Press Releases 2017

Four young students with white canes display medials

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Thirty-one students competed for awards at the fifth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest competition at the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.

OSB invited certified orientation and mobility specialists and certified teachers of the visually impaired to serve as judges...

12 young people and adults in two rows

Friday, December 1, 2017

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf students are kicking off their new Key Club organization with an exciting holiday service project that ties in with organization’s goals for student leadership, volunteering and service opportunities.

Members are gathering items for Blessing...

Young woman in business suit speaks into a microphone

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Preparing for careers after high school will be the focus of Oklahoma School for the Blind’s “Future Shock” career day on Thursday, November 30.
The event is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. on the OSB campus, 3300 Gibson Street in Muskogee.
Prior to Future...

Two men hold a cartridge and audio player in front of a building

Thursday, November 16, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY –Twenty-six thousand audio books, textbooks and periodicals are currently available for loan to patrons of the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

The books and digital playback equipment are free to Oklahomans who are blind or visually impaired and...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – The Oklahoma School for the Blind’s running club will sponsor a Fall Panther Prowl road race beginning at 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 15.

The event is open to the public. There is no entry fee and all student participants will receive ribbons. Pre-registration is...

Woman obseves a young female caneuser getting instructions from a woman with a clipboard.

Monday, October 30, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – A record-breaking 32 contestants are signed up to participate in Oklahoma School for the Blind fifth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest on Thursday, November 16.

The unique Cane Quest competition challenges students to use proper travel techniques and cane skills to complete...

Four children stand behind bars.

Monday, October 23, 2017

SULPHUR, Okla. – Everyone in the community is invited to Fall Festival at Oklahoma School for the Deaf on Tuesday, October 31, featuring free trick-or-treating and hayrides. School organizations will charge reasonable fees for a Spookhouse, carnival games and concessions.

All activities...

Man wearing a suit coat

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oklahoma City –The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services hired Michael Spencer from Tulsa on October 2 to lead the agency’s statewide Business Enterprise Program as operations coordinator.

Spencer and his wife Janet previously owned M & J Snack Bar, which successfully...

Group of young people in front of a building

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma School for the Blind Jazz Band traveled from Muskogee to attend a concert on Oct. 18 at Tower Theatre in OKC featuring the musical traditions of New Orleans.

The show was a triple treat with the Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas;” six-time Grammy® award-...

A man hammers a metal item on an anvil.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

QUAPAW, Okla. – Two jobs are not enough for Tulsa Native Norman “Buddy” Thomas. Someday, he hopes to add a third job helping others who are deaf “chase their own passions and dreams.”

Thomas is shop manager at Metal Fab Trophy and Screen Printing in Miami. He also owns Tree of Liberty...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY ― The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Federal Aviation Administration will host the second annual career fair and hiring event from 9 am to 1 pm, Oct. 25 at DRS’ Career Planning Center, 5813 S. Robinson in Oklahoma City.

“This event is designed to...

People with canes, dogs and White Cane Safety Day signs walk in an indoor mall.

Friday, October 6, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Public awareness is the point of National White Cane Safety Day, an event celebrated in mid-October every year by people who are blind or visually impaired.

In Oklahoma City, Heartland Council of the Blind advocates and Visual Services staff and clients are teaming up...

Boy and girl play horns in a band

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

TULSA, OKLA. – For the first time, Oklahoma School for the Blind students and faculty – even the Jazz Band -- are traveling to Tulsa to celebrate National White Cane Safety Day on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

OSB organizers will display free educational exhibits and present demonstrations throughout...

Two men wearing cowboy hats.

Monday, October 2, 2017

NORMAN, Okla.– Nearly 600 educators, employment counselors, agencies, families, higher education leaders and employers are expected to attend the Oklahoma Transition Institute on October 3-5 in Norman.

The annual institute focuses on successfully preparing youth with disabilities for post...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sulphur, Okla. The National Association of the Deaf will host its board meeting on the campus of the Oklahoma School for the Deaf on Wednesday, October 4. This is the first time that the NAD Board has visited the OSD campus. The NAD board members will tour the campus and meet students.

...
Woman stands beneath two portraits

Monday, September 25, 2017

Oklahoma City – From the State Fair to the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services is honoring deaf or hard or hearing Oklahomans for Deaf Awareness Week.

The purpose of annual celebration, officially September 24 through 30 in Oklahoma...

Boy wearing cowboy hat rides mechanical bull.

Monday, September 25, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. –Oklahoma School for the Blind students are saddling up again September 27 for their 13th Western Heritage Day.

The annual event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Silver Spur Western Lodge owned by Roy Webb in Haskell.

Webb donates his indoor arena, stage...

Woman helps seated woman write.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tulsa, Okla. – People who are adjusting to recent blindness or vision loss are encouraged to sign up for free training offered September 19- 21 in Tulsa.

The Training Adults Program goals are to adjust successfully to vision loss, and to work toward regaining independence and the ability...

