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Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Honored at State Capitol

Mon, April 24, 2017
Brenda Dawes, representing Oklahoma ABLE Tech, accepted the 2016 DRS Access for All Partner of the Year Award on behalf of the agency from DRS Interim Director Noel Tyler during the People with Disabilities Awareness Day attended by nearly 800 people at the state capitol.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech, the state’s assistive technology program, was honored with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ 2016 Access for All Partner of the Year Award in a ceremony at the state capitol.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin opened the award ceremonies with a keynote address during People with Disabilities Awareness Day attended by nearly 800 people.

DRS Interim Director Noel Tyler presented the award to program manager Brenda Dawes of ABLE Tech, representing Linda Jaco, director of ABLE Tech, and Rob Carr, accessibility coordinator. Tyler cited examples of how DRS and ABLE Tech have repeatedly partnered to aid Oklahomans with disabilities.

“DRS is honored to partner with Oklahoma ABLE Tech,” Tyler said. “They produce and deliver results, as well as demonstrating an unwavering commitment to quality. ABLE Tech staff is extremely dedicated to ensuring Access for All, which is critical in creating an environment where people with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in the workforce as people without disabilities.”

The People with Disabilities Awareness Day theme “Engage and Empower” was a call to Oklahomans with disabilities, their families and supporters to share their own disability stories. Their visits with legislators help them understand the impact of services that lead to employment and independence.

ABLE Tech is based at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and is led by Linda Jaco. OSU Chief Wellness Officer Todd Misener is thankful to have a program that improves access to assistive technology; devices used to aid individuals with disabilities. He believes this program is key in the university’s goal of becoming America’s Healthiest Campus.

“Bridging barriers to an active, productive, healthy, and fulfilling life is a vital component of OSU’s Wellness mission,” Misener said. “I am thrilled to have ABLE Tech as part of OSU’s Department of Wellness and applaud their tireless efforts to enable those with disabilities to live a productive and fulfilling life.  This award is well deserved!”

As the employment agency for Oklahomans with disabilities, DRS’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services staff provided career preparation and employment services for 12,954 jobseekers with disabilities last year. The 2,125 who became employed earned $20,952 in average annual wages and paid $3,144 in average taxes.