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DRS attorney earns posthumous Disability Leadership award

Friday, April 03, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Richard Olderbak was remembered with a Disability Leadership award by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ on March 10 at the state Capitol.

Olderbak’s son, Marshall Olderbak accepted the award on behalf of his deceased father at DRS’ 25th People with Disabilities Awareness Day.

Commission for Rehabilitation Services Commissioner Emily Cheng and DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt recognized Olderbak, who served as DRS’ legal advisor, “as a tremendous champion for individuals with disabilities.”

“…Rick combined a deep commitment to fairness and impartiality with expertise in the practice of law and knowledge of Oklahoma statutes,” Fruendt said. “As a result, his conscientious and compassionate advice to DRS leaders benefitted DRS clients with disabilities, while keeping the agency solidly within the confines of the law.

Olderbak passed away on December 16, 2019 at the age of 60.

“Rick’s dedication and wisdom are missed by those whose lives he touched -- in person or through his legal work,” Commissioner Emily Cheng said.

In years past, People with Disabilities Awareness Day brought nearly a thousand Oklahomans to the state Capitol to talk with lawmakers and share their stories. Construction at the state Capitol this year made such an onsite event impossible, leading supporters to come together online at www.okdrs.gov/pwdad for a social media event.

Last year, DRS served 82,787 Oklahomans with disabilities with career preparation, employment, residential and outreach education, independent living programs and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits. The agency helps job seekers with disabilities face barriers to employment, such as inaccessible worksites, lack of transportation or the need for specialized equipment or training. For more information, visit http://www.okdrs.gov or phone 800-845-8476.

Richard Olderbak was posthumously honored with a Disability Leadership award by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ at the state Capitol (from left): Olderbak’s sister Carol Turille, son Marshall Olderbak, Commission for Rehabilitation Services Commissioner Emily Cheng and DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt.
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Last Modified on Jan 08, 2021
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