2401 N.W. 23rd Street, Suite 74
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
PHONE: (405) 521-4984 or
FAX: (405) 521-4910
E-MAIL: staff@okddc.ok.gov

The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council promotes quality services and programs that enable persons with developmental disabilities to realize increased independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in the community. Though not a provider of direct services, the Council has assisted thousands of Oklahomans to live, work, play, learn and worship in their own homes and in their own neighborhoods.

What are Developmental Disabilities?

Developmental Disabilities are severe disabilities, originating any time from birth through age 21, that are expected to last a lifetime. Developmental disabilities may be cognitive, physical, or a combination of both. While not always visible, these disabilities can result in serious limitations in everyday activities of life, including self-care, communication, learning, mobility, or being able to work or live independently. Such disabilities may require a combination of specialized, interdisciplinary, or generic services, and assistance for an extended duration.




About the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council

The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council was established in 1971 to help coordinate the efforts of state agencies and private organizations in Oklahoma in meeting the needs of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities and their families.

State Councils on Developmental Disabilities are authorized by the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (currently P.L. 106-402); the Oklahoma Council was established by an Executive Order of Governor David Hall. Although an independent agency, the Council is administratively located within the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Council’s designated state agency.

Select here for text only version of Council Brochure

Role of the Council

The Council promotes systemic change and helps build community capacity so persons with developmental disabilities can live, work, play and learn in the communities of their choice. This is accomplished by planning and implementing innovative service or support model programs, funding research, training advocates, and educating policymakers.

State Councils on Developmental Disabilities were formerly known as “Planning Councils.” “Planning” referred to the Council's responsibility to the Administration on Developmental Disabilities: to submit a State Plan. These plans outline the goals, objectives and activities each Council will undertake over the course of five years. Upon approval of the State Plan, Councils are provided with a federal grant to implement the activities listed in the plan.

The Mission

The mission of the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council is to lead and advocate for systems change in the field of Developmental Disabilities, leverage collaborations and partnerships toward improved services and supports for Oklahomans with developmental disabilities, and promote positive perceptions and attitudes toward people with developmental disabilities.

As part of this mission, the Council has as its mandate in concert with P.L. 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, to promote, through systemic change, capacity building, and advocacy activities, the development of a consumer- and family-centered comprehensive system and a coordinated array of services, supports and other assistance designed to achieve full community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.

State Plan

The Council is charged with the task of developing a Five Year State Plan and setting forth an agenda of goals and objectives to be achieved over this time period.

The Oklahoma State Plan for persons with developmental disabilities was developed to:

1. Provide assistance to State Councils on Developmental Disabilities and other State officials involved in the review and preparation of a State Plan under the requirements of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, “Federal Assistance to State Councils on Developmental Disabilities;”

2. Advise the citizens of Oklahoma about the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council, its goals, objectives, activities, programs and procedures, to enable them to participate in the planning process and to be knowledgeable about the manner in which the Council operates; and

3. Provide the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services with reliable, useful information upon which to base current and future national policy regarding the Basic State Grant Program and the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Select here for text only version of Executive Summary State Plan Fiscal Years 2007-11


Developmental Disability Defined

The term “developmental disability” means a severe, chronic disability of an individual five years of age or older that:

a) is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of physical and mental impairments;
b) is manifested before the person attains the age of 22;
c) is likely to continue indefinitely;
d) results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:
1. self-care;
2. receptive and expressive language;
3. learning;
4. mobility;
5. self-direction;
6. capacity for independent living;
7. economic self-sufficiency; and
e) reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, supports or other assistance that is of lifelong or extended duration and is individually planned and coordinated; except that, such term, when applied to infants and young children means individuals from birth to age five, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided.


About the Members

The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council is composed of volunteer members, all of whom are appointed by the governor. In accordance with federal law, at least 60 percent of the Council members are individuals with developmental disabilities, their relatives or guardians.

The Council also includes representatives of the principal state agencies which provide services to persons with developmental disabilities: the Aging Services Division and Developmental Disabilities Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, and the Special Education Section of the Oklahoma Department of Education.

Representatives of the Council's sibling organizations, the Oklahoma Disability Law Center and the Center for Interdisciplinary Learning and Leadership (formerly the University Affiliated Program of Oklahoma), also have seats on the Council. The remaining members of the Council represent service providers, advocacy organizations, universities, public agencies or associations.


