Press Releases 2018

Four people in business clothes pose with a check

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. – The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma has awarded a generous grant to purchase 776 hearing aids through the statewide Senior Citizens Hearing Aid Program operated by the Oklahoma School for the Deaf.

As a result, 572 low-income seniors with significant hearing losses...

Two smiling young men wear medals and hold while canes used for travel by people who are blind

Thursday, December 6, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Thirty Oklahoma students competed for awards at the sixth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest competition hosted recently in Muskogee by the Oklahoma School for the Blind.

OSB invited certified orientation and mobility specials and certified teachers of the visually impaired...

Logo: DRS with circle around the D, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Department of Rehabilitation Services has transferred 3,424 job seekers with significant disabilities from waiting lists to active caseloads since January 1.

DRS’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services staff began providing career planning and employments...

Young man followed by a woman uses white cane travels on sidewalk

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind expects 32 young white cane users to compete in their sixth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest on Thursday, November 15.

Cane Quest challenges students to use proper travel techniques and cane skills to complete routes in their communities.

...
Smiling woman wearing glasses

Friday, November 9, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Commission for Rehabilitation Services appointed Melinda Fruendt as executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services on Monday (November 5).

Fruendt, who was briefly interim director, will lead more than 1,000 state employees who served 97,864...

Five ghoulish adults pose in Halloween costumes

Monday, October 29, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf has rescheduled their annual Fall Festival on Tuesday, November 6, due to the threat of rain on the original date. The community is invited to enjoy free trick-or-treating and some seasonal activities that may involve a fee, including hayrides, games...

Two women serve spahetti to young people at the front of a line.

Monday, October 22, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Spaghetti and meatballs will top the menu on Monday, November 5, when the Masons of Trinity Lodge #502 host their annual fundraiser to benefit Oklahoma School for the Blind.

OSB students will assist the Masons in serving dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge at...

Man with white cane holds arm of woman with White Cane Day sign

Friday, October 12, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Saturday, October 13, will mark the 10th year the Heartland Council of the Blind has celebrated National White Cane Safety Awareness Day in Oklahoma City.

Activities focus on the importance of the white cane as a tool to achieve independence and a symbol of people with...

Five students play saxophones in a mall

Friday, October 12, 2018

TULSA, OKLA. – The Oklahoma School for the Blind will celebrate National White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Monday, October 15, at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

The free event is open to the public.

Woodland Hills Mall is located at 7021 S. Memorial Road.

OSB faculty will...

Young students play sazaphones in a shopping mall.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

TULSA, OKLA. – The Oklahoma School for the Blind will celebrate National White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Monday, October 15, at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

The free event is open to the public.

Woodland Hills Mall is located at 7021 S. Memorial Road.

OSB faculty will...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Department of Rehabilitation Services is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by transferring approximately 1,800 job seekers with significant disabilities from waiting lists to active Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services caseloads...

Smiling man and woman with trees in the background.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sulphur, Okla. – Trudy and Jimmy Mitchell, a married couple who met in 1996 at Oklahoma School for the Deaf, are 2018 Deaf Awareness Week spokespersons for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week, September 24-30, is to increase public...

Six teenagers and two elementary-age students stand outside in a grassy yard with trees in the background.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sulphur, Okla. -- Oklahoma School for the Deaf Indians will host the Kansas School for the Deaf Jackrabbits on Saturday September 29, for OSD’s homecoming game.

Volleyball will be at the Ken Brown Gymnasium on OSD campus starting at noon. Football homecoming crowning will start at 6:00 p...

Hands support happy teenage Black girl sitting in saddle on horseback

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind students can’t wait for their 14th Western Heritage Day on September 26.

More than 100 volunteers are expected to help at the annual event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Silver Spur Western Lodge in Haskell.

Lodge owners Roy and Rose Anna...

Photo of Emily Cheng

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Emily Cheng, of Oklahoma City, was elected Monday to be chairwoman of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The commission is the governing board for DRS, an agency that annually serves more than 83,400 Oklahomans with...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. – The Oklahoma School the Deaf School is re-launching an in-home, family support program for children in Oklahoma with hearing loss ages 3-6 years.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education funds Project ECCO (Enriching Children’s Communications Opportunities) to help...

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. –The Oklahoma School the Deaf School kicked off the first day of school on Monday (August 27) without incident.

OSD delayed enrollment for one week due to a telephone threat to the school.

The threat did not deter parents from enrolling students Sunday afternoon...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sulphur, Okla. – The FBI identified a person in Los Angeles who confessed to making a threatening phone call to Oklahoma School for the Deaf on August 16.

