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February 2013 kicked off the First Session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature and with it came many bills
that will impact people with disabilities, state agencies that serve them and state employees. With the
dreaded sequester now in place, and for all practical purposes remaining with us in the foreseeable future,
everyone is concerned and watching to see what will happen on the legislative front.
Disability legislation of interest:
HB-1264 would extend the termination date of Rethinking Special Education, Competency and
Transition Task Force until May 31, 2014. This bill passed during the previous legislative session by Rep.
Nelson was intended to provide a comprehensive study of current Special Education services and practices in our state and could potentially have great impact on these going forward. The bill passed the
House 93-3. The bill has cleared the Senate Education Committee and is ready for a Senate vote.
HB-1555 titled the Steve Stokes Act would assure the $500 maximum fine for violations of disability parking. It provides that all municipalities, with authority, to establish and pass ordinances implementing the provisions of state law related to disabled parking. Additionally, the bill requires that 20% of fines collected be transmitted to the Department of Public Safety. An amendment has been offered to raise this to 25%. The bill passed in the House and has moved to the Senate for consideration.
HB-1612 would provide a tax refund check-off for Hearts of Hearing, an organization that sponsors cochlear implants for children with hearing loss. The bill passed in the House and has moved to the Senate
SB-251 provides that with regard to the End of Instruction tests required for high school graduation
at both the School for the Blind and the School for the Deaf, reasonable accommodation determinations
for students, who have individualized education programs or Section 504 plans, would be made by the
superintendent of the applicable school. A committee substitute removed the language in the original bill
and provides instead that OSB and OSD may order and administer tests and receive student test results
for the EOI tests. This bill has passed in both houses and has been signed into laws by the Governor.
Written by Linda Jaco, Director of Sponsored Programs, with legislative information provided by Jean Jones in the DRS Legislative Update.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech Director, Linda Jaco, will visit Capitol Hill in May to promote the good work of several programs serving Oklahomans.
To Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Director Linda Jaco for receiving the Oklahoma State University President’s Leadership & Service Recognition Outstanding Staff of the Year award!
Cheryl Cain, an Oklahoma Department of Health employee, recently used the Alternative Financing Program (AFP) to purchase hearing aids. Cheryl had been dealing with hearing loss for the past 3 to 4 years, and without the low interest bank loan, would not have been able to obtain the high-tech hearing aids that most effectively can help her.
“My job required me to interact with people, often in noisy environments. It is embarrassing to ask someone to repeat questions or ask people to repeat what they have said,” Cheryl said.
She often misunderstood what was being said, or completely mistook the content.
“In my profession as a surveyor for the health department, accuracy is vital, as well as in my personal life communicating with family and friends. Being able to effectively communicate in both settings would not have been possible without the loan program.”
Cheryl’s outcome of the purchase of her hearing aids has been life changing. She is able to work more effectively and interact more easily with family and friends.
“My dad has profound hearing loss, and I’ve seen the isolation and frustration he has dealt with not having help earlier in his life, as far as getting better hearing devices. Thank you so much for helping me better my life!” said Cheryl.
With the help of ABLE Tech, OkAT Foundation and BancFirst, the application process is made easy. For more information on the AFP, call Shelley Gladden at 888-885-5588.
Call us to find out about accessibility built into Windows products.
New features in Windows 8:
• Touch-based interface
• Quick access to accessibility features through Ease of Access
• Improved “Narrator” screen reader built in
• Easier to use Magnifier
• Easier to access features like high contrast mode, full screen magnification, Narrator
ABLE Tech has a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet available for hands-on demonstrations. Call to schedule an appointment, and look for trainings soon!
This team has won an iPad, protective case, and apps for a total of $800 to use with children, age birth to 3 years, in the Craig County area.
Some of the apps they chose include Proloquo2Go for speech/communication, Infant Visual Stimulation for vision, and Baby Look Peekaboo for play interactions. The team will use the iPad as a piece of assistive technology to demonstrate to kids how they can accomplish tasks at home that they otherwise would not have been able to accomplish.
Thank you, Craig County, for your hard work!
Sandra Stevenson, Assistive Technology Professional and Program Manager for Oklahoma AgrAbility, conducted a hands-on, interactive training for six 4-H Club members and six adults in Delaware County in conjunction with Family Consumer Sciences Educator, Barbara Denney, and 4-H/Youth Educator, Debra Gaines, on February 13. Participants learned about proper disability etiquette, people-first language, and simple grip accommodations. Each practiced tailoring grips for garden tools, hammers, and created their own Make-N-Take pencil grip.