Chair: Mark Liotta, Tulsa

Vice Chair: Lisa Copeland, Kingfisher

Secretary: Dee Banta, Tecumseh

Parliamentarian: Eric Dysart, Oklahoma City

Robin Arter, Duncan

William Beard, Ada

Kaleb Bennett, Oklahoma City

Lisa Copeland, Kingfisher

Brett Cunningham, Oklahoma City

Eric Dysart, Oklahoma City

Wanda Felty, Norman

Jennifer Fisher, Newalla

Dennis Galyon, Oklahoma City

Jennifer Karner, Oklahoma City

Helen Kutz, Norman

Trevin Lawson, Oklahoma City

Mindy Littlefield, Kellyville

Mark Maddy, Oklahoma City

Brian Maughan, Oklahoma City

Blair Schoeb, Oklahoma City

Ben Sherrer, Chouteau

Terry Trego, Woodward

ReJeana Wiebener, Alva

Agency Representatives

Department of Rehabilitation Services:
Teri Egner

State Department of Education:
Todd Loftin

Department of Human Services Aging Services:
Karen Poteet

Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services:
Joanne Goin

Department of Health:
John Corpolongo

Oklahoma Disability Law Center:
Martin Berry

Center for Learning and Leadership:
Valerie Williams

Council Staff

Executive Director:
Ann Trudgeon

Comptroller/Operations Director:
Mark Lewis

Planning & Grants Management Director:
Rick Barcus

Advocacy and Training Coordinator Adult Programs:
Erin Taylor

Advocacy and Training Coordinator Youth Programs:
Jenifer Randle

Public Education Coordinator:
Fara Taylor

The Governor's Office accepts applications to serve on many boards and commissions. If you are interested in serving on the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council please contact the Governor's Office. For more information and an application Click Here.


Meeting Dates

Friday, January 10
Friday, April 11
Friday, August 8
Friday, November 14

1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Dale Rogers Training Center
2501 N. Utah Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107





2014 Scheduled Committee Meetings

Executive Committee

January 10 - 12:00 p.m. at Junior League of OKC
February 14 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
March 14 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
April 11 - 11:00 a.m. at Junior League of OKC
May 9 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
June 5 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
July 11 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
August 8 - 12:00 p.m. at Dale Rogers
September 12 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
October 10 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office
November 14 - 12:00 p.m. at Dale Rogers December 12 - 1:00 p.m. at Council Office

Council Offices:

Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
2401 NW 23rd, Suite 74
Shepherd Mall Office Complex

Dale Rogers Training Center:

2501 N. Utah Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107

Finance Committee

July 11 - 12:00 p.m. at Council Office
August 8 - 11:00 a.m. at Dale Rogers
September 12 - 12:00 p.m. at Council Office
October 10 - 12:00 p.m. at Council Office
November 14 - 11:00 a.m. at Dale Rogers December 12 - 12:00 p.m. at Council Office

Council Offices:

Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
2401 NW 23rd, Suite 74
Shepherd Mall Office Complex

Dale Rogers Training Center:

2501 N. Utah Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107

State Plan Committee

March 14 - 10:00 a.m.
June 13 - 10:00 a.m.
September 12 - 10:00 a.m.
December 12 - 1:00 p.m.

All meetings held at the Council Office:

Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
2401 NW 23rd, Suite 74
Shepherd Mall Office Complex

Advocacy, Training and Outreach Committee

January 8 - 10:30 a.m.
March 31- 9:00 a.m.
July 30 - 10:30 a.m.
November 5 - 10:30 a.m.

All meetings held at the Council Office:

Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
2401 NW 23rd, Suite 74
Shepherd Mall Office Complex

2401 N.W. 23rd Street, Suite 74
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
PHONE: (405) 521-4984 or
FAX: (405) 521-4910
E-MAIL: Council Office



Current Activities


Working with the OKC Mayor’s Commission on disability concerns, the Council has been a long time supporter of Disability Employment Awareness Month.


Current Council Activities

One of the goals of the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities have control, choice and flexibility in the services and support they receive. The following activities and programs help to achieve this goal.


Oklahoma Early Access Autism Project

The goal of the Oklahoma Early Access Autism project is to provide and promote autism awareness and early detection of autism spectrum disorders. Early Access seeks to reach underserved populations who may not have access to traditional developmental screening services by partnering with local communities throughout the state to offer free autism screening and awareness. Early Access is family oriented and designed to provide services, resources, and an environment tailored to the needs of each child, family, and community.

For more information or to make a screening appointment contact:
Phone: (405) 295-5273
E-mail: Jeanne-Chambers@ouhsc.edu


Oklahoma Court Appointed Advocates for Vulnerable Adults

This program provides trained citizen volunteers to advocate for vulnerable adults with and without disabilities who may require some assistance with the state’s judicial system. Citizen volunteers provide information and recommendations to local district judges in matters of guardianship or other legal proceedings for vulnerable adults.

For more information, or to volunteer as http://www.okddc.ok.gov/current_project_pages/early_access_autism.htmla court appointed advocate for vulnerable adults, please contact the council office at (405) 521-4984, 1-800-836-4470 or by e-mail at staff@okddc.ok.gov.


Partners in Policymaking

Select here for text only version of Partners Brochure

Partners in Policymaking is a national, innovative leadership training program that teaches adults with disabilities and parents of young children with disabilities to become community leaders. The Partners curriculum provides information and resources to assist self-advocates and parents to obtain the best services for themselves and others.

The program is designed to give individuals the necessary skills to effectively work with legislators, state agency personnel, and other policymakers whose decisions and actions have an impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

Partners promotes partnerships between people who use services and people who set policies related to those services.

