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DRS to celebrate 30 years of service to 2.45 million Oklahomans with disabilities Oct 17

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY – Since July 1, 1993, more than 2.54 million Oklahomans with disabilities have received life-changing services offered by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The agency offers 25 employment, education and independent living programs and determines medical eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

Present and former DRS clients, students and staff, the public and agency partners are encouraged to celebrate the 30th anniversary as an independent state agency with a Fall Festival on Tuesday, October 17.

The free event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at DRS’ State Office parking lot in the east Landmark Tower building at 3535 NW 58th Street in Oklahoma City.

The theme is “Come Home to DRS:  Celebrating 30 Years of Service to Extraordinary People.”

DRS staff and event partners Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council and Oklahoma ABLE Tech have combined plans for carnival games and information about DRS’ programs with food trucks and entertainment.

Program highlights include messages from Lt Gov. Matt Pinnell, Secretary and Executive Director of Human Services Dr. Deborah Shropshire, M.D., DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt, DHS Hope Ambassador Tammy Williams and performances by OSB Jazz Band, OSD cheerleaders and many more.

“We are proud to serve Oklahomans with disabilities at DRS, which was created in 1993 by the Oklahoma Legislature to unite a wide range of state disability services into a single agency with the support of the disability community,” DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt said.

“This is an exciting time for all of us to celebrate Oklahomans who reached their goals because of their own initiative and hard work,” Fruendt said. “We say DRS opens doors, but our clients, students, applicants and patrons deserve the credit for walking through those doors to success.”

The Oklahoma Commission for Rehabilitation Services governs DRS under the leadership of Governor Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Legislature.

Governor Kevin Stitt appointed Teresa Flannery from Mustang as a Commission member. Vice Chair Wes Hilliard from Sulphur was appointed by Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Charles McCall.

DRS’ program divisions are Disability Determination Services, Oklahoma School for the Blind, Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Vocational Rehabilitation.

For more information about Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services, visit or phone 800-845-8476 during business hours. The agency’s Disability Resource Guide at provides information about 3,500 disability and social services resources.

DRS 30th Anniversary Schedule

10:00 a.m.


10:15 a.m.

Oklahoma Lt Governor Matt Pinnell

10:30 a.m.   

Secretary and Executive Director of Human Services Dr. Deborah Shropshire

10:45 a.m.

DRS Transition Coordinator Renee Briscoe

11:00 a.m.   

OKDHS Hope Ambassador Tammy Williams

11:15 a.m.

Oklahoma School for the Deaf Cheer

11:30 a.m.

 Hope Puppet Show

12:15 p.m.

DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt

12:30 p.m.

DRS Vocational Rehabilitation Division Administrator
Mark Kinnison and Services for the Blind Division Administrator Tracy Brigham

12:45 p.m.

Beyond Hope Academy

1:00 p.m.

Alyson Robinson

1:30 p.m.

Trey Lewis

1:45 p.m.

Jean Jones

2:00 p.m.

OSB Jazz Band




For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318