Press Releases 2019

Smiling woman holds a microphone and papers

Thursday, December 19, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Oklahoma School for the Blind teacher Faye Miller joins 4,786 teachers across the United States who have renewed their certifications as National Board Certified Teachers.

Miller was recertified recently as a National Board Certified Teacher for Exceptional Needs...

Text over prosthetic ankle in flaming tennis shoe. Business leaders meet talented, loyal workers at Ready, Set, Hired! DRS logo. Career Opportunity Expo.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma employers like OGE, FAA and Ditchwitch are already signed up for the first Career Opportunity Expo 2020: Ready, Set Hired! on February 11.

Employers are invited to showcase their businesses and recruit talented, loyal job candidates who are ready to work.

...

Smiling woman

Thursday, December 5, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla. – National Deafdigest Sports has named Angie Shelby, Oklahoma School for the Deaf volleyball coach, as 2019 coach of the year.

The organization selected Shelby, who graduated from OSD in 1999, as the top division 2 coach for all schools for the deaf in the nation.

“...

Businessleaders meet talented, loyal workers at Ready, Set, Hired! DRS logo. Career Opportunity Expo. Text in front of graphic of prosthetic ankle in tennis show on fire.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Business leaders aren't missing an opportunity to recruit an untapped pool of talented, loyal job candidates. They're joining OGE, FAA and Ditchwitch to reserve exhibit space now at the first Career Opportunity Expo 2020: Ready, Set Hired! on February 11 in Oklahoma City.

...

Woman holding award

Monday, November 18, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Blind Teacher Tera Webb from Tahlequah recently won the Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year award from the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Adapted PE modifies activities to make them equally...

Two smiling, young men with medals around their necks and white canes

Friday, November 8, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – A record-breaking 33 contestants will convene Thursday, November 14, for the seventh Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest hosted by Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.

Students from across Oklahoma will start competing at 10 a.m. to earn points and win prizes.

...

Five people stand with a woman holding a certificate in a conference room

Thursday, October 24, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Muskogee leaders and legislators recently recognized Oklahoma School for the Blind’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, Laura Leatherman from Muskogee.

Leatherman, who is a fourth-grade teacher at OSB, was selected for the honor by a committee of co-workers.

She is a...

Five young people wearing helmets stand beside their bikes

Thursday, October 24, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf Physical Education Teacher Angie Shelby received a grant from the Outride Foundation to encourage middle school students to ride bikes.

OSD received 12 bikes, 12 helmets and an air pump through the comprehensive youth cycling education...

Young man leans on fence in front of football field and stadium

Saturday, October 12, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Each October, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services chooses a spokesperson for National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Linden Robertson, age 25, is a successful DRS Vocational Rehabilitation client with dyslexia. He is now in training for an inbound...

OSD Homecoming Court

Thursday, October 10, 2019

SULPHUR, OKLA. -- The Oklahoma School for the Deaf hosted the Arkansas School for the Deaf in the 2019 OSD Football and Volleyball Homecoming games on Oct. 6th..

For a historic first, the OSD football team played their first-ever night game on the OSD campus. The OSD team shined bright...

Students play trombones and trumpets in front of a mall store

Monday, October 7, 2019

TULSA, OKLA. – The award-winning Oklahoma School for the Blind Jazz Band will perform a free concert on Monday, October 15, at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

OSB’s Jazz Band earned 2-A state championships in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Jazz Band will perform at 6:00 p.m. in front...

Woman holds white cane and stands in front of man holding white cane

Monday, October 7, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ White cane users with visual disabilities and sighted supporters will celebrate National White Cane Safety Awareness Day on October 15 with a stroll through downtown Oklahoma City.

Visual Services, the event host, invites the public to show support from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m....

Smiling young man wearing bow tie

Friday, September 20, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Baylor College of Medicine Clinical Audiologist Dr. James Connor Sullivan is an official spokesperson for Deaf Awareness Week, celebrated worldwide from September 23 through 29.

Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing staff selected Sullivan, age 27, to represent central...

