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March 2024: Transition Keeps Getting Better

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DRS Transition masthead with multicolor paint splatters and the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services logo.


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Connect With Your Transition Teams

Each year at the Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI), Transition Teams around the state are formed to bring educators, transition professionals, parents, and many other organizations together to prepare students with disabilities for successful lives after high school. Those attending OTI are encouraged to interact with others from nearby towns and schools. Over the years, Transition Teams have proven to be very helpful in making OTI a memorable and beneficial event that is full of resources and networking opportunities.

Transition Teams are for more than just OTI, however. They can serve a purpose throughout the entire year. Some Transition Teams get together to hold transition fairs or community resource nights. Other teams meet up to share ideas and network with other transition professionals. Claudia Otto, PhD is now helping facilitate activities for Transition Teams throughout the year.

According to Claudia, 20 Oklahoma Transition Teams, including 215 participants, submitted planning guides at or following the 2023 Oklahoma Transition Institute. She is excited about the number of teams and people participating statewide. She is available for any of the teams to contact at any point throughout the year for help with Transition Teams related questions. Since her role as Transition Teams Coordinator is new, it is important that Transition Teams ask her as many questions as possible. She can be reached directly by email at Additionally, she provides resources and information online through the Oklahoma Transition Teams (OKTT) Portal.

There are some new and exciting resources to help stay informed and connected with Transition Teams. Each month, in the DRS Transition newsletter, there will be calendars for Tulsa-area and OKC-area transition fairs. Also, the Oklahoma Transition Teams (OKTT) Portal can be visited anytime for access to resources and information on Transition Teams. The site offers downloadable resources, website links, and videos for transition learning and needs. 

Click here to open the OKTT Portal 


Stay Up-to-date with Transition

March 2024: People With Disabilities Awareness Day
Logo, People with Disabilities Awareness Day, Build Oklahoma Strong, March 5, 2024, Oklahoma History Center

Are you ready to network? Celebrate outstanding accomplishments? If so, join us for People with Disabilities Awareness Day* *on *March 5, 2024, from noon to 4:30 p.m.* at the Oklahoma History Center.

Let's take action! Plan on coming, bring a friend or two and network with more than 70 disability-centric exhibitors. They bring a wealth of information and might introduce you to new programs.

Celebrate success! Stay and congratulate our Awareness Day award winners.

We are back at the Oklahoma History Center and the event is free to all who want to attend. The venue is ideal for talking with exhibitors and an outstanding place to showcase the award winners.

*Date and Time:*

March 5, 2024, from 12:00 p.m. through 4:30 p.m.


Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73105

If you have any questions or need help registering, please call us at (405) 951-3478 or email

*Click here to learn more and register for People With Disabilities Awareness Day*
2nd Annual disABILITY Resource Fair

2nd Annual Disability Resource Fair Save the date, Free Event with door prizes, March 12, 2024 4PM-7PM at The Well

The Cleveland County disABILITY Coalition is pleased to announce their 2nd Annual disABILITY Resource Fair! This is a great opportunity to connect with local agencies to learn about the services they provide to help empower individuals with all disabilities across the lifespan. Join them in this free event on *March 12, 2024, *from *4 p.m. - 7 p.m.*


The Well
210 James Garner Ave.
Norman, OK  73069

Oklahoma Fatherhood Summit
Oklahoma Fatherhood Summit Save the date Thursday, March 14, 2024(:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Details in article below

The 2024 Oklahoma Fatherhood Summit will be hosted at Tulsa Tech - Lemley Memorial Campus. The event is all about recognizing and celebrating the important roles fathers/caregivers play in the lives of their children. This year's event will feature Coach Sherman Smith, former NFL coach, player and star of the documentary, Show Me the Father as well as Candice Crear, international best-selling author, and founder/CEO of From Fatherless to Fearless.

