Public Invited to Disability Program Hearings

Public Hearing DRS logo behind a gavel

OKLAHOMA CITY - Proposed rule changes potentially affecting several programs for Oklahomans with disabilities will be the focus of a public hearing held by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council.

The public is encouraged to attend the meetings, which will be held in Oklahoma City on Feb. 2, Tulsa on Feb. 3 and Lawton on Feb. 4.

Programs affected by the proposed new rules are administered by DRS and include vocational rehabilitation and employment services for Oklahomans with all types of disabilities.

Disability does not define super-achieving Tulsa law school graduate

TULSA, Okla. ─ Julie Hildebrand graduated Friday (Dec. 19) with a 3.48 grade point average after only two years at the University of Tulsa law school.

The pretty, 24-year old Jenks resident has already accepted a contingent job offer at Occidental Petroleum in Houston.

Hildebrand is among the brightest graduates – she calls herself a nerd -- but she won’t be the tallest student.

Hildebrand has a rare form of dwarfism called 3M syndrome.

“My disability is part of me, but it’s not who I am,” Hildebrand explained. “If anything, it’s made me stronger. It’s made me learn how to overcome things and adapt very quickly.”

Raised to be self-reliant, she hesitated before contacting the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation for help with law school tuition, a laptop and adaptations for her vehicle.

“There’s no doubt that I would have to work harder without DRS and my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor C. J. Hurlbut,” she said. “He’s provided a lot of emotional support and helped advise me when I wasn’t sure about my path or direction.”

Though Hildebrand worked and supported herself while attending undergraduate school, she credits DRS with helping her finish law school in a shorter time span than would have been possible if she continued to work full time.
“Because of DRS I was also able to choose what I’m going to do for the rest of my life without worrying about having the right money to pay off my student loans.”

“Julie Hildebrand has been a delight to work with and has truly been a model client,” C. J. Hurlbut said. “Not only has she been exceptionally successful, she has never complained about the many challenges she has in day to day life with her small stature. Instead, she takes pride in her ability and determination to overcome those barriers she encounters.”

Take the Governor’s Oklahoma United We Ride Council Survey

Improve your ride take the survey.

The Governor’s Oklahoma United We Ride Council developed a short survey to gather some information from public transportation riders.  Individual Riders may access the 10-question survey by going online to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/976ZCZH or by clicking on the SURVEY link from the United We Ride Council’s website: www.MyRide.ok.gov

Purpose of the Survey

The survey intends to ask individual riders for input. The information we accumulate will help the United We Ride Council identify unmet transportation needs across the state and will help the Council in developing strategies for meeting those needs. This survey is different from the UWR/ODOT 2011 Transportation Survey which allowed transit providers, government agencies, and advocates of aging, disabled, and low-income populations to share their opinions about transportation.

We want to hear what riders have to say about their own transportation experiences. So the survey is not intended for transit providers. The survey is not intended for government agencies or entities that advocate for people with disabilities, but counselors of an agency/entity may help individual riders access the survey to answer the questions.

October 31 seminar to introduce Oklahomans who are blind to DRS Visual Services

TULSA, Okla. - The Brady District Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Oklahoma will present an informational seminar for people who are blind or visually impaired to learn how to effectively use employment and independent living services offered by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. Slated for October 31, the seminar will take place from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Double Tree Hotel at 616 W 7th St. in downtown Tulsa.

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