Partners in Policymaking training includes eight two-day sessions between September and May. Sessions begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and conclude Sunday at 3 p.m. Training is at NO COST to participants. All related expenses (travel, respite or attendant care, hotel and meals) will be paid by Partners in Policymaking or reimbursed. For more information, contact the Council.


Youth Leadership Forum

Select here for text only version of Youth Leadership Forum Brochure

Beginning in 2004, the Council will fund an annual leadership development program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. This week-long forum will focus on leadership, assistive technology, independent living, higher education, career development options and the Oklahoma legislative process.


Governor’s Conference on Developmental Disabilities

The Governor’s Conference on Developmental Disabilities is the oldest and largest conference of its kind in the United States. Oklahoma Governor George Nigh encouraged the development of this conference, and every Governor since has attended this conference. It now anticipates an annual attendance of 800 self-advocates, family members, service providers and policymakers. The conference is held each spring and rotates between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Conference speakers are nationally-respected leaders in the field of developmental disabilities and advocacy leaders in Oklahoma. Previous keynote speakers have included Temple Grandin, John Hockenberry, Dennis Harkins, Norman Kunc, John O’Brien, Sue Swenson, Al Condeluci and Denise Bissonette.

Watch this site beginning in January of each year for more information about the upcoming conference.

For more information on the Governor’s Conference on Developmental Disabilities contact the Council Office.




Council Project History, 1971 to present

The Oklahoma Council was established in 1971 as a result of an Executive Order signed by Governor David Hall. The Council was originally administered by what is now the DHS Developmental Disabilities Services Division. For the first seventeen years of its existence, the Council used its federal appropriation to fund the Sheltered Workshop program.

The First Generation of Innovative Projects

In 1988, Congress amended the Developmental Disabilities Act to assure that Council funding was used to fund innovative, non-duplicative projects that promoted employment, community living, and child development opportunities in communities throughout Oklahoma.

Beginning in 1989, the Council negotiated its first five grants under the new federal law. Four of these projects targeted community-based employment; the fifth project provided free dental services statewide for persons with developmental disabilities. While these original projects were not progressive by today’s standards, they represented a significant change in how and where persons with developmental disabilities were provided services in Oklahoma.

The Power Shop in Duncan operated an enclave at Halliburton Industries and placed several individuals at a local Garfield’s Restaurant. Two contracts taught individuals food preparation skills and employed individuals in local restaurants: The Spud Shoppe was operated by People Inc. in Sallisaw; and the “Just Us” sandwich shop was operated by the Center for Family Love in Okarche. The fourth employment project was a flower shop in Tahlequah operated by the Oklahoma Production Center. Variety Health Center in Oklahoma City operated the “D-Dent” program, which coordinated a list of dentists who were willing to donate their services for persons with developmental disabilities. The Council funded each of these projects for three years.

Second Generation

The second generation of Council projects followed a slightly different set of rules. Each of these projects was awarded by competitive bid and was renewable for two additional one-year periods. The funding provided by the Council was to decrease in each year of the contract. The Council expected that the matching funds required by the project would increase each year of the contract, thus assuring continuation of the project over the long-term. These projects were considerably more progressive in nature, and most projects continue in some form at the local or state level.

The projects were good for both the Council and the communities they served, but neither these projects nor the State Plans under which they were funded were strategically planned, and therefore the systemic impact of these projects was not clearly defined. The projects listed are organized under the four federal priority areas as they were then defined by the Developmental Disabilities Act: Child Development Priority Area, Community Living Priority Area, Employment Priority Area, and a new heading entitled Systems Coordination and Community Education Priority Area.

Child Development Priority Area

Project PEAK, contracted with the Oklahoma City Chapter for Autistic Citizens, Oklahoma City

This contract designed and established an assessment and program development program for children with autism at the State Department of Education. Psychometrists at the 21 Regional Education Service Centers were trained to screen children who might have autism in their local school districts. Regional resource libraries assist parents and teachers working with children with autism help assure proper programs and supports.

Mobile Outreach Unit, contracted with University of Okla. Health Sciences Center/Child Study Center, Oklahoma City

In addition to the Child Study Center, the Health Sciences Center campus also includes Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma. This hospital specializes in treating children with significant and complex medical and developmental needs. Once the children are discharged, specialized care is not often available in their home communities. Through this contract, a developmental pediatrician and clinical staff traveled throughout the state to provide medical and developmental screenings of children who had been discharged from Children’s Hospital and other children considered “at-risk” of developmental disability or delay. Medical services were not provided to these children; rather, the team consulted with the child’s medical physician and nurse clinicians to assure the medical personnel were familiar with developmental processes and appropriate intervention strategies.

Fetal Alcohol and Drug Exposure Prevention Project, contracted with University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/Child Study Center, Oklahoma City

Aware of the rising population of children born to narcotic-addicted mothers, this project provided multidisciplinary evaluation, therapies for developmental disabilities, and parent-child interaction training to ameliorate disability and prevent the development of behavior problems in infants and toddlers with fetal drug exposure. The project also provided training for professionals at the in-service and pre-service levels.