*Date and Time:*

March 14, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Tulsa Tech - Lemley Memorial Campus
3420 S. Memorial Dr., Tulsa, OK  74145

Apply Today for BEST STEP 2024 

Apply Today BEST STEP Building Employment Skills for Today Summer Transition Employment Program QR Code at bottom of image

Intended for students with disabilities, BEST is a one-week summer program (Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. with Monday for a detailed orientation and paperwork completion) where students will engage in activities to enhance their job search and career interest, workplace readiness to develop social and independent living skills, exploration of education and training programs for after high school, self-advocacy skills, peer mentorship, teamwork and whole lot of fun!

For BEST: Some specific locations and dates for summer 2024 BEST are known, but others have yet to be determined. As locations and dates are determined, those details will be updated here.

Also intended for students with disabilities, participation in STEP is optional. In the STEP portion of the summer, students will experience a part-time (up to 25 hours a week), paid internship in their communities with support as needed from the work skills trainers.

*Eligibility for the STEP program requires successful completion of the BEST program.

For STEP: Dates and work locations will vary for each individual participant. Specific STEP details will be communicated to STEP participants by appropriate BEST STEP staff in their area.

*Click here to apply for BEST STEP 2024*

 Summer 2024: TechNow STEM Camp
STEM Camp 2024 TechNow logo and OKDRS logo at top images of computer, t-shirt, wrists with bracelets, and racecars at bottom

TechNow STEM Camp is open to Oklahoma students with disabilities, ages 14-19 who are on an IEP or 504 Plan or who have other documented physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities. At STEM Camp, students will learn different ways to interact with computers, software, and related technologies to design and create: Power Racer dragster, HT Racer, full color patches for jackets, pants, and shirts.

They will get to make shirts, hats, mouse pads, pin back buttons, and bracelets. Students will develop new skills while interacting with peers and making memories that will last a lifetime. The camp is held from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. over three days. Below are the dates and locations of the currently planned STEM Camps for Summer 2024:

*Ada STEM Camp:*

Monday – Wednesday, June 10-12, 2024

Ada-Pontotoc Technology Center
601 W. 33rd St., Ada, OK 74820

From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Click here to download Ada STEM Camp Flyer 

*Tulsa STEM Camp*

Monday - Wednesday, June 24-26, 2024

Central Church of the Nazarene
7291 East 81st Street, Tulsa, OK, 74133

From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Click here to download Tulsa STEM Camp Flyer 

*Davis STEM Camp:*

Tuesday - Thursday, July 9-11, 2024

Davis High School
400 E. Atlanta St.
Davis, Ok 73030

From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Click here to download Davis STEM Camp Flyer 

*Atoka STEM Camp:*

Monday - Wednesday, July 22-24, 2024

Atoka-Kiamichi Technology Center
1763 W. Liberty Rd., Atoka, OK 74525

From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Click here to download Atoka STEM Camp Flyer

*Skiatook STEM Camp:*

Monday - Wednesday, July 15-17, 2024

Newman Middle School Gymnasium
2000 W. Oak St.
Skiatook, OK 74070

From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Click here to download Skiatook STEM Camp Flyer 

April 2024: Joining Forces Conference 
Joining Forces Family and Professional Partnerships, April 19, 2024, Register here or Scan to register

On April 19th, Oklahoma Family Network will be hosting their annual Joining Forces Conference at remote locations across the state.  They are hoping that you will plan to attend and invite other staff and the families you serve.  This is for both families and professionals to come together for the better good of our state.  Please share!

*Click here to register for the Joining Forces Conference*

Tulsa Area and Oklahoma City Area Transition Fairs
A graphic of a chalk board with Transition Fairs Calendars for the Tulsa Area and Oklahoma City Area, links to calendars below, check back often.

NEW resource! Anyone can learn about transition (resource) fairs happening in both the Greater Tulsa and the Greater Oklahoma City areas. The calendars can be accessed from a computer through the following links:

*Click here for Tulsa area transition fairs*

*Click here for Oklahoma City area transition fairs*


Student/Youth Spotlight

Image of Successful Student, Luke B.
Meet Luke

So many young people across Oklahoma are doing amazing things. Tracy Keeley and Kevin Randall work nonstop searching for stories of successful students with disabilities so we can share their journeys and brag about them. Student success is perhaps the main reason many of us do what we do. Recently, Tracy had a conversation with a great example of student success. Luke Bray is a 2022 graduate of Owasso High School in Oklahoma. Luke dreams big and is ready to make a difference in the world. In his interview with Tracy, the two of them talked about many things that illustrate how he has found success through Transition programs and resources. Below is a transcript of their conversation:

*"What are your interests and hobbies?"*
Luke enjoys hanging out with his friends.  He is also an avid golfer.  He also spends a lot of time playing video games on his X-Box One, like Minecraft.  Luke also enjoys playing with his adventure Legos.