Man wearing sunglasses plays keyboards

Friday, September 8, 2017

CLAREMORE, Okla. – People with vision loss and their families are invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Claremore Support Group for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Wednesday, September 20.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Claremore community Center, 2301...

Portrait of a woman

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Oklahoma City – Enid bank vice president and community leader April Danahy was recently elected chair of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services.

She previously served as vice chair of the board which governs the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. The agency serves more...

Asian woman

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Oklahoma City – Emily Cheng of Oklahoma City was recently appointed to the Commission for Rehabilitation Services by Governor Mary Fallin.

The commission is the governing board for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

DRS annually serves more than 83,400 Oklahomans...

Portrait of a man

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Oklahoma City – Brian Nickles was recently selected to lead the Disability Determination Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Nickles, from Norman, supervises approximately 350 employees who determine medical eligibility for citizens who apply for...

Woman holds white cane

Friday, June 23, 2017

NEWCASTLE, Okla. – Fear of losing her remaining vision once held Sonya Cochran back more than deaf-blindness, a condition many associate with noted American author, lecturer and humanitarian Hellen Keller.

Today Cochran, from Newcastle, is beginning a job search while serving as 2017...

Portrait of young boy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind third-grader Hunter Kelley earned a third place award in the apprentice category at the national Braille Challenge competition held Saturday, June 17, in Los Angeles.

Kelley represented Oklahoma Braille-users in a field that included 1,127...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – Middle school, junior high and high school students with disabilities are registering now for Science, Technology Engineering, Math (STEM) training offered free of charge this summer.

The Transition program in the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services will partner...

Standing woman talks to woman using computer screen wit alrge text

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY –Legally blind youth and adults have four opportunities this summer to develop adaptive skills, confidence and more independence at free, week-long training programs offered by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Now in its 15th year, DRS’ Adult Blind Living...

Young woman stands and plays saxophone with 20 seated students playing musical instruments

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. –Oklahoma School for the Blind’s jazz band is the 2A state champions for the second year in a row.

Chris Ferrell is the OSB band director.

His students earned superior ratings from all the judges in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association competition...

One adult and six kids pet white dog

Monday, May 22, 2017

SULPHUR, Okla. – When Jasmine, the therapy dog, arrived at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in February, the students naturally knew what to do.

They loved her.

Jasmine and her adult humans, however, still had a few things to learn.

A Labrador-mix breed, Jasmine had been...

Woman stands beside man who holds Oklahoma-shaped award

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TULSA, Okla. – The crowd cheered when Joy Ride Taxi owner Patrick Cuningkin accepted his Community Employer Award for hiring multiple jobseekers who are blind.

Staff from Visual Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, presented the award to Cuningkin...

OSB graduates

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MUSKOGEE — Oklahoma School for the Blind seniors will graduate in a commencement ceremony that will be held at noon on May 24, in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street.

The OSB 2017 graduating class includes Justin Whitmire of Durant, Jacob King of Muskogee, Patelin Cogswell of...

Dawn Jolynn Sledd senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Ada native Dawn Jolynn Sledd will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Sledd is the daughter of Donna and William Saaty of Ada, and Jason and Robin...

Calise LeeAnn Cox senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Ardmore natives Calise LeeAnn Cox and Aaron Cole Hutchins will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Cox is the daughter of Quwannialisha Thrash and...

Maxwell Quentin Graves senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Sapulpa native Maxwell Quentin Graves will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Graves is the son of Susan and Mark Graves of Sapulpa. He was on...

Savannah Violet Schlegel senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Spencer native Savannah Violet Schlegel will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Schlegel is the daughter of Lou Ellen and David Schlegel of...

Amanda Lee Pack senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Sulphur native Amanda Lee Pack will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Pack is the daughter of Scarlet and Chris Pack of Sulphur. She plays...

Eleazar De La Torre Ledezma senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Tulsa native Eleazar De La Torre Ledezma will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Ledezma is the son of Monica De La Torre and Berna Ledezma of...

Michael Lorenzo Gordon senior picture

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SULPHUR — Wagoner native Michael Lorenzo Gordon will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Gordon is the son of Marie and Joe Gordon of Wagoner. He played...

head shots of the eight seniors

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SULPHUR — The Senior Class of 2017 will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 25, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

The OSD 2017 graduating class includes Calise LeeAnn Cox, Michael Lorenzo Gordon,...

Four adults pose in ffront of protratis on a wall

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Commission for Rehabilitation Services selected Noel Tyler on May 8 to lead the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services as agency director.

Tyler had served as interim director since February 11, 2016.

“Noel Tyler has served with distinction and honor as...

Three young people and one adult sit on a staircase

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SULPHUR, Okla. – The Oklahoma School for the Deaf recently brought home third place in the national Battle of the Books playoff competition at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Last year, the OSD team placed 8th among 8 teams that advanced to the national level.

“This year...

Young woman with hands on shoulders of young boy with a gift and medal, young woman with a medal, young woman with a gift and medal

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Three Oklahoma School for the Blind students will compete this June in the national Braille Challenge® finals competition in Los Angeles.

