrate National White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Monday, October 15, at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

The free event is open to the public.

Woodland Hills Mall is located at 7021 S. Memorial Road.

OSB faculty will display educational exhibits beginning at 3 p.m.

The award-winning OSB Jazz Band, which earned 2-A state championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018, will perform at 6 p.m.

OKC advocates celebrate National White Cane Safety Day October 13

Man with white cane holds arm of woman with White Cane Day sign

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Saturday, October 13, will mark the 10th year the Heartland Council of the Blind has celebrated National White Cane Safety Awareness Day in Oklahoma City.

Activities focus on the importance of the white cane as a tool to achieve independence and a symbol of people with vision loss.

Heartland Council members will gather with participants from Visual Services in the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and Veterans Independence Through Adaptive Living (VITAL) at 11 a.m. in Bricktown.

DRS serving 2,960 wait-listed jobseekers with disabilities since January 1

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Department of Rehabilitation Services is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by transferring approximately 1,800 job seekers with significant disabilities from waiting lists to active Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services caseloads.

VR and VS staff began providing career planning and employment services to the most recent group of 904 applicants on September 24. Staff will begin serving approximately 900 more jobseekers on October 08. The exact number will be determined on that date.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Tiffany Thompson



This media release was originally released on July 17, 2012. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Miss Black UCO admits dyslexia struggle, wins pageant crown

Thompson poses in her Miss Black UCO shash and crown.

EDMOND, Okla. –Delivering a monologue about dyslexia -- the undeserved shame she was almost afraid to talk about -- contributed to Tiffany Thompson’s win in the Miss Black UCO 2012 scholarship pageant. The rewards were a pageant win on her seventh attempt, a $1,600 University of Central Oklahoma tuition waiver and the chance to help others face or understand an invisible learning disability that makes it difficult for intelligent people to read.

“My monologue was called, ‘Who am I?’,” Thompson explained, “and it was about growing up having people tell me I wasn’t going to be a success because I was black, wasn’t going to be successful because I was a female.”

For the first time ever, Thompson’s family and friends heard her describe what it was like to get “that heart attack feeling” when called on to read out loud in school – to be laughed at and called stupid – and believe it.

Oklahoma School for the Deaf plays key role in Deaf Awareness Week spokespersons’ lives

Smiling man and woman with trees in the background.

Sulphur, Okla. – Trudy and Jimmy Mitchell, a married couple who met in 1996 at Oklahoma School for the Deaf, are 2018 Deaf Awareness Week spokespersons for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week, September 24-30, is to increase public awareness of deaf issues and culture. The culture is shaped by American Sign Language and experiences of being deaf in a hearing world.

The Mitchell’s both graduated from OSD in 1999 and now work in offices next to each other on the OSD campus in Sulphur.

OSD to crown homecoming royalty September 29 before Kansas School for the Deaf game

Six teenagers and two elementary-age students stand outside in a grassy yard with trees in the background.

Sulphur, Okla. -- Oklahoma School for the Deaf Indians will host the Kansas School for the Deaf Jackrabbits on Saturday September 29, for OSD’s homecoming game.

Volleyball will be at the Ken Brown Gymnasium on OSD campus starting at noon. Football homecoming crowning will start at 6:00 p.m. with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. on the Sulphur Bulldogs football field.

OSB students to experience Western Heritage Day Sept 26

Hands support happy teenage Black girl sitting in saddle on horseback

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind students can’t wait for their 14th Western Heritage Day on September 26.

More than 100 volunteers are expected to help at the annual event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Silver Spur Western Lodge in Haskell.

Lodge owners Roy and Rose Anna Webb donate their facilities, stage coach, hay wagon and fish pond for the event.

As a result of their support for OSB, the Webb’s were honored with the Oklahoma Bud Breeding Oklahoma Spirit Award and inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in January.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Trinity Lewis



This media release was originally released on May 7, 2018. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


School for the Blind student gains work experience as campus receptionist

Lewis answering the phone.

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – After beloved receptionist Patsy Perceful retired in December, Oklahoma School for Blind Superintendent Rita Echelle needed another exceptional person for that key position.

Trinity Lewis, who works the afternoon shift Monday through Thursday is not the only person filling that role. However, at age 18, she is the youngest.

Her work study experience during Lewis’ senior year has turned out to be a perfect fit.

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