Audiology foundation director named to Commission for Rehabilitation Services

Smiling man wears business suit and tie

OKLAHOMA CITY – Jace Wolfe, Ph.D., from Edmond, was recently appointed to serve on the Commission for Rehabilitation Services by Senator Mike Schulz, president pro-tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.

The commission is the governing board for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Commissioner Wolfe is the director of audiology and research at the Hearts for Hearing Foundation in Oklahoma City.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Wilma Rehman and Jaime Lopez



This media release was originally released on Aug. 24, 2008. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Language no barrier for Deaf and hearing friends

Rehman and Lopez seated at a table.

OKLAHOMA CITY − It’s been nine, long years since Wilma Rehman last saw Jaime Lopez. The friendship that made them as close as family has survived double language barriers, a near-fatal illness and relocation to the other side of the country. In spite of the strong bond between them, Lopez, who is deaf, has never spoken to Rehman.

At their recent reunion in Oklahoma City, they communicated through a sign language interpreter who joined them, Lopez’s fiancé Amparo Amaya and other family members only a few days before Deaf Awareness Week, celebrated Sept. 21 through Sept. 27 in Oklahoma.

When they first met, Rehman, then age 21, was a certified bilingual instructor, working with non-English speaking students in the language lab at Clinton Middle School. When Lopez came to Rehman’s lab at age 13, his hearing loss had prevented him from learning English or Spanish, which was his family’s first language.

Oklahomans recognize Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary July 26

Portraits of two women

Oklahoma City ─ July 26 will mark the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This landmark legislation, signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, prohibits discrimination and guarantees the civil rights of people with disabilities.

In Oklahoma, 16.1% of the population or more than 620,250 people have disabilities, according to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Census’ 2016 American Community Survey.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Carter Williams



This media release was originally released on July 21, 2015. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


OKC Dodgers recruit customer service star through iJobs disability training program

Carter Williams holding a baseball

OKLAHOMA CITY - Carter Williams gets paid to rub dirt on new baseballs for the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Yes, that’s his job.

He also fills up buckets of ice for ice baths, scans tickets, ushers, stocks supplies and loads gear on “getaway day” when players head out of town.

Williams, age 18, is tall, blond and immediately likeable with a great, big smile.

DRS' 25th Anniversary celebration reception

25 Anniversary logo

The 25th Anniversary of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services will be celebrated immediately following our July 9, 2018 Commission Meeting. This Commission meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the DRS Disability Determination Services located at 9801 N. Kelley, Oklahoma City. Honorees will include the leaders at the time of our transition to an independent agency along with other important leaders. If you wish to attend please RSVP to 405 951-3400.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Peter Broussard



This media release was originally released on June 18, 2014. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week spokesperson’s productivity, ambition pay off at Cintas

Broussard and a co-worker in Cintas uniforms

OKLAHOMA CITY – All Peter Broussard really wanted was a chance -- a chance to work hard, fit in at the job and take care of his family, like everybody else.

At Cintas, Broussard, who is deaf and blind, is just one of the guys on a team that rewards productivity and ambition.

Cintas employs 30,000 “partners,” the term they call all employees. The Cincinnati-based corporation, provides products and services that help companies keep their employees and facilities safe.

Broussard, age 27, is originally from Crowley, Louisiana. He has Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that combines hearing loss with retinitis pigmentosa, resulting in progressive loss of side vision due to degeneration of the retina.

Ada native wants to put training, technology to work

Man uses sign language for the deaf at table with six small balls on rectangular object

ADA, Okla. – Donald Gore only missed six days in the fourteen years he worked at Folger’s Drive-In in Ada.

“I like to work and be on time,” Gore said. “It’s no fun to stay around the house and be bored.”

Problems with increasing vision and hearing loss led Gore to seek help from Roy Alexander, a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Chickasaw Nation.

Gore, who has Usher Syndrome, is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Robert Girard



This media release was originally released on April 27, 1994. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Robert Girard named "Employee of the Quarter" for Dale Rogers training project at Tinker Air Force Base

Robert Girard in his work shirt from 1994

Robert Girard, a 1993 graduate of the School for the Deaf in Sulphur, recently earned a Dale Rogers Training Project “Employee of the Quarter” award for outstanding job performance at Vanwey Dining Hall, Tinker Air Force Base. Girard, who is employed by Dale Rogers as a food service worker, is a client and resident at the Transitional Living Center operated by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services in Oklahoma City.

Co-workers and friends in Vanwey Dining Hall applauded as Girard, who is deaf and blind, accepted the award and responded through a sign language interpreter from the Transitional Living Center. Girard said, “I’m shocked. I’m just shocked! I didn’t know.”

Former client finds perfect job at Enid Visual Services

Smiling woman seated at office desk.

ENID, Okla. – Two years ago, Alisha Norwood was a client on the other side of the desk at the Visual Services office in Enid.

Born with a visual disability called nystagmus, she needed help with career planning and employment.

Nystagmus causes rapid, involuntary eye movement and blurry vision.

Today, Norwood is the only rehabilitation technician in the Enid office where she once received services.

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