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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 10,133 Oklahomans across the state, including 1,719 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 2,033 AT devices from seller to buyer for a savings of $216,077. The Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program (OKDMERP) provided 1,379 Oklahomans with 1,671 pieces of AT for a savings of $1,406,945.
ABLE Tech provided loans totaling $305,578 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 15 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 1,165 AT device and software short-term loans to Oklahoma schools and students; 113 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 367 state agency and post-secondary personnel.
AT Device Training
ABLE Tech provided training on AT devices and services to 2,748 individuals, disability-related organizations, state agencies, and higher education students including 1,330 public school educators.
Special Education Resolution Center
14 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 $4,200,000.
Through the Smoke Alarm Project, ABLE Tech partnered with the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation, Fire Services Training and Fire Protection Publications to professionally install 2,920 smoke alarms and alert devices in 586 households of Oklahomans who are deaf or hard of hearing; a cost savings of $119,540.
AT Training for Educators
Through a partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, ABLE Tech provided training and technical assistance to 1,234 educators from 58 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.
Jilline, a young working adult needed to purchase replacement hearing aids; however, she did not have the financial means to purchase them outright and her health insurance did not provide coverage for hearing aids. Jilline decided to pursue a low interest financial loan through ABLE Tech which would allow her the opportunity to purchase replacement hearing aids with loan terms she could afford. During the loan application process she was also able to identify an issue on her credit report, and with guidance from the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation Board, was able to resolve an issue which could have posed a roadblock for future credit building.
Jilline purchased the replacement hearing aids and is now able to communicate better with others at work and at home. “I hear the little things like the rain outside or the baby crying next door, and I can hear my coworkers ask me for help from across a noisy room. Very exciting!”
Keyson, a 12 year old boy who has autism and epilepsy, always had difficulty with his oral communication. His parents were able to borrow a speech generating device from ABLE Tech that could be tried during his speech therapy sessions as well as at home. His parents said, “We’ve always played the guessing game with him since he’s non-verbal. I think by having the device it will get him closer to communicating verbally with us.”
Sally, a retiree, has a degenerative eye disease that makes it more difficult for her to see printed materials and actively participate with other activities that require close up work. ABLE Tech provided her with a donated CCTV from the Oklahoma Equipment Exchange program. Sally was thrilled when she said, “This will be great, I will be able to easily read my mail, write checks, thread a needle or even paint my nails. I would not have known of the opportunity to receive the CCTV at no cost without the help of ABLE Tech.”
K is a 3 year old little boy with a huge personality! His mother initially reached out for support with transitioning services to public school. Occupational therapy services were provided within the home along with a recommendation for an orientation and mobility consultation once his mobility increased. In addition to physical disabilities, K also has blindness which affects his mobility and overall development. K made tremendous progress and has learned how to get dressed with appropriate supports, take off his foot splints, and gain more sensory skills by using a PVC sensory table that promoted his ability to stand and play while gaining strength. NewView staff, a demonstration/loan partner of ABLE Tech, created the sensory table and a braille board to demonstrate the effectiveness of AT that could be used in the home and later with his transition into school. NewView staff knows he will continue to thrive and they look forward to being a part of his journey!
Connor, an entering freshman at Oklahoma State University (OSU) broke his leg at the beginning of the academic year. He was in need of a motorized wheelchair in order to effectively attend all of his college courses.
OSU Student Services successfully connected him with ABLE Tech’s Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program that had a motorized wheelchair which could Oklahoma ABLE Tech Partners meet his needs. “Having this power wheelchair gives me the full Oklahoma State University experience.”
ABLE Tech hosted the first ever Technology Accessibility Oklahoma, or TechAccessOK, conference on September 8th in Oklahoma City. This conference brought together state and national speakers to talk about accessible technology from a number of points of view. Thanks to the Southwest ADA Center out of Houston, the event was entirely free. This let many people from state agencies, higher education and affiliated organizations justify making the trip. In the end, over 160 people attended TechAccessOK. The first year of the event was a tremendous success!
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
Hearing Loss Association of America, Central Oklahoma Chapter
Oklahoma City, 405.717.9820
John W. Keys Speech and Hearing Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City, 405.271.2866
Oklahoma City, 405.521.4880
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
Visual Services Center Division
Vocational Rehabilitation Division
Oklahoma City, 405.522.3536
Pathways Therapy Center
The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital
SoonerStart Intervention Program
Oklahoma City, 405.271.8333
Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access
United Access (Mobility)
Oklahoma City, 888.939.1010
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.