*"What activity do you enjoy the most during the winter? "*
Luke does not let the winter weather stop him from playing golf.  Luke likes to play golf at GolfSuites.  Luke can practice his golf swing year-round in Golfsuites’ climate-controlled hitting suites.

*"What is your preferred winter drink? "*
Luke makes sure to drink a lot of water year-round.  However, in the winter he enjoys hot chocolate with marshmallows. YUM! 

*"If I were to provide you with $50,000 to create a positive impact in your community, how would you use it to bring about meaningful change?"*
If Luke were given $50,000, he would buy his own house in Stone Canyon, which is a housing division in Owasso.

*"Have you ever had any prior work experiences or volunteer opportunities?"* 
Participating in Tulsa Technology’s Project Search program is Luke’s first work experience.

*"Could you share your experience with the Project Search program?"* 
Luke has participated in two of the three job rotations in the program.  His first rotation was in a supply distribution department.  During his time in the supply distribution department, Luke helped by lifting heavy objects and equipment.  Luke’s second rotation was at a hospital’s labor and delivery unit.  He enjoyed helping new mothers when they were discharged.  He got to push them in wheelchairs and take them on the elevator.

*"What is something you learned from the Project Search program? "*
The project search program has helped Luke work on his communication skills.  He has also learned how important it is to follow rules. 

*"What are your plans after you complete Project Search?"*
Luke would like to work at someplace like Chick-Fil-A, Old Navy, or Belk after he finishes the Project Search program.

*"What is your dream career? "*
Luke’s dream career is in retail or sales.  He enjoys interacting with people.

*"Can you share one challenge you've faced due to your disability and how you managed to overcome it? "*
One challenge Luke faces is the anxiety he feels when going through the security process at the hospital where he is working.  He listens to music when he starts getting stressed or anxious.

*"What advice or tips would you like to share with other youth that may be interested in the Project Search program?"*
When he first started the Project Search program, Luke found the hospital campus confusing and worried about getting lost.  Luke’s advice to other students in the program is to use the hospital location maps.  He explained that the areas of the hospital are color coded.  Once Luke learned the different colors throughout the hospital, he no felt longer stressed about getting lost.

*"What is the most significant goal or dream you wish to achieve in your lifetime?"*
His dream is to have a job that requires a code to get into the door.  Luke says that would be cool!

*"What would you like the world to know about you? "*
Luke wants the world to know how much he enjoys riding on the elevators at the hospital. 

*"Is there anyone specific you'd like to give a shout out to?"*
Luke would like to give a shout out to his friend Grace, who will be graduating from high school this year.

*How to nominate a Student: * 

If you know a current or former student who has participated in Transition events or who has found success through Transition services, please let us know by submitting this nomination form.

*Click here to nominate a student*

Transition Resources

logo, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

*DRS Business Services Program*

A program of Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, Business Services Program (BSP) is a team of employment-focused professionals who are focused on connecting employers with some of their area's brightest and most highly motivated job seekers with disabilities.

Often overlooked, people with disabilities can be a great asset to employers. BSP staff stands ready to successfully  bring the two groups together.

They do this by strengthening and helping maintain the knowledge of employers on a variety of disability-related employment topics, and by working with job seekers on critical job placement areas such as determining a career path, creating a resume, applying for a job, interviewing for a job, and excelling in the job.

If you are a "job seeker with a disability "looking for help with job placement, please contact your DRS Counselor about BSP services or inquire about our employment services at 800-487-4042. 