Minority Developmental Disability Outreach Program for Children and Families, contracted with Community Health Centers Inc., Oklahoma City

At the time this proposal was accepted by the Council, personnel of the Community Health Centers were about to begin work on the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program. Phone interviews were conducted by Community Health Centers in northeastern Oklahoma County, which is predominantly an African-American population. If children in the home were determined to have developmental disabilities, the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program could provide information and referral to appropriate services if the child’s parents were veterans of the Vietnam War. However, children with disabilities whose parents were not veterans could receive no further assistance. With the funding provided for the Council, children identified through the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program who did not qualify as children of veterans could also be provided these services.

LINK Project, contracted with the Children’s Medical Center Child Development Institute, Tulsa

LINK is a Child Development project which began in Tulsa. At the time this project began, there were 13,000 children in 193 child care centers. Personnel at the Child Development Institute were being contacted by child care providers about possible delays in some of the children in their centers. Through this project, all children in child care centers in the Tulsa area were screened for possible developmental delays. When delays were found, parents of these children were linked to service providers who could assist the family.

The Chickasha Project, contracted with the Center for Child and Family Development/University of Oklahoma, Norman

The Council’s first Family Support project, the Chickasha Project served 25 families which included children with severe disabilities in Chickasha, Oklahoma. In addition to providing early identification and early intervention services, the families involved in the project helped to support each other, which built esteem in the families and friendships among the adults and children. The project also increased awareness of early identification of developmental delays.

FACT Project (Family Assistance Through Caregiver Training), contracted with the Center for Child and Family Development/University of Oklahoma, Norman

The FACT Project addressed the need of child care for children with disabilities. FACT specifically targeted eight rural areas of Oklahoma and trained not only childcare professionals, but also parents and other family members. The training was also offered to classroom teachers and aides, VISTA volunteers, Foster Grandparents and others who might wish to volunteer their services to assist families of children with disabilities. The eight sites were Woodward, Stillwater, Afton, Sallisaw, Idabel, Ardmore, Chickasha, and Altus.

Community Living Priority Area

Community Integration Marketing Project, contracted with Tulsa ARC, Tulsa

This project focused on developing positive community attitudes regarding individuals with developmental disabilities and programs which integrate them into the community. A comprehensive public information and marketing strategy targeted 19 counties in northeastern Oklahoma, the catchment area of the former Hissom Memorial Center, and the geographic area of most former Hissom clients who were returning to the community. The theme of the public relations effort was "Count Us In."

Consumer Leadership Project, contracted with Tulsa ARC, Tulsa

A curriculum entitled “Leadership +” was developed and presented to persons with cognitive disabilities. The goal of the project was to train and place persons with disabilities on boards and advisory committees of public agencies and private organizations. The curriculum taught leadership and group participation skills. Tulsa ARC also worked with agencies and organizations to teach them how to accommodate persons with disabilities serving on their boards.

Parent Training Program, contracted with the Oklahoma City Chapter for Autistic Citizens, Oklahoma City

At the time of this contract, the only service offered to families which included an individual with autism was placement at a specialized residential school in a neighboring state. Recognizing that this was not a desirable option for most parents, the Oklahoma City Chapter for Autistic Citizens developed and implemented a training program to teach parents how to navigate the school-based services and write effective IEPs, learn and teach better communication skills for persons with disabilities, plan for the future, and other coping skills.

Information and Referral Support Network for Persons with Epilepsy, contracted with Epilepsy Association of the Sooner State, Oklahoma City

In addition to establishing support groups statewide for persons with epilepsy and parents of children with epilepsy, the contract provided for several in-service training sessions for public school teachers and civic organizations, and performed several “Kids on the Block” puppet shows at preschools, elementary schools and libraries to increase awareness about epilepsy.

Centennial Park, contracted with Centennial Park Inc., Duncan, and Freedom Trail Playground, contracted with City of Yukon

Parents in southern and central Oklahoma had been traveling as far as Wichita Falls, Texas to give their children the opportunity to play on an accessible playground. In both Duncan and Yukon, groups of parents began to work with their municipal governments and public and private funding sources to design, plan and build accessible playgrounds in those cities.

Both parks, built before the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, have been wildly successful in their communities and are models of new park design in Oklahoma.

Recreation and Leisure Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, contracted with The Power Shop, Duncan

The Power Shop is a large provider agency in the city of Duncan. Although vocational services and residential needs of their clients were being met, there were no efforts being made to assure that their clients and others with disabilities in Duncan had recreational opportunities in the community of Duncan. With the assistance of a physical and occupational therapist, recreational opportunities already available in Duncan were presented to clients of The Power Shop and others with disabilities living in Duncan. Not only did individuals benefit from exposure to these opportunities, it allowed the citizens of Duncan to meet and get to know individuals with disabilities as their fellow citizens.

Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center, contracted with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/Dept. of Physical Therapy, Oklahoma City

Although there were several resources for assistive technology services available at the Health Sciences Center prior to this contract, the establishment of a single site coordinated the various equipment, supplies and personnel under one office. Over the course of the contract, the Positioning and Mobility Center, as it was originally known, became an important part of the service delivery system. OATC is today a well-established entity within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at OUHSC.