Braille Challenge® is a national program sponsored by the Braille Institute, a nonprofit organization that eliminates barriers caused...

Woman looks at large text on a handheld device

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa resident Felicia Jones is ready to testify about the transforming power of assistive technology at the open house for Visual Services’ new Assistive Technology Lab on May 5.

“They are going to see how far technology has come -- what people can do with technology on...

Tech-Now logo

Monday, April 24, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Oklahoma students with disabilities will battle it out in the Tech-Now State Competition from 9 am to 3 pm on May 4 at Norman North High School, 1809 Stubbeman Ave., Norman.

Of the 350 students enrolled the Tech-Now classes, approximately 200 students from 20 high schools...

Three young women and one adult

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Correctly spelling tough words, such as lassitude and lascivious, earned Oklahoma School for the Blind competitors a first place schools trophy at the 19th Annual Creek County Literacy Program’s Spelling Bee.
The competition was held at Sapulpa High School on Thursday,...

Six young people and two adults wearing Battle of the Boos tshirts

Friday, April 14, 2017

SULPHUR, Okla. – One of two Oklahoma School for the Deaf’s teams is headed to Washington, DC April 22 through 25 to compete in playoffs at Gallaudet University’s Battle of the Books. Both teams advanced to the playoff level following preliminary competition.

Only 16 teams among the 84...

Left photo: young woman wears medal around her neck. Right photo: Young woman with hands on shoulders of young boy wearing medal and holding two boxes

Thursday, April 13, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. –– Oklahoma School for the Blind awarded top prizes to Braille Challenge® winners at the regional competition held at the school campus in Muskogee.

Braille Challenge® is a national program sponsored by the Braille Institute, a nonprofit organization that eliminates...

Man baits a fishing hook for a small boy

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma School for the Blind students, faculty and friends will dedicate the Ray Kirk Memorial Sensory Garden at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 21.

Elada Kirk, Ray Kirk’s widow, will be an honored guest at the dedication.

The public is welcome to attend the ceremony on...

4 young people hold certificates and silver trophies.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf’s Academic Team competed April 1-3 at Gallaudet University’s national Academic Bowl for Deaf and hard of hearing high school students in Washington, DC.

The OSD team was one of 20 in the U.S. that won the right to advance to the national...

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking to crowd

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Two Oklahoma City firms were honored March 28 with the 2016 Employment Partner of the Year award during the People with Disabilities Awareness Day event at the Oklahoma state Capitol.

Dale Rogers Training Center and the Federal Aviation Administration Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center...

Bud Averyt will be at Awarenss Day

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chelsea’s Albert “Bud” Averyt will be among hundreds of Oklahomans with Disabilities and their supporters who will share their personal stories with state lawmakers during People with Disabilities Awareness Day 2017 set for March 28 at the Oklahoma state Capitol.

Early registration for...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services established a waiting list, effective March 13 at 5 p.m., that affects new applicants for vocational rehabilitation and employment services. Services will now be delayed to a group of applicants with the most severe disabilities...

Friday, February 17, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – Eight decades of employment success for blind business owners could end if House Bill 2230 is approved. The proposed legislation jeopardizes a successful federal-state employment program that has given blind business owners a chance to operate their own food service-related...

Young boy with a white cane

Friday, February 17, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee is pleased to announce that the school has received a $15,000 grant from The Kirschner Trust and will enable the school to make needed playground improvements not included in the state budget.

“We are so pleased to...

Woman hands gift bags to three young women with white canes

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. –Students from across the state will convene at Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee for the Oklahoma Regional Braille Challenge® competition on March 2.

Thirty-two Braille-readers are pre-registered for the contest, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on...

Woman reads braille on acrylic sheet over text on a wood plaque

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

TULSA, Okla. – Valentine’s Day shoppers are invited to pick up free cards with special Braille messages for loved ones at Tulsa Promenade Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, February 10.

Staff from Visual Services will combine outreach with public education on the first level of the...

Graphic: Chili pepper playing guitar

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – The Muskogee County Lions Club and Kiwanis Club of Muskogee will team up on Wednesday, February 22 for their 2017 Chili Day.

The public is invited to come to the annual fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Muskogee Bedouin Shrine Temple located at 201 S. 6th Street...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – Homecoming festivities at Oklahoma School for the Deaf will kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday (January 28).

Nearly 300 people are expected on campus at 1100 E. Oklahoma Avenue in Sulphur for activities in OSD’s gymnasium.

"Homecoming is a very special event for OSD...

Two young teen girls

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SAPULPA, Okla. – Twenty-two students from the Oklahoma School for the Blind will help the Sapulpa Lion’s Club serve family style beans and chili at the organization’s annual fundraising dinner on Thursday, February 2.

The public is invited to taste the same popular recipes the Lions have...

Monday, January 9, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Commission for Rehabilitation Services was advised today (January 9) by Noel Tyler, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services interim director, that waiting lists will begin at 5 p.m. on January 9 for all but the most significantly disabled new applicants for vocational...