If you are an "employer" looking to learn more about the advantages of hiring people with disabilities contact Yasmin Avila Guillen at

logo, Sooner Success, Serving, Supporting, Building Inclusive Communities
Supporting Minorities with Disabilities Coalition

A Sooner Success initiative, the Supporting Minorities with Disabilities Coalition (SMWDC) has the goal of raising awareness of people of all abilities about aspects of life that relate to the intersection of 'minority status', socio-economic need and disability. Their mission is to strategically partner with Oklahoma organizations, agencies, community leadership, and stakeholders to improve services for traditionally underserved families. They do so by focusing on important areas such as promoting cultural awareness, strengthening parental support, conducting outreach, and helping others navigate the educational system.

They believe that through the unified voices of community members of all backgrounds, self-advocates, and families of individuals with disabilities, more will have the power to facilitate a better quality of life for their loved ones with disability-related challenges and create a plan for the future that is supported by their community.

Currently, they are placing special emphasis in the Oklahoma City metro area. To get connected with the SMWDC, please email Mayra at


Grant Opportunities

*Here are some exciting grant opportunities to be aware of:*

*Dell Technologies Grant Support Program*

* The Dell Technologies Grants Support Program helps fund technology-rich projects for K-12 public school districts.  Proposed projects should have a clear need and defined geographic community.  Dell will help decide which technologies are needed and will bet support your project.
* Awards vary based on needs.
* Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
* Grant applications can be found at 

*Voya Unsung Heroes*

* Do you or someone you know have an innovative teaching method or creative educational project that can make a positive influence on students?  Are you an educator with a class project that is short on funding but long on potential?  Do you know a teacher looking for grant dollars?  Voya Unsung Heroes could help turn great ideas into reality for students.
* The Voya Unsung Heroes program has helped over 2,00 K-12 educators and their schools fund innovative classroom projects through awards totaling more than $6 million.
* All K-12 education professionals, whether or not they are clients of Voya Financial, are eligible.
* Application deadline is April 19th.
* Grant applications can be found at 

Meet Michael

Michael Lopez is a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist who joined the DRS team in January. He is excited to be able to serve Oklahoma students with disabilities in his new role. Michael graduated with his bachelor’s degree in theater and psychology from Oklahoma City University and is now interested in earning a masters in rehabilitation counseling. He is from Grady county in Oklahoma and has experience working with youth in previous roles.

Michael's hobbies involve spending time with his family and working on his family ranch (which has been in the family for four generations). He is looking forward to getting to know his team members and clients as he settles into his new position. Michael is a passionate and capable professional. We are lucky to have him on the team.

Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

Vocational Rehabilitation

ph. 405-574-1700

Meet Brooke

Brooke Vincent Shipman is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the Tulsa office. She joined the DRS team seven months ago and has enjoyed the time in her new role. She was inspired to get into the field of vocational rehabilitation by a family friend she knew when she was growing up. This desire to help others led her to her postsecondary school decisions. Brooke earned a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Kansas and a masters in rehabilitation counseling from the University of North Carolina. She is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

Brooke grew up and went to high school in Tulsa. She loves hanging out with family – especially her nieces and nephew. Brooke is a compassionate and dedicated professional. She brings a lot of talent and capability to DRS. We are lucky to have her on the team.

Brooke Vincent Shipman
Brooke Vincent Shipman
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

Vocational Rehabilitation

ph. 581-2158


What is Transition?

The Transition program provides services to prepare students with disabilities for employment and life after high school. Services may include career counseling, vocational evaluation, work adjustment training, on-the-job training, work-study, and job development and placement. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired divisions jointly run the Transition program so the youth can easily move into adult services when it is time.

*Start the Application Process *

Contact Us:

*Renee Sansom Briscoe
Phone: 405-951-3488

*Chris Compton
Phone: 405-605-9651

*Tracy Keeley*
Phone: 918-581-2322

*Kevin Randall II 
* <>
Phone: 405-255-9663

Logo, Oklahoma Rehabilitation Services

Logo, Oklahoma Works - a proud partner of the American Job Center network 

Empowering Oklahomans with Disabilities, image of a paint brush.

We can help create the blueprint for your youth’s success

*Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services*
3535 NW 58th Street, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Website | Contact Us 

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