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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.

OKC advocates celebrate National White Cane Safety Day October 13

Man with white cane holds arm of woman with White Cane Day sign

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Saturday, October 13, will mark the 10th year the Heartland Council of the Blind has celebrated National White Cane Safety Awareness Day in Oklahoma City.

Activities focus on the importance of the white cane as a tool to achieve independence and a symbol of people with vision loss.

Heartland Council members will gather with participants from Visual Services in the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and Veterans Independence Through Adaptive Living (VITAL) at 11 a.m. in Bricktown.

DRS serving 2,960 wait-listed jobseekers with disabilities since January 1

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Department of Rehabilitation Services is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by transferring approximately 1,800 job seekers with significant disabilities from waiting lists to active Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services caseloads.

VR and VS staff began providing career planning and employment services to the most recent group of 904 applicants on September 24. Staff will begin serving approximately 900 more jobseekers on October 08. The exact number will be determined on that date.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Tiffany Thompson



This media release was originally released on July 17, 2012. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Miss Black UCO admits dyslexia struggle, wins pageant crown

Thompson poses in her Miss Black UCO shash and crown.

EDMOND, Okla. –Delivering a monologue about dyslexia -- the undeserved shame she was almost afraid to talk about -- contributed to Tiffany Thompson’s win in the Miss Black UCO 2012 scholarship pageant. The rewards were a pageant win on her seventh attempt, a $1,600 University of Central Oklahoma tuition waiver and the chance to help others face or understand an invisible learning disability that makes it difficult for intelligent people to read.

“My monologue was called, ‘Who am I?’,” Thompson explained, “and it was about growing up having people tell me I wasn’t going to be a success because I was black, wasn’t going to be successful because I was a female.”

For the first time ever, Thompson’s family and friends heard her describe what it was like to get “that heart attack feeling” when called on to read out loud in school – to be laughed at and called stupid – and believe it.

Oklahoma School for the Deaf plays key role in Deaf Awareness Week spokespersons’ lives

Smiling man and woman with trees in the background.

Sulphur, Okla. – Trudy and Jimmy Mitchell, a married couple who met in 1996 at Oklahoma School for the Deaf, are 2018 Deaf Awareness Week spokespersons for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week, September 24-30, is to increase public awareness of deaf issues and culture. The culture is shaped by American Sign Language and experiences of being deaf in a hearing world.

The Mitchell’s both graduated from OSD in 1999 and now work in offices next to each other on the OSD campus in Sulphur.

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