Quarter Horse Association saddles up for School for the Blind’s Western Heritage Day Sept 28

4 adults with young man on a horse

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – The Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association is saddlin’ up again for 82 Oklahoma School for the Blind students who are ready to ride on Wednesday (September 28).

OSB’s ninth Western Heritage Day will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Silver Spur Western Lodge owned by Roy and Rocky Webb in Haskell.

The Webb brothers donate their rodeo arena, stage coach and hay wagon for the annual event.

AQHA volunteers will help students experience what it’s like to be a cowboy with pony and stagecoach rides, dummy calf roping, fishing and other hands-on activities.

Oklahomans Celebrate Deaf Awareness Week September 18-24

Man uses sign language to communicate with woman by videophone

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Oklahomans who are deaf and supporters will celebrate Deaf Awareness Week September 18 through 24.

“Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing staff look forward to participating in various activities and awareness campaigns to celebrate the annual event,” said Terri Williams, field service coordinator. "It is a time when we can rally together in activities in a concerted effort and enjoy socializing."

Williams, whose responsibilities include supervising SDHH, is hard of hearing.

Long-term employee, former client to lead employment services for the blind in Oklahoma

Teresa McDermott portrait

OKLAHOMA CITY – Teresa McDermott from Ada has been named Visual Services administrator for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, effective September 12.

Visual Services provides clear planning and employment services for people who are blind or visually impaired in Oklahoma. The division’s programs also include Transition programs for youth, the Older Blind Independent Living Program and the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Support group for people with visual impairments to celebrate 9th anniversary September 21 at Claremore Community Center

CLAREMORE, Okla. − The Claremore Support Group for the Blind and Visually Impaired will celebrate the organization’s ninth anniversary on Wednesday, September 21.

People with visual impairments and their families are invited to attend. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. at the Claremore Community Center, 2301 N. Sioux. There is no charge to attend the meeting. Lunch will be served.

Nearly 50 members regularly attend the support group meeting, which is believed to be the largest group for people with visual impairments meeting in the state.

Norman open house to focus on career planning, employment for job seekers with disabilities

Exterior of concrete building with double doors. Sign: ADA Acess at Northeast Door of Building 2227 with accessible parking logo.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The public is invited to a free open house focused on career planning and employment services for people with disabilities from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 12.

Vocational Rehabilitation staff in the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Norman office will host the event at 2227 W. Lindsey, suite 1400, in the north end of the West Oaks Office Park.

In addition to Norman, the office serves job-seekers with disabilities from Blanchard, Dibble, Little Axe, Newcastle, Moore, Noble, Purcell, Washington and the surrounding area.

Enid Rehabilitation Services commissioner elected vice chair at first meeting

Portrait of young woman in black dress

OKLAHOMA CITY – Enid community leader April Danahy was unanimously elected vice chair of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services at the first meeting she attended.

Danahy joined the Commission, which governs the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, in July.

“I am honored the other commissioners have the confidence in me to elect me their vice chairman,” Danahy said.

“The Department of Rehabilitation Services is full of employees with servants’ hearts,” she added. “They care about the people they serve – that is apparent from the first meeting.”

Empowering DRS clients with disabilities is focus for new Commission chair

Man with beard and glasses in a suit and tie

OKLAHOMA CITY –Empowering Oklahomans with disabilities is not just a slogan to Jack Tucker. It was the focus of his career and remains a way a life.

The 69-year old Oktaha resident was recently elected to his second term as chair of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services.

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

Commissioner April Danahy from Enid was elected Commission vice chair.

Lynda Collins from Mannford completed her second term as chair and will continue to serve as a Commission member.

Oklahoma teacher, superintendent appointed to serve at Oklahoma School for the Blind superintendent

Blonde woman with gold necklace and tiger print blouse

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Rita J. Echelle brings 27 years of education experience to her new position as superintendent at the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.

Echelle started work August 8 in time to meet staff and get ready for the new school year, which begins August 22.

She was appointed by Noel Tyler, interim director for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, which governs OSD.

Hawkins is first superintendent to serve twice at Oklahoma School for the Deaf

Man wearing suit and tie

SULPHUR, Okla. -- Former Oklahoma School for the Deaf Superintendent Larry Hawkins is the first person ever appointed to a second term as OSD superintendent.

Hawkins started his second term on August 8.

Hawkins initially retired in August 2011 as superintendent at both OSD in Sulphur and Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.

He returned in March to serve as interim OSB superintendent and agreed in June to lead OSD on an interim basis at the same time.

Both schools are divisions of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

DRS to discuss employment services for people with disabilities August 11 at Purcell Public Library

NORMAN, Okla. –Employment services including training options for people with disabilities will be the focus when Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services comes to Purcell Public Library on Thursday, August 11.

The public is invited to attend the free DRS event from 10 a. m. to 4 p.m. at 919 North Ninth Ave. in Purcell.