Smiling woman stands in the doorway of an office with a desk and pictures on the wall

Friday, September 20, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla – Oklahoma School for the Deaf Director of Education Manda Chebultz is an official spokesperson for Deaf Awareness Week, celebrated worldwide from September 23 through 29.

The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week’s purpose is to increase public awareness of Deaf culture, heritage...

Man wearing cap holds a large bag over his shoulder

Friday, September 20, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – First Level Apprentice Electrician Jimmy Richardson from Tulsa is an official spokesperson for Deaf Awareness Week, celebrated worldwide from Sept. 23 to Sept. 29.

The purpose of Deaf Awareness Week is to increase public awareness of Deaf culture, heritage and American...

2 cowboys and 1 cowgirl pose with young woman and young man holding a white cane between a horse and wagon and stagecoach

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oklahoma School for Blind students will saddle up again on September 25 for their annual Western Heritage Day.

Roy and Rose Anna Webb host the popular event, which features a rodeo arena, stage coach, hay wagon and fish pond, at their Silver Spur Western Lodge in Haskell...

Smiling woman

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Oklahoma City – Emily Cheng, director of disability services and diversity at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, completed her first term as chair of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services. She will continue to serve as a Commission member.

The Commission governs the Oklahoma...

Smiling man with glasses wearing suit and tie

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Oklahoma City – Sulphur banker and former Oklahoma state representative Wes Hilliard was elected vice chair at the first meeting of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services he attended as a new commissioner.

Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka appointed...

Smiling man wearing suit and tie

Friday, September 13, 2019

Oklahoma City – Edmond audiologist, author and researcher Jace Wolfe, Ph.D., was elected chair of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services on September 9.

The Commission governs the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

DRS annually serves 83,500 Oklahomans with...

Two women and a man

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tracy Brigham, administrator for DRS’ Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired participated in the Governor’s Executive Development Program for state officials that was held July 15 to July 19.

The program is a customized, extensive week long program designed around five...

Smiling man wearing a suit

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall has appointed local banker and former Oklahoma state representative Wes Hilliard to the Oklahoma Commission for Rehabilitation Services. The Commission is the governing board for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation...

Young man carries slice of tree trunk

Friday, June 21, 2019

INDIAHOMA, Okla. – Seven young jobseekers who apparently enjoy hard work and tent camping turned out for paid employment at summer camp last week at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Indianola.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services offered the innovative on-the-...

Smiling man with a beard

Friday, June 21, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla. – Chris Dvorak from Ardmore will serve as the new superintendent at Oklahoma School for the Deaf.

OSD is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

“Chris became the high school principal at Oklahoma School for the Deaf in August 2016 and has...

Smiling woman with glasses

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – Bartlesville native Beverly Bates once struggled to find a job where skills and work ethic were more important than her vision and hearing losses.

Bates, age 54, was born with profound hearing loss and developed Stargardt macular dystrophy, which causes progressive...

Woman hugs smiling woman with award

Monday, June 3, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Career planning and on-the-job training will continue for Oklahoma students with disabilities when school ends, thanks to Transition School to Work.

Students from across the state are signing up for innovative job training programs offered free of charge by Vocational...

Eight photos of OSD graduating seniors

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

SULPHUR – Eight seniors from Oklahoma School for the Deaf will graduate in a commencement ceremony set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, in the OSD gym, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

The OSD 2019 graduating class valedictorian was Ezra Hart and the salutatorian was Haden Denney....

3 smiling young people

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Three Oklahoma School for the Blind champions will represent the state in the national Braille Challenge® competition in Los Angeles this summer.

The finalists are: Katelynn Zampella, Richelle Zampella, both from Muskogee, and Hunter Kelley from Claremore.

The OSB...

Woman stands at a podium with man to her side

Friday, May 3, 2019

DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt presented a certificate for physical accessibility on April 26 to the Northeast Area Workforce Development Board for achieving Access for All at the American Job Center in Bartlesville.

The Northeast Area is the second local area to earn the...

The senior class in their cap and gowns.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — The Oklahoma School for the Blind is proud to announce the 2019 Senior Class will graduate on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Richelle Zampella is this year's Valedictorian and Ariana Richardson...

Portrait of Richardson in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Enid native, Ariana Richardson, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

She is the Salutatorian for this year's class.