OSD administrators quickly closed down the campus in response and postponed enrollment and other activities to ensure the safety of...

Smiling man wears business suit and tie

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – Jace Wolfe, Ph.D., from Edmond, was recently appointed to serve on the Commission for Rehabilitation Services by Senator Mike Schulz, president pro-tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.

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

Portraits of two women

Monday, July 23, 2018

Oklahoma City ─ July 26 will mark the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This landmark legislation, signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, prohibits discrimination and guarantees the civil rights of people with disabilities.

In Oklahoma, 16.1% of the...

Man uses sign language for the deaf at table with six small balls on rectangular object

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

ADA, Okla. – Donald Gore only missed six days in the fourteen years he worked at Folger’s Drive-In in Ada.

“I like to work and be on time,” Gore said. “It’s no fun to stay around the house and be bored.”

Problems with increasing vision and hearing loss led Gore to seek help from...

Smiling woman seated at office desk.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

ENID, Okla. – Two years ago, Alisha Norwood was a client on the other side of the desk at the Visual Services office in Enid.

Born with a visual disability called nystagmus, she needed help with career planning and employment.

Nystagmus causes rapid, involuntary eye movement and...

Smiling  woman holds clothing on a hanger.

Monday, May 21, 2018

TULSA, Okla. – Dress for Success Tulsa and Visual Services are helping clients of both organizations, Yessica Romero from Broken Arrow and Marilyn Harris from Tulsa, get nine months of on-the-job experience and paychecks.

Romero and Harris started work on January 29.

Their job...

Seven people seated at restaurant table fingerspell to communicate with deaf people.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. – An exciting program called Teach Oklahoma is encouraging bright junior and senior students to consider teaching in Oklahoma as a viable career choice.

Teach Oklahoma is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The curriculum explores various...

Young smiling woman wearing medal on a ribbon stands on track in stadium.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. – The beating spikes on the rough track, the roar of the crowd, the pop of the starting gun and the booming announcements over the loudspeakers mean that it is track season in Oklahoma.

These are sounds that most people have typically experienced, but Emily Cavello and...

Smiling young woman seated in desk chair talks on the phone

Monday, May 7, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – After beloved receptionist Patsy Perceful retired in December, Oklahoma School for Blind Superintendent Rita Echelle needed another exceptional person for that key position.

Trinity Lewis, who works the afternoon shift Monday through Thursday is not the only person...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Waurika native Allie Herrera will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation,  Herrera plans to study...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Madill native Brianna Neese will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Neese is this year's Valedictorian.  After...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Tecumseh native Bryce Bristow will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation, Briston plans to go straight...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Mustang native Gage Cole will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation, Cole plans to work for the...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Sulphur native Grace Woodall will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation, Woodall plans to study nursing...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Ada native Hailey Billey will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation, Billey plans to study hotel...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Sulphur native Jaleesa Osborn will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Osborn was the Senior Class Vice President....

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Bartlesville native Jenita Felker will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Felker is this year's Salutatorian and...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Ada native Justice Glory will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation, Glory plans to become a welder....

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Ada native Kaitlyn Bean will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Bean was the Senior Class Treasurer. After graduation...

14 portraits of the Senior Class.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Oklahoma School for the Blind is proud to announce the Senior Class of 2018 will graduate on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

This year’s graduating class includes Brittany Marie Bales of Muskogee,...

11 head shots of the senior class.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Oklahoma School for the Deaf is proud to announce the Senior Class of 2018 will graduate at 1 pm on May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

The OSD 2018 graduating class includes Kaitlyn Bean of Ada, Hailey Billey of Ada,...

Senior class picture

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. — Checotah native Taylor Tweedy will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

Tweedy is the Senior Class Secretary.  After...

Brennan in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Muskogee native, Brianna Marie Brennan, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Brennan enrolled at OSB in the 8th grade. She attended Indian Capital...

Bales in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Muskogee native, Brittany Marie Bales, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Bales began her education at OSB in preschool.  She plans on going to...

Hughes in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Broken Bow native, Cameron Blake Hughes, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Hughes attended OSB for 12 years as well as attended Indian Capitol...

Harris in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Sallisaw native, Gunner Levi Harris, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Harris began attending OSB in preschool.  After graduation, he would...

Stout in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Oklahoma City native, Halle Miree Stout, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation Stout is planning on attending college at Oklahoma...

Felkins in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Collinsville native, Holly E. Felkins, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Felkins began attending OSB in 5th grade.  She was given an...

