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Connecting Oklahomans with Disabilities to Assistive Technology
Oklahoma ABLE Tech is the statewide Assistive Technology Act Program proudly located at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. ABLE Tech is funded through the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is made possible through the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 as amended in 2004 (ATA 2004).
ABLE Tech’s mission is to improve access to and acquisition of assistive technology (AT) for individuals with disabilities of all ages.
ABLE Tech provides AT through comprehensive statewide programs and services, which include:
ABLE Tech and its partners provided AT device demonstrations to Oklahomans across the state, including 1,425 demonstrations to children receiving services from SoonerStart.
Through the short-term loan program, individuals were able to try AT devices to help them with the decision-making process.
The Oklahoma Equipment Exchange (OEE) facilitated the exchange of 1,199 AT devices from seller to buyer for a savings of $179,445. The Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program (OKDMERP) provided 955 Oklahomans with 1,196 pieces of AT for a savings of $703,733.
ABLE Tech provided loans totaling $317,034 to help Oklahomans obtain needed AT devices and services to help them live, work, and learn independently.
ABLE Tech helped Oklahomans receive information and referral sources on needed AT devices and services, including how to obtain funding for AT.
ABLE Tech served Oklahomans with disabilities, family members, service providers, advocates, and educators throughout the state.
AT Demonstration Centers
ABLE Tech and its partners provided 11 AT loan and demonstration sites to give Oklahomans an opportunity to touch, try, and borrow AT devices to help improve independence in the community, school, and workplace.
Device Short-Term Loans
ABLE Tech provided 531 AT device and software short-term loans to Oklahoma schools and students; 82 AT loans were for individuals with print disabilities.
Information Technology Accessibility
ABLE Tech provided training on accessible information technology including web access, telecommunications, software accessibility,
and procurement to 735 state agency and post-secondary personnel.
AT Device Training
ABLE Tech provided training on AT devices and services to 3,697 individuals, disability-related organizations, state agencies, and higher education students including 1,541 public school educators.
Special Education Resolution Center
16 Special Education Due Process hearings were resolved by the Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) - keeping state dollars in the classroom educating students. Due Process proceedings can cost the state an average of $300,000; therefore, resolved hearing requests saved Oklahomans approximately $4,800,000.
Through the Smoke Alarm Project, ABLE Tech partnered with the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation and Fire Protection Publications to professionally install 2,466 smoke alarms and alert devices in 500 households of Oklahomans who are deaf or hard of hearing; a cost savings of $97,065.
AT Training for Educators
Through a partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, ABLE Tech provided training and technical assistance to 190 educators from 52 school district AT teams. Through a series of webinars and regional workshops, teams learned more about the consideration and implementation of AT for students with disabilities.
ABLE Tech maintains coordination and collaboration efforts that provide funding to help enhance the opportunities for individuals to access and acquire assistive technology.
Joshua is a young boy from Noble County who received therapy from NewView (ABLE Tech’s AT Device Demonstration partner). The therapist helped him scan and track his environment to increase mobility and find his way. A good task lamp helped him by increasing the light for activities such as reading and game playing. Joshua has a 4x dome magnifier that helps him see better and it, too, will benefit his reading and math skills as they develop. The therapist definitely saw Joshua’s confidence increase through the therapy process.
Patton, an 8-month old boy from Cotton County, has bilateral hearing loss and wears hearing aids. This young boy is active and wanted to play with a toy that would make puppies move and stop through an on/off switch. However, the switch was inaccessible due to the boy’s age and lack of hearing/understanding. His mom was aware of switch adapters and requested one through ABLE Tech’s Device Short-Term Loan Program. An AirLink Cordless Switch allowed him to control a toy easily. As he plays now, he is very proud of himself. His mother has seen how the switch allows him independence and reinforces his confidence.
Debbie, an employee in the Oklahoma State University President’s office, wanted to improve her overall health and wellness and one change she wanted was to sit less during the workday. She heard about a VariDesk, a convertible desk that offers both sitting and standing positions so she requested a 6-week loan through ABLE Tech’s Device Short-Term Loan Program. After only 2 weeks of use, she asked her department to purchase one. Now that she has her own, she says, “I really appreciated the opportunity to ‘try before buying.’ I love it and would encourage others to give it a try.”
Jimmy, from Cleveland County, is sixty-three years old and suffers from mobility problems. He used ABLE Tech’s online Equipment Exchange database to find a lift chair offered for free. ABLE Tech delivered the chair to him and Jimmy said, “It makes it more easy for me to get out of a chair. I can’t get out of a regular chair so this lift chair makes it 100 percent easier.”
Rachel, an Oklahoma County resident, is a repeat client of ABLE Tech’s Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program. She was recently matched with a free manual wheelchair by filling out an application and having her doctor write a prescription. This manual chair allows Rachel more independence within her home and within her community. The chair is easy to fold up and put into the trunk of a car so Rachel can participate in life outside of her home.
Victoria, from Payne County, received her first Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) at the age of 9. Now, fourteen years later, she needed to replace it. She reached out to ABLE Tech when she learned about the new Direct Loan Program. She applied as a single applicant and was able to borrow the needed funds to pay the insurance co-pay in order to receive the new BAHA receiver. Not only did this method prove to be a very economical and feasible way for Victoria to get the hearing assistance she needs, she is also building her credit rating for the future.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness
1514 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078
Toll-free: 888.885.5588 (v/tty)
Oklahoma State University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorder
SoonerStart Early Intervention Program
Oklahoma City, 405.521.4880
Mary K. Chapman Center for Communicative Diseases at The University of Tulsa
Hearing Loss Association of America, Central Oklahoma Chapter
Oklahoma City, 405.717.9820
Oklahoma City, 405.521.4880
The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital
Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
Visual Services Center Division
Vocational Rehabilitation Division
Oklahoma City, 405.522.3536
This publication is available in alternative formats; please call 800.257.1705 (v/tty) for more information. ABLE Tech is funded through the the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and maintains coordination and collaboration efforts with partners throughout the State of Oklahoma. This publication does not necessarily reflect the position of the policy of ACL/HHS, and no official endorsement of the material should be inferred.