Day Care Worker Training for Children with Disabilities, contracted with Special Care Inc., Oklahoma City

Special Care is a day care center which serves children with and without developmental delay and disability. Because of the great and increasing demand for child care for children with disabilities, Special Care proposed to train workers in typical day care centers so those centers should accept children with disabilities. By 2000, more than 650 day care workers in 94 Oklahoma communities had been trained with the Special Care curriculum developed with this contract. In 2000, the Council provided additional financial assistance to close-caption the training videos for greater accessibility of the program.

Project Access, contracted with McAlester Public Schools, McAlester

While technically a contract with McAlester Public Schools, this project was actually a community inclusion program, as the old McAlester High School had become a community center and meeting space. In order to better serve its citizens, architectural modifications were needed. Council funding provided extensive renovation to the exterior of the building and the addition of an elevator. This project was significant as by this time, the Americans with Disabilities Act had passed, but exempted historical buildings from being retro-fit for accessibility. The City of McAlester declined to exempt the building, and the Council was therefore able to support this effort.

Futures, contracted with TransVoc Inc., Tulsa

Futures was an independent living skills training project which assisted clients of TransVoc, an employment provider. Among the skills developed were basic reading and math skills, independent leisure skills, and “social survival skills” – cooking, social interaction skills, and the like.

Services Satisfaction Survey, contracted with Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

By 1990, community-based services had been part of the Oklahoma service system for several years. This survey discussed satisfaction with the systems in place by surveying primary and secondary consumer as well as providers of services.

Employment Priority Area

11th Street Laundry, contracted with Tri-Cities Helping Hands, Wewoka

In the rural community of Wewoka, employment options for persons with developmental disabilities were extremely limited. Working with Council funding, a local provider employed persons with disabilities while teaching independent living skills at this full-service laundromat.

Computer Training Project, contracted with Ki-Bois Community Action Foundation Inc., Stigler

Emerging technology was the focus of this Council project, which served four cities in southeastern Oklahoma: Stigler, Wilburton, McAlester and Poteau. As a way to develop and improve job skills and independent living skills for persons with disabilities, computers with accessible hardware and software were purchased. Project participants used basic educational programs, and as computer skills progressed, new programs were added.

Sweets Etc., contracted with the Sequoyah County Human Development Center, Sallisaw (formerly People Inc.)

By the time this contract was signed, The Spud Shoppe had been a very successful employment program in Sallisaw. Based on that success, the Human Development Center proposed to open a second food service business. This was a difficult decision for the Council as moves away from “traditional” employment sources such as food service were being advocated. However, based on the economic situation (many fast food restaurants; not many other job opportunities for anyone in the population) and the business profile of Sallisaw (i.e. no bakery operating in Sallisaw), the Council did approve this project, which was indeed very successful.

Developmental Disability Employment Training Project, contracted with Progressive Independence, Norman

Progressive Independence is a Center for Independent Living that developed a model job-readiness program with a unique difference. Individuals who took part in this project focused their employment goals on community change by choosing an issue of community-wide importance and developing and implementing a plan for positive change. The hypothesis tested through this project was that active participation in improving one’s community might provide a key to gainful employment.

Systems Coordination and Community Education Priority Area

Consumer Involvement Fund

Individuals with developmental disabilities, family members and professionals are encouraged to participate in conferences, training sessions, and related activities.The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council has a small pool of funds we make available as financial assistance for advocates in the developmental disabilities field to participate in conferences and short-term educational programs. The Council provides this support as a method of capacity-building for Oklahoma.

The Council, through an application process, provides financial assistance annually for up to 25 persons to attend these events. Those wishing to travel with the Council’s assistance agree to present a written report about the conference to the Council and write a letter of introduction about themselves and their issues to their state legislators and congressional representation.

For more information please see the Counci's Consumer Involvement Fund section.

Vocational and Community Integration of Persons with a Dual Diagnosis, contracted with The Power Shop, Duncan

Persons with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and mental retardation are a particular challenge to the service system in Oklahoma as there are two state agencies designated to serve the population: the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The Power Shop spent many hours learning how to work with this population and provided supported employment services through this contract. Additionally, The Power Shop worked to fully integrate the persons served by the contract into the community by arranging residential services for clients, including some who were discharging from the Greer Center, an institution serving persons with a dual diagnosis in Enid.

ENaBLE (Everyone Needs a Better Living Environment), contracted with the University Affiliated Program of Oklahoma (now the Center for Learning and Leadership), Oklahoma City

ENaBLE worked to develop the community infrastructure necessary for coordinated community support of initiatives to support people with developmental disabilities and their families on a regional and statewide basis. This included the design and implementation of an interdisciplinary advocacy training program, a model community education demonstration project on family support, and initiation of a dialogue between advocacy organization leadership.

