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Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services announces proposed administrative rule amendments for 2024

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 meeting in Oklahoma City from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 5th at the DRS, 3535 NW 58th St, 2nd floor conference room, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. The public can also attend by Zoom video conference  ( ).

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.

3 Questions Under 3 Minutes with Jennifer Thornton

Descriptive Transcript: 3 Questions Under 3 Minutes

Intro with a clock counting down from 3 minutes to zero super fast. Voice over a man says Three questions under 3 minutes.

Female voice over: Welcome to this episode of 3 Questions Under 3 Minutes with Jennifer Thornton. What do you wish everybody knew about Disability Determination Services? 

Thornton: I really wish that people knew that most people are actually approved on their first try, and that is because they meet or equal the listings, which are some very, very stringent rules that Social Security applies or they meet what we call the med voca or medical vocational roles. And that is based on their age and their what they can do versus what they have done. So somebody who is older, who has done all manual labor and now can't stand for 2 hours, that person is going to get approved, more so that somebody who is like 20 doing the same thing.

Thornton: So that and then the other part of that is that the people who get approved on the first time are the ones who have filled out all their forms, their activities of daily living, their work histories, they're returning phone calls, and they're taking part in the process.

Video of ducks in a pond splashing around cleaning themselves. One ruffles his feathers that it looks like he has a mohawk. An arrow appears on screen and the words mohawk duck point at the duck. 

Then the video cuts to grass and another arrow appears and the word Turtle appears to focus the users on the somewhat hidden turtle. 

Female voice over: Well, what's your favorite part about DDS?

Thornton: My favorite part about the DDS is that my kids were actually born prematurely. My oldest weighed a pound and a half. She was born 15 weeks early. My youngest was 2 pounds, 2 ounces. She was born 13 weeks early. And they're now 26 and 27. And they're taller than me. They're fine. But the fact that I can help the people who are in the same boat that I was in 26 or 27 years ago makes me feel really good.

Female voice over: Now, I understand you have a second job. 

Thornton: I do. 

Female voice over: I hear you're an Uber driver. 

Thornton: I am. 

Female voice over: Tell me about it. 

Thornton: I have been driving for about eight and a half years. And what started out as just needing some extra money to travel, because I really like to travel really turned into. I really enjoy helping people get home when they should be driving. But also, I really love helping people who say they lost their vision and so they can't drive themselves. And so I really enjoy being able to help them maintain some kind of independence. 

Female voice over: Thank you

Thornton: Welcome.

Male voice over: 3 questions under 3 minutes

Logo, Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services


Local resident is thankful to Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services for lifelong career

ALTUS, Okla. — Larry Duffy from Altus has been employed as an educator and administrator at Western Oklahoma State College for 45 years, his entire working career in higher education.

Duffy began his journey at the college as a student with the help of Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and currently serves as executive secretary for the Western Oklahoma State College Foundation, Inc.

School for the Deaf to host first Friendsgiving Festival Nov 15

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf will host their first Friendsgiving Festival for students, their families and the Sulphur community from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 15.

The event will be open to the public  in the small gym in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center on the OSD campus at 1100 E. Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

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Do Things Differently

Contact DRS

3535 NW 58th Street, Suite 500
Oklahoma City, OK  73112

(800) 487-4042 to find the office nearest you
(800) 845-8476 Toll Free
(405) 951-3400 Main Office

Competitors expected November 8 for School for the Blind’s 11th Cane Quest

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Thirty-three contestants are expected to compete November 8 in Oklahoma School for the Blind’s 11th Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest. The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m.

With white canes as their guides, contestants will identify obstacles and changes in surfaces, such as drop-offs at stairs or curbs, in a quest for medals and prizes.

A common vision for workforce development

Confronting the state’s shortage of skilled workers, state leaders have developed a plan to improve coordination among state agencies and create a more formal structure for meeting the workforce needs of Oklahoma businesses.

A critical element of the state’s plan is a union of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. Together, the three state agencies, under executive order from Gov. Kevin Stitt, are taking steps to align partners, services and resources under one common vision for improving workforce development.

The goal is to create a more streamlined and responsive workforce system that empowers job seekers and employers.

OK Transition Institute to focus Nov 14-15 on education, employment success for students with disabilities

Oklahoma City – Educators, parents, rehabilitation leaders, advocates and students are invited to register for the 18th annual Oklahoma Transition Institute to be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 14 and 15.

The OTI is one of the top secondary transition conferences in the United States.

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