After graduation,...

Portrait of Hilton in his cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Keota native, Conner Hilton, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation, Hilton plans to work and support himself.

This year’...

Portrait of Matthews in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Muskogee native, Jillian Matthews, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation, Matthews plans on pursuing a performing arts career...

Portrait of Nick Jackson in cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Muskogee native, Nicholas Jackson-Morrison, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation, Jackson-Morrison plans to attend Connors...

Portrait of Zampella in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Muskogee native, Richelle Zampella, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Zampella is this year's Valedictorian.

After graduation, she...

Portrait of Fenton in his cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Oklahoma City native, Preston Fenton, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Fenton plans to either pursue a career in Music education or a...

Portrait of Decker in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Oklahoma City native, Raven Decker, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

Decker not only attended OSB, but she also attended Elite Beauty...

Portrait of Thomas in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Oklahoma City native, Tai’Yauri Thomas, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation, Thomas plans to attend the University of...

Portrait of Lewis in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Oklahoma City native, Trinity Lewis, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

While at OSB Lewis was in cheer, DECA, FCCLA, Student Council...

Portrait of Levens in her cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Owasso native, Malerie Levens, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

After graduation, Levens plans to attend college to become a special...

Portrait of Gentry in his cap and gown

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Spiro native, Mike Gentry, will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Blind on May 16. The commencement ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in the OSB auditorium, at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee.

His future plans include becoming a professional piano player for his church...

Young man watches young woman pour pancake batter from a pitcher

Friday, April 26, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Fifty-six Oklahoma School for the Blind students will volunteer May 1 for the school’s
annual “OSB Gives Back Day.”

Following a panel discussion about the importance of volunteering, four groups of students and sponsors will head out from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.to...

10 young people stand in front of four adults behind desks on a platform

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall (Republican–District 22) from Atoka honored a trifecta of championship teams from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf on the House floor Monday, April 8.

The school is located in McCall’s district. He is a frequent...

Photos of 3 students wearing medals on ribbons around their necks

Monday, April 1, 2019

MUSKOGEE, Okla. –– Braille literacy is the key to education and eventually employment for many students with vision impairments.

That’s why 30 Oklahoma students competed and 18 of them earned top awards in the Braille Challenge® regional competition held at Oklahoma School for the Blind...

Woman hands document to man

Friday, March 22, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY –– More than 830 Oklahomans with disabilities and supporters came to the state Capitol March 12 to celebrate the 24th People with Disabilities Awareness Day and honor disability award winners.

Those who were recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services...

A group of people signing at a table

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla. –– Oklahoma School for the Deaf recently hosted an American Sign Language Immersion Camp, which brought ASL to life for 164 students learning sign language at six high schools and seven colleges.

Students from two high schools and one college in Texas participated in the...

Smiling boy holds equipment

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

MUSKOGEE – Thirty students from across the state are pre-registered to compete at Oklahoma School for the Blind’s 17th annual Oklahoma Regional Braille Challenge on Thursday, March 7 in Muskogee.

The contest will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the OSB campus at 3300 Gibson Street...

Smiling man in suit and tie holds very large scissors

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla. – Sulphur educator, community leader, friend and family man Larry Hawkins passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, February 23, after a brief illness.

Hawkins is the only person ever appointed to a second term as superintendent of Oklahoma School for the Deaf, which dates...

Graphic: Cartoon person in a wheelchair

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

DRS regrets that we must cancel the Self Advocate Leadership Training scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, due to unsafe driving conditions.

Graphic: Person rolling fast in a wheelchair

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Oklahoma Self Advocacy Network trainers were forced to cancel their training today, Feb. 7, at DRS State Office due to icy weather. We apologize for any inconvenience. Participants who were registered on that date may contact Cathy Martin at 405-951-3478 or...

Graphic: Cartoon person in a wheelchair.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Oklahoma Self Advocacy Network will offer three free, training sessions to help disability advocates sharpen self-advocacy and leadership skills. Expert trainers with disabilities from Oklahoma People First will teach these training sessions.

Meet the trainers. Practice your message....

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