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 in Oklahoma City on Feb. 6, Tulsa on Feb. 7 and Lawton on Feb. 8.
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.
DRS provides a variety of services that help individuals with disabilities achieve employment, personal independence and self-sufficiency. The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council advises DRS on development of policies and plans for rehabilitation services.
The majority of changes throughout all chapters consist of the division name change of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Blind & Visually Impaired (VRBVI) becoming Visual Services (VS).
Changes to Chapter 1 include removing specific names of publications, forms and instructions and use general descriptive language since the titles may change again in the future.
Changes to Chapter 10 include revisions in accordance with federal law to permit DRS to provide extended services for up to four years for youth with the most significant disabilities who are working in supported employment, to allow them to maintain such employment. Revisions to reflect Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provisions including customized employment, self-employment, work experiences, internships and apprenticeships in the listing of types of vocational services which may be provided to facilitate employment.
The addition of a new policy to Chapter 10 would authorize DRS to assist clients to participate in work experiences, internships and apprenticeships which are training options encouraged under WIOA. Additional changes to Chapter 10 consist of clarifying terms and updating language to reflect current use of terms and removal of antiquated language. The public is invited to comment on proposed rule changes.
Public hearing dates and locations are:
Oklahoma City – Monday, Feb. 6, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Department of Rehabilitation Services State Office, 2nd floor conference room, 3535 NW 58th St., Oklahoma City, OK
Tulsa – Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access, Conference Room, 8740 E. 11th, Tulsa, OK
Lawton – Wednesday, Feb. 8, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Great Plains Technical Center, Bldg. 300, Room 301A, 4500 S.W. Lee Blvd., Lawton, OK
If you would like to comment but are unable to attend, written comments may be sent to the attention of Tina Calloway, Policy Development, Department Of Rehabilitation Services, 3535 N.W. 58th, suite 500, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112. Written comments must be received no later than February 8, 2017.
Copies of the proposed rules may be obtained from the DRS web site at www.okdrs.org/policy/2017, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or by letter to the Policy Development Unit, attention Tina Calloway, Department of Rehabilitation Services, 3535 N.W. 58th, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112 or by calling (405) 951-3552 – Toll free 1-800-845-8476.