Americans with Disabilities Act Celebrates 30 Years

30th Anniversary ADA. Image: Star. Americans With Disabilities Act.

Oklahoma City – Supporters of the Americans with Disabilities Act are the celebrating the 30th anniversary of the landmark civil rights law, which toppled barriers to employment, education and access to buildings for people with disabilities.

The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Newcastle Walmart employee named Deaf-Blind Awareness Week spokesperson

Two photos: Woman holds long white cane. Woman wearing apron and masks stands beside tray of sub sandwiches.

NEWCASTLE, Okla. Concern about losing her remaining vision once held Sonya Cochran back more than her deaf-blindness, a condition many associate with American author, lecturer and humanitarian Hellen Keller.

Governor Kevin Stitt issued a proclamation recognizing Cochran as the official spokesperson for Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week.

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, which hosts the annual event June 21 through 27, asked her to accept this honor for a second time.

Cochran previously served as DRS spokesperson in 2017.

DRS STEM training for students with disabilities: Online and doing fine!

Young man with his hand on a computer mouse looks intently at laptop screen.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Free Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camps funded by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services will be “online and doing fine” this summer in seven locations around the state.

DRS partners with Rick and Sherri DeDennaux from Tech-Now, Inc.to offer the three-day online Virtual Summer STEM Camps in seven areas.

The camps are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Meeker, Ada, Tuska, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Owasso and Tulsa.

Listen to KCCU's interview with James Gottman

Tuesday, June 2, marked the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation, the employment program for Americans and Oklahomans with disabilities.

In 2019, professional staff at DRS’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offered career guidance, counseling, job placement and a range of related services for 15,225 jobseekers with physical or mental barriers to employment.

DRS also works closely with employers through the agency’s Business Services Program to recruit qualified employees with disabilities and advises on request about workplace accessibility, adaptive equipment and business tax credits.

KCCU Radio's Melissa Beck interviews DRS's Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist James Gottman about the services we provide.

Part One | Part One Transcript
Part Two | Part TwoTranscript

100th Vocational Rehabilitation anniversary celebrates job success for Oklahomans with disabilities

Three individual photos of two women and one man.

Oklahoma City ─ Tuesday, June 2, will mark the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation, the employment program for Americans and Oklahomans with disabilities.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services leads this federal-state partnership, which earns $4 federal dollars for every state $1 invested.

Approximately, 16.6 percent or more than 643,400 Oklahomans have disabilities, according to the U.S. Census’ 2017 American Community Survey.

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