Many people in Oklahoma—such as individuals who are nonverbal or very difficult to understand, families,
teachers, and speech pathologists—have found that the iPad with special communication apps is helping people communicate effectively. SoonerCare saw the value in providing iPads as speech-generating devices and has agreed to cover them when certain criteria have been met. ABLE Tech is serving as a vendor for the iPad. For additional information, please call Oklahoma ABLE Tech: 1-800-257-1705.
• AAC evaluation completed by a Speech-Language Pathologist (conducted within the last 6 months)
• Assignments of Benefits (AOB) Form
• Certificate of Medical Necessity signed by physician
• Copy of recipient’s SoonerCare card
• Prescription from physician
• Prior Authorization Form (HCA12A) signed by physician - If the physician has provided a separate prescription for the device, the provider may write “see attached” on the signature line in Section I of the HCA12A.
• Video on DVD or CD demonstrating client successfully
using the device
Audiobooks can be used as the primary format for students with a print disability or to supplement standard print, large print, digital format or braille. Students using audiobooks may spend less time struggling to read and comprehend written words. When used in conjunction with text, listening to audiobooks can increase word recognition, build vocabulary, and improve understanding.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech can help schools obtain textbooks and other reading materials needed for school in audio format from Learning Ally. With more than 75,000 audio textbooks and literature titles, Learning Ally has what your students need to learn as well as books that make great leisure reading. The Learning Ally library includes textbooks from top U.S. publishers, as well as language arts classics, popular fiction, test preparation, personal growth and more.
The speech is recorded with natural human voices, providing the advantage of natural pronunciation and pacing. Audiobooks can be read on PCs, tablets, and on DAISY players such as the Book Port Plus and the Classmate Reader.
Students whose print disability is due to low vision or blindness may qualify for a school-term loan of assistive technology to access audio and or/digital text. Liberty Braille loans iPads, and the AIM Center at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind loans DAISY players and refreshable braille devices in addition to many other devices and learning aids. In some cases, a trial loan through ABLE Tech may be required before equipment is issued for a school-term loan.
If you would like more information about how Accessible Instructional Materials and Assistive Technology can help your students, Contact ABLE Tech at 800-257-1705 and ask to speak to the AIM staff.
Measuring only 3 x 5 x 1 inches, Refreshabraille 18 is a braille display and keyboard that connects wirelessly via Bluetooth with mobile devices such as smart phones, PDAs, iPads and other tablet computers as well as PCs. The Refreshabraille’s keys and joystick control the functionality of the connected device. The Refreshabraille 18 battery operates about 30 hours on Bluetooth or up to 100 hours on USB.
Refreshabraille 18 works with the following configurations and devices:
• Common screen readers like Window-Eyes and JAWS for the PC running Windows.
• VoiceOver for the Mac (with 10.6 and later).
• iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (versions 4.2 and later).
• Android devices using version 4.1 and later.
• Screen readers like Talks and Mobile Speak for mobile phones and PDAs.
• Accessible mobile managers like Icon™ and Braille+™ already work with the display and do not require a screen reader.
• Refreshabraille works under Linux using the BRLTTY program. Version 4.0 or higher is required.
Refreshabraille 18 features:
• 18 eight dot Braille cells
• 18 cursor routing keys
• Forward and Back scroll buttons
• Eight dot braille input keyboard
• Five position joystick
• Aux space bar
• USB Serial and HID protocol support
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
• Protected USB connector design
• Reversible operation
ABLE Tech Device Loan: http://oec.okstate.edu/loan
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. http://tech.aph.org
April 29, 2013: Joining Forces Conference. Oklahoma City, Moore Norman Technology Center. http://2013jfconference.eventbrite.com.
May 4, 2013: Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma. Midwest City, Reed Center. http://www.dsaco.org.
May 7, 2013: Web Accessibility Higher Education Project Webinar.
May 16, 2013: GODSA Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City University’s Freede Wellness Center.
May 31, 2013: Oklahoma Parents Center Annual Conference. Midwest City, Reed Center. http://www.oklahomaparentscenter.org.
June 6-7, 2013: Cooperative Council Oklahoma School Administration Conference. Norman.
July 9-11, 2013: Oklahoma State Department of Education Vision 2020 Conference. Oklahoma City.
This publication is available in alternative formats; please call 1-800-257-1705 V/TTY for more info. The Oklahoma State University Seretean Wellness Center is the lead agency for Oklahoma ABLE Tech. The program is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration(RSA) of the U.S.Department of Education. Grant #H224A050036. This publication does not necessarily reflect the position of the policy of RSA/ED, and no official endorsement of the material should be inferred.