CARE Councils (Community Awareness, Resources, and Education), contracted with Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Tulsa

Based on the findings of a Council report, the College of Osteopathic Medicine attempted to develop community councils in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. The goal of the councils was to provide information and community education on issues related to developmental disabilities. The major foci of community education were education, employment, information and referral, and residential alternatives.

Third Generation

Council projects of the third generation are characterized by the systemic efforts of the grants. By the mid 1990s, the Council was writing more strategic goals and objectives for its State Plan. Although all previous projects had been successful, no longer was the Council interested in simply filling gaps in services. These projects, again, falling under the four federal priority areas of Child Development, Community Living, Employment, and Systems Coordination and Community Education, were broader in scope and concentrated more heavily in true systemic change and capacity building.

Child Development Priority Area

Transition from School to Work Project, contracted with Oklahomans for Independent Living, McAlester

Oklahomans for Independent Living (OIL) is a Center for Independent Living in a rural part of Oklahoma. Historically, little effort had been made to assist students in Pittsburgh County to move from school to work. Through coordination efforts with high schools, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Department of Human Services, Kiamichi Vocational-Technical School, area providers, the local Chambers of Commerce, local business owners, and others, OIL was able to assist 25 students per year plan for life beyond high school.

Keeping Families Together, contracted with the University Affiliated Program of Oklahoma (now the Center for Learning and Leadership)

A model program carried out by the University Affiliated Program, “Keeping Families Together” provides assistance to families which include infants with developmental health care needs. Families are assisted and strengthened through a common sense, coordinated effort of training and resource development focused on keeping families together. The program is designed to keep infants from being institutionalized because their families are not ready or able to take them home from neonatal intensive care facilities. Activities included training for health care professionals, training for a state-level resource team, and development and training of alternative family environments.

Learning Together at Home, contracted with Idabel Public Schools

Learning Together at Home contracted with Idabel Public Schools McCurtain County, in extreme southeast Oklahoma, has long been one of the state’s most economically disadvantaged counties. Because of its isolation, there is a large population of children considered “at-risk” for developmental delay. Learning Together at Home is a school-readiness model which trains parents to work on preschool skills with their 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, with the goal of preventing placement in special education classes. The curriculum is based on a national model, HIPPY, but was extensively rewritten so schools with limited budgets could participate in the program. The curriculum was distributed to all schools in Oklahoma with active Head Start programs.

Family Services Coordinator, contracted with the Lee Mitchener Tolbert Center, OUHSC

Sooner Start, the state’s early intervention program for infants and children age birth to 36 months, has been a strong link in the chain of services for persons with disabilities. This project furthers Sooner Start’s commitment to family-centered care by creating the position of Family Services Coordinator. The Family Services Coordinator is primarily responsible for keeping Sooner Start families apprised of current issues and policies that may affect their services. This is accomplished through the publication of a newsletter, extensive family contacts across the state, and the coordination of parent networks.

Community Living Priority Area

“Living in the Freedom World,” contracted with the University of Minnesota

In the late 1980s the State of Oklahoma began the deinstitutionalization of The Hissom Memorial Center, one of the three large public intermediate care facilities for persons with mental retardation (ICF/MR). The closure was the result of a court order and was a huge and controversial undertaking. Wanting to assure that the outstanding results of that closure were highlighted, the Council contracted with the University of Minnesota to produce a monograph and video featuring the lives of persons who had previously lived in public and private ICFs/MR. The video received an “honorable mention” at the prestigious Chris Awards in Columbus, Ohio; and has been distributed throughout the United States, as well as Russia, Japan and Australia. The video continues to be the Council’s most requested publication and clips from it are now part of the Minnesota Governor’s Council’s “Parallel Lives” on-line history of developmental disabilities services in the U.S.

Network of Master Trainers for Aging and Developmental Disabilities, contracted with The Nigh Institute/University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond

This multidisciplinary collaborative project developed an extensive training curriculum for consumers and professionals in the fields of aging and developmental disabilities. The curriculum was designed specifically to assure professionals in the field of aging had general information about issues related to developmental disabilities, and vice versa. Partnering in this effort were The Nigh Institute for State Government, The Donna Nigh Foundation, the Department of Human Services Aging Services Division and Developmental Disabilities Services Division, Oklahoma Community-Based Providers, Oklahoma People First, and the Long-Term Care Authority of Tulsa.

Demand-Response Transportation Model, contracted with The Gatesway Foundation, Broken Arrow, Red River Transportation Model, contracted with The Power Shop, Duncan, and Community Transportation Model, contracted with Oklahomans for Independent Living, McAlester

These three transportation models helped the Council to determine best practices in community public transportation. The Broken Arrow model was essentially an accessible para-transit service. The established routes connected with the accessible Tulsa Transit bus lines so individuals with disabilities who wished to work, shop, or visit friends in Tulsa had a ride. The Duncan model helped an established transportation system, Red River, become more accessible to persons with disabilities. Lifts were purchased and installed and dispatchers were trained in how to assist persons with disabilities to get to their destinations. The McAlester model demonstrated that collaboration among agencies and organization can assure people with disabilities can get to their destination of choice. Existing vans, with and without lifts and other accessibility features, were organized and a central dispatch assured any person (with or without a disability) needing a ride could get one. The City of McAlester provided funding for gas and vehicle maintenance.

