DRS Resource Guide critical tool for Oklahomans with disabilities
Oklahoma City – Internet access is available either at the tip of a finger or a trip to the library. More people are using the world wide web to shop, do research and communicate via social media or Zoom.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Disability Resource Guide makes it easy for users to find more than 2,500 government agencies, community organizations and groups for Oklahomans with and without disabilities. It is free and available at https://www.okdrs.gov/guide/home.
“The resource guide is helpful for Oklahomans who are looking for disability and non-disability related content,” DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt said. “It is useful to our staff and the general public because of the information gathered all in one place.”
The guide originated on paper more than 20 years ago and now exists online.
At the start of the pandemic, the resource guide’s importance grew because of its online availability, and it’s a helpful tool for people to find medical and mental health clinics, and additional resources important to the disability community. It has hospital offices listed from across the state, hotlines and toll-free numbers.
Telecommuting was a requirement for most office jobs during the lockdown. Now, the option to work from home has become more popular, especially in the disability community because it takes away several barriers.
Some home offices that were rarely used before, now require modification. The guide has a chapter titled “Assistive Technology” to help people find what they need to do their jobs efficiently and make their houses more accessible.
While working from home is not for everyone, some have decided to go back to the office. For those who cannot drive, and they need to call a company to get a lift. Others might require an accessible car that someone else drives. The guide has a chapter titled “Transportation,” to help Oklahomans find a ride or modified vehicle so they can reach their destination.
The guide includes DRS services, such as the DRS Transition Program, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Vocational Rehabilitation. Other state agencies listed are Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Department of Transportation and more. It also features information for veterans, drug and alcohol rehab centers and disability related legal resources. It is continuously being revised and adding new sources.
For more information call 800-845-8476 during office hours. The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services served 184,082 people in State Fiscal Year 2022.
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Rachel McLemore, Communications Officer