Marsh in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Fairfax native, Jake E. Marsh, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation, Marsh plans on attending OSB transition program and  is...

Phelps in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Valliant native, Jonathon Blayne Phelps, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

He also attended the Surface Careers at Indian Capitol Technology...

Owens in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Broken Arrow native, Joseph Michael Anthony Owens, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Owens is this year's Salutatorian. He  began his education...

Bookout in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Broken Arrow native, Julie Bookout, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

During her high school experience, Bookout completed the OSB Transition...

Peters in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Ponca City native, Kinzie Elizabeth Peters, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

During her senior year, Peters work at P.A.W.S Animal Shelter as...

Rodriguez in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Sapulpa native, Lorenzo Alberto Rodriguez, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

He attended OSB from his 9th grade through his senior year....

Graber in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Haskell native, Sara Michelle Graber, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Graber started OSB in preschool and will complete her high school...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Sapulpa native, Shaylin Wells, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Wells started OSB in the 5th grade.  She has gain work experience by shredding...

Raines in cap and gown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Muskogee, Okla. — Tahlequah native, Thomas Dean Raines, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at noon in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Raines plans on attending Indian Capital Technology Center after...

Young woman with medal and award

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

MUSKOGEE Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind sophomore Kaylee Ragon earned first place for her children’s literature presentation at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA’s) state STAR competition.

The event was held at the Oklahoma Department of Career and...

Three students play in a water fountain in a courtyard.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Students with visual disabilities are encouraged to register now for Oklahoma School for the Blind’s tuition-free summer camps.

The theme is “STEAM into summer with Summer Camp!”

The acronym STEAM stands for high-quality education opportunities in Science,...

Three young women pose with one very large and two small trophies.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

SAPULPA, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind’s Braille Bees beat their own 2017 performance, winning the top prize in the 2018 Spelling Bee held April 5 by the Creek County Literacy Program.

This was the first time Richelle Zampella, Kaylee Ragon and Brianna Brennan won the overall...

Two smiling women stand with on on right holding flag in a case and framed certificate.

Friday, April 6, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – Karen Reed, Oklahoma School for the Blind compliance officer, earned the 2017 Commission Award from the members of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services.

Commission Chair April Danahy presented the award to Reed at a commission meeting in Oklahoma City with co-workers...

Thursday, April 5, 2018

TULSA, Okla. -- Visual Services will hold a free job and resource fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, April 25, for jobseekers who are blind or visually impaired. The public is invited to come to the 10th floor at 907 S. Detroit in Tulsa.

Space is currently available for employers who...

Bearded man wearing suit and tie holds gian scissors

Thursday, March 22, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf Superintendent Larry Hawkins was honored March 14 by family, friends, students and co-workers with a surprise building dedication.

Following a program in the OSD gymnasium led by his daughter Jill Hawkins, Larry Hawkins and his family cut a...

Friday, March 16, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin joined more than 750 disability advocates at the 24th People with Disabilities Awareness Day on March 13 at the state Capitol.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Service hosted the event, which included 76 disability-related exhibitors and 120...

Photo: Serious man in dark jacket

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Oklahoma City – Innovative ideas that improve customer service and benefit the public earned Brian Nickles from Norman a Trail Blazer Award from the Dallas Region of the Social Security Administration.

Nickles, who is Disability Determination Services administrator in Oklahoma, received...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Vocational Rehabilitation office in Durant will relocate on Thursday, March 1, to room 101 in the Russell Building at 1422 N. 5th on the Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.

The office is located on the first floor of the Russell Building, which is across from the Student...

Group of happy young people stand in front of a building entrance.

Friday, February 2, 2018

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 Trusts.

The grant will be used to expand the transportation program provided OSB to take residential students home for the...

Young man wearing sunglasses and apron stands beside young woman wearing glasses and an apron who holds a dishcloth.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SAPULPA, Okla. – Since 1952, the Sapulpa Lion’s Club members have prepared their family style beans and chili recipes for friends and neighbors who come back every year.

Twenty-five Oklahoma School for the Blind students will help serve at the annual fundraising dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p...

Smiling woman wearing suit

Monday, January 8, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY – OKLAHOMA CITY – Tracy Brigham from Oklahoma City was appointed administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Visual Services division, which annually helps more than 1,800 Oklahomans who are blind or visually impaired to reach their goals for employment and...

Thursday, January 4, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY - Proposed rule changes potentially affecting several programs for Oklahomans with disabilities will be the focus of a public hearing held by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council.

The public is encouraged to attend the...