Spirit of Families Together (SOFT) Project, contracted with Grand Lake Mental Health Center Inc., Nowata

SOFT is a family support model which worked with persons with cognitive disabilities or with a dual-diagnosis of both cognitive and psychiatric disability; the goal of the project was to support families to prevent out-of-home placement in congregate settings for either cognitive or psychiatric disability. The project served the extreme northeastern counties of Oklahoma (Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, and Washington), where there is a large population of American Indians, particularly Cherokee. Because of the high percentage of American Indians, SOFT personnel worked hard to assure that assistance and supports were delivered in a culturally responsive manner; staff members were trained in the Cherokee language.

Work-Study Program, contracted with Cushing Public Schools, Cushing

This contract with the Cushing Special Services Coop provided assistance to 29 school districts in five rural counties of Oklahoma: Payne, Creek, Pawnee, Okfuskee, and Lincoln. Transition from school to work for students with disabilities was the main goal of the project, and students in the program were provided with traditional job supports – training, job coaching, resume building, and the like, all based on the Elsmere Project model.

A Better Choice (ABC), contracted with Whitebead School, Whitebead

Neither parents nor teachers at Whitebead School, a small public school serving grades K-8, understood why children with disabilities who grew up in Whitebead needed to be bused to the local educational co-op for middle school. They didn’t believe it made sense to remove these children from their friends and siblings, so school administrators withdrew from the Pauls Valley Co-op and used Council funding to assure that the children had appropriate supports, including accessible computers, on-staff occupational, physical and speech therapists, and a respite room for the children. In spite of the project promoting child development, this project is very deliberately placed in the Community Living priority area.

Oklahoma Aging Advocacy Leadership Academy, contracted with the Aging Services Division, Department of Human Services, Oklahoma City

The Council helped fund the development of a 10-month advocacy training program in partnership with the Aging Services Division of the Department of Human Services. This program identifies, trains and develops caring people with and without disabilities to become informed leaders about issues affecting those in later phases of life.
Persons accepted and graduated from its training are empowered, committed advocates for their own and later generations to help Oklahoma’s older population with and without developmental disabilities.

Project Access, contracted with Ability Resources, Tulsa and Accessibility Hardware and Software Training, contracted with Nanopac, Tulsa

With the wealth of information on the Web, the Council wanted to ensure that physical access to computers was available throughout Oklahoma. Ability Resources, a Tulsa Center for Independent Living, surveyed libraries throughout Oklahoma about their computer systems and accessibility. Following the survey, the Council placed 56 computers with accessible hardware and software in local libraries throughout the state. In addition, the Council sponsored five training sessions throughout the state for library staff so they knew how to operate the accessibility features.

Employment Priority Area

I-TEMP, contracted with TransVoc Inc., Tulsa

I-TEMP is an employment service that specializes in assisting persons with disabilities to get and keep jobs consistent with their interests, skills, and abilities. Key to the success of this project was the partnership with local businesses. These partnerships enabled I-TEMP to place persons with disabilities so both the employer and employee could test the waters before making a job permanent.

Sheltered Workshop Conversion Projects, contracted with SHOW Inc., Sapulpa, and ARC Industries Inc., Bartlesville

SHOW Inc. had been moving in the direction of closing out its workshop “slots” and serving their clients in community-based jobs. Funding from the Council helped to convert the last 26 workshop clients and move those persons into jobs in Sapulpa.

ARC Industries used Council funding to convert several sheltered workshop slots to community-based employment. This project was particularly effective in raising the profile of persons with disabilities in Bartlesville through extensive public relations efforts.

Supported Training and Employment (STEP) Program, contracted with the Panhandle Area Sheltered Workshop, Guymon

The Oklahoma Panhandle is arguably the most remote part of the state. The three counties which make up the Panhandle (Cimarron, Texas and Beaver) are rural, sparsely populated, and receive minimal state agency services. In fact, prior to this project of the Council, there were no integrated employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in this region. With Council assistance, community integrated employment was modeled for the first time.

Valley Laser, contracted with Garvin County Community Living Center Inc., Pauls Valley

Cartridge King is a national supported employment model which trains persons with disabilities to work in the field of computer toner cartridge recycling. Using that model, Valley Laser was created to provide clients with the opportunity learned how to recycle and resell several kinds of computer printer cartridges. Valley Laser has won several state contracts for their product. Based on the skills of several workers, Valley Laser also trains workers to be computer printer repair technicians.

Access Careers, contracted with Ability Resources Inc., Tulsa

Ability Resources is the state’s largest Center for Independent Living. The project was a collaborative effort of Ability Resources, local Tulsa businesses, local social service agencies, and the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Access Careers provides services in the areas of job development and placement, career guidance, training necessary for job retention, literacy training, resume writing, and the like. The project, working with a business roundtable, assisted individuals with disabilities to try jobs available in the community, both to learn practical skills and test interests, skills and abilities.

