Achievers earn DRS People with Disabilities Awareness Day awards
By Jody Harlan
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Commission for Rehabilitation Services launched the 26th People with Disabilities Awareness Day with an awards ceremony honoring four Oklahomans.
The Commission is the governing board for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, which last year served 76,134 Oklahomans with disabilities.
Commissioner Theresa Flannery presented the PWDAD Vocational Rehabilitation Client of the Year award to Jacob Fehr.
Fehr, who is employed at Old Time Pottery in Tulsa, took advantage of DRS Vocational Rehabilitation’s Transition services while in high school and received work adjustment training.
Commissioner Jace Wolfe presented the PWDAD Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired Client of the Year award to Christi Evans from Midwest City.
Evans, who has 25 years’ experience in customer service and office management, got a job lead through SBVI’s support group hosted on Zoom.
She applied online at SYNQ3, a restaurant call center, during the Zoom meeting and was working again in approximately one week.
Ben Middleton from Oklahoma City accepted the PWDAD Oklahoma School for the Blind Student of the Year award from DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt.
Middleton, a junior who plays the trombone in OSB’s award-winning Jazz Band, is also a leader in Boy Scouts, Student Council, Teens for Christ, DECA and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. He successfully competes in OSB’s Cane Quest and Braille Challenge regional contests and is currently studying Culinary Arts in addition to his academic studies at OSB.
Commissioner Wes Hilliard presented the PWDAD Oklahoma School for the Deaf Student of the Year award to Senior Isaiah Holt, who combines academic success with record-breaking performance on the basketball court where he achieved 1,707 career points. A dedicated volunteer leader, Holt’s most recent awards include Deaf Digest Player of the Year and All-American, NDIAA District 2 Player of the Year and First Team All-American, All-Star SCC, Great Plains School for the Deaf All Tournament Cheer and All Tournament Basketball.
Last year, DRS served 76,134 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.
For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, visit www.okdrs.gov or phone 800-845-8476.
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Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director