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Join us in celebrating 25 years as an independent agency. On June 11, 1993, then Gov. David Walters signed Senate Bill 356, establishing the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. Its passage was evidence of the state of Oklahoma’s commitment to provide more effective consumer responsive services for its citizens with disabilities. DRS was established to serve many of the major programs important to the disability community including Rehabilitation Services, Visual Services, Oklahoma School for the Blind, Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Disability Determination Services.

School for the Deaf superintendent passed away at 69

Smiling man in suit and tie holds very large scissors

SULPHUR, Okla. – Sulphur educator, community leader, friend and family man Larry Hawkins passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, February 23, after a brief illness.

Hawkins is the only person ever appointed to a second term as superintendent of Oklahoma School for the Deaf, which dates back to its origin in 1898.

A beloved teacher and friend who was well-respected in the deaf community, he initially retired in August 2011 as superintendent at both OSD in Sulphur and Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.

Feb 7 Self Advocate Leadership Training cancelled due to winter weather

Graphic: Person rolling fast in a wheelchair

The Oklahoma Self Advocacy Network trainers were forced to cancel their training today, Feb. 7, at DRS State Office due to icy weather. We apologize for any inconvenience. Participants who were registered on that date may contact Cathy Martin at 405-951-3478 or cmartin@okdrs.gov to reschedule for trainings on Feb. 16 or Feb. 20.

Oklahoma Self-Advocate Leadership Training I with OKSAN trainers

This free, introductory training will help participants with disabilities develop effective self-advocacy and leadership skills.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Heather Horton and Donald Denham



This media release was originally released on Apr. 21, 2014. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Love is Blind for Bartlesville Sweethearts Introduced at Training Program for Blind Adults

A man and woman sit on a couch holding hands.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Heather Horton was looking forward to Adult Blind Living Evaluation training in Muskogee. She wanted to learn new skills to help her cope with vision loss. Donald Denham was reluctant. Maybe he would get over being bashful − or maybe his driver would have to pick him up early. They never expected to fall to in love – with each other − at a summer training program for blind people.

“My kids thought it was hilarious. [They said] Mom is going to ‘blind camp!’” Heather explained, her bright blue eyes sparkling as Donald sat smiling by her side. “I wanted ABLE to improve my attitude as far as having more hope. I didn’t want to stay home and not participate in life anymore.”

Adult Blind Living Evaluation – ABLE - is an in-depth evaluation program with one week of basic training for legally blind adults. They may attend one of four summer sessions led by seven experts and 10 support staff from Visual Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). To control costs, Visual Services uses dorm rooms and training facilities at DRS’ Oklahoma School for the Blind, which are temporarily vacant while students are home for the summer.

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