Therapy dog encourages learning at Oklahoma School for the Deaf

One adult and six kids pet white dog

SULPHUR, Okla. – When Jasmine, the therapy dog, arrived at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in February, the students naturally knew what to do.

They loved her.

Jasmine and her adult humans, however, still had a few things to learn.

A Labrador-mix breed, Jasmine had been adopted and returned twice to P.A.W.S. animal shelter in Ada, through no fault of her own.

A New Leash on Life, Inc. in Norman selected her to attend 10-weeks of obedience training through their Pen Pals Prison Program at CCA-Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville.

Joy Ride Taxi owner earns Visual Services employer award at assistive tech lab grand opening

Woman stands beside man who holds Oklahoma-shaped award

TULSA, Okla. – The crowd cheered when Joy Ride Taxi owner Patrick Cuningkin accepted his Community Employer Award for hiring multiple jobseekers who are blind.

Staff from Visual Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, presented the award to Cuningkin at the grand opening of their new assistive technology lab in Tulsa.

OSB seniors to graduate May 24

OSB graduates

MUSKOGEE — Oklahoma School for the Blind seniors will graduate in a commencement ceremony that will be held at noon on May 24, in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street.

The OSB 2017 graduating class includes Justin Whitmire of Durant, Jacob King of Muskogee, Patelin Cogswell of Oklahoma City, Chandler Caveny of Durant, Logan Deaton of Oklahoma City, Morningstar Clark of Oklahoma City, Mathiew Noah of Del City, Andrew Wagon of Allen and Seth Wedel of Tulsa.

Oklahoma School for the Deaf Senior Class Graduates May 25

head shots of the eight seniors

SULPHUR — The Senior Class of 2017 will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

The OSD 2017 graduating class includes Calise LeeAnn Cox, Michael Lorenzo Gordon, Maxwell Quentin Graves, Aaron Cole Hutchins, Eleazar De La Torre Ledezma, Amanda Lee Pack, Savannah Violet Schlegel and Dawn Jolynn Sledd.

Commission names Rehabilitation Services director for state disability programs

Four adults pose in ffront of protratis on a wall

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Commission for Rehabilitation Services selected Noel Tyler on May 8 to lead the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services as agency director.

Tyler had served as interim director since February 11, 2016.

“Noel Tyler has served with distinction and honor as interim Director,” Commission Chair Jack Tucker. “She shares the Commission’s deep concern about serving Oklahomans with disabilities as well as providing taxpayers with reasonable and effective results in return for their investment.”

Three School for the Blind students invited to compete in national Braille Challenge®

Young woman with hands on shoulders of young boy with a gift and medal, young woman with a medal, young woman with a gift and medal

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Three Oklahoma School for the Blind students will compete this June in the national Braille Challenge® finals competition in Los Angeles.

Braille Challenge® is a national program sponsored by the Braille Institute, a nonprofit organization that eliminates barriers caused by blindness and severe sight loss.

This year’s winners represent the largest number of Oklahoma students ever qualified to participate at the national level. They are: Hunter Kelley from Claremore, Katelynn Zampella and Richelle Zampella, both from Muskogee.

School for the Deaf team brings home third place in national Battle of the Books competition

Three young people and one adult sit on a staircase

SULPHUR, Okla. – The Oklahoma School for the Deaf recently brought home third place in the national Battle of the Books playoff competition at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Last year, the OSD team placed 8th among 8 teams that advanced to the national level.

“This year represents a great improvement for our middle school students,” Kristen McCurdy, OSD reading specialist and team chaperone, said.

Public input needed

The truth about surveys, you love this - checked, you like this - unchecked, you dislike this - unchecked, you hate this - unchecked. Help improveDRS programs
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services in conjunction with the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council ask for the public's opinions on the service needs of Oklahoma’s transition aged youth with disabilities. The survey will allow participants to provide valuable feedback on education and employment challenges facing transition aged youth and the training areas one believes are the most important in helping this group succeed. The survey is anonymous and is being conducted as a portion of the Rehabilitation Services Administration mandated Statewide Assessment. The survey is open to:

  • youth aged 18-24 with disabilities,
  • parents/guardians of youth (aged 24 and under) with disabilities,
  • DRS staff,
  • Oklahoma educational institutions and state agency staff,
  • community based rehab provider and disability advocacy group staff and
  • representatives, and business owners and representatives.

Your opinions are very important and will help us better serve the transition aged youth in our state. Please take the time to complete the survey at the link provided below.

www.surveymonkey.com/r/TransitionYouth (survey closes June 15, 2017)

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