“Count Us In” Job Fair, contracted with Community Service Council, Tulsa

As part of the larger “Count Us In” community awareness effort in Tulsa, this job fair was specifically designed for persons with disabilities and community employers looking to hire persons with disabilities.

Vermiculture and Composting Micro-enterprise, contracted with Green Country Community Mental Health Services, Muskogee

Originally designed as an entrepreneurial demonstration project, this project evolved into a training project which provided an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to develop and improve work skills in the areas of accountability, decision making, responsibility, and commitment to work schedules.

Systems Coordination and Community Education Priority Area

The Habilitation Center/Joseph Harp Correctional Facility, contracted with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma City

One of the most unique systems change projects that Council undertook was the project which served minimum- and medium-security offenders with cognitive disabilities at the Joseph Harp Facility in Lexington, Oklahoma. The Department of Corrections saw a need to provide some specialized training to assure that, once released from prison, these individuals had the academic, social, and work skills to help prevent a return to the criminal justice system. The Council helped the Habilitation Center to complete assessments and develop academic, social, and work skill curricula. Joseph Harp now houses all minimum- and medium-security offenders determined to have developmental delay or disability.

Oklahoma Assistive Technology Consortium Network, contracted with the Community Partnership Development Foundation, Stillwater

The Community Partnership Development Foundation was a consortium of several advocacy and provider organizations in northeastern Oklahoma. OATCN’s goals were to assist persons with disabilities already living in the community to access already-existing recreational and educational opportunities. The project worked with several community colleges in northeast Oklahoma to make their curriculum more accessible and appealing to persons with disabilities.

El Centro Ensenado, contracted with The Power Shop, Duncan

The City of Duncan, like other rural parts of Oklahoma, recognized a growing population of Spanish-speaking agricultural workers and their families. As a way of providing state agency services – not just for those with developmental disabilities, The Power Shop staffed an office called El Centro Ensenado (The Learning Center.) Not only were staff bilingual, they were able to convince state agencies to print brochures about their services in Spanish for the first time. In addition to linking people to needed services, El Centro Ensenado also helped match people with available jobs in the community, notably a Spanish-speaking dispatcher with a disability at the Red River Transportation Service, another collaboration between the Council and The Power Shop.

Inclusion Now for School and Work, contracted with the Community Services Council, Tulsa

The goal of this project was to create a local model of inclusive elementary education and use that model to work with other area schools to achieve education throughout Tulsa. In addition to helping one elementary school to be completely inclusive of children with disabilities, the project spread the word about inclusion by hosting breakfast meetings for principals, providing technical assistance, and providing a best practices newsletter.

Access Roundtable, contracted with Ability Resources Inc., Tulsa

Roundtable discussions were hosted by Ability Resources and facilitated by the Statewide Independent Living Council in six locations throughout the state. Those participating were state agency personnel, local social service agencies, and consumers. Consumers were able to discuss their needs and agency personnel were able to explain their agency’s services and supports. From these discussions, barriers and gaps in services were identified and a final report was broadly disseminated.

Oklahoma Respite Resource Network Marketing, contracted with Naukam Marketing, Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma Respite Resource Network (ORRN) is a multi-agency collaboration which provides respite vouchers for families caring for children and adults with disabilities. This program has garnered well-deserved national attention. The Council provided initial funding to market ORRN to families and providers.

ArcLink, contracted with TARC, Tulsa

ArcLink is a national web-based information and referral system affiliated with the Arc of the U.S. This site allows users to format a personal profile based on their service needs, age, income, and ZIP code. The information provided then matches the eligibility criteria and service location so users can easily sort through potential services. The Council provided funding for the research and uploading of the Oklahoma page. Annual support for the site is provided by the DHS Developmental Disabilities Services Division.

Partners in Policymaking, originally contracted with TARC, Tulsa, and now an in-house Council project.

Oklahoma Partners in Policymaking follows the national model developed by the Minnesota Governor’s Conference on Developmental Disabilities. This advocacy training course, taught one weekend per month for nine months, provides self-advocates, parents of young children with developmental disabilities, and other advocates and providers with state-of-the-art training related to services for people with disabilities, inclusion in all aspects of community life, and building positive working relationships with policymakers.

Conference Support, various contractors throughout Oklahoma

During this generation of project development, the Council developed instructions to staff related to sponsoring or co-sponsoring Oklahoma conferences with a focus on people with disabilities. This sponsorship continues today and has included annual sponsorship of the Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Developmental Disabilities, the Autism Symposium, Oklahoma Association of Persons in Supported Employment, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference, the State Conference on Aging and the Oklahoma Statewide Conference on Autism.

Consumer Involvement Fund and Professional Development Fund

Prior to development of the projects listed above to support Oklahomans with autism, the Council was asked by a group of five parents of children with Autism with a request to provide travel assistance to attend an early conference of the Autism Society of America. Their goal was to bring back information on best practices for education. This travel resulted in the development of both Project PEAK and the Parent Training Program. Today, the Council has a formal line-item budget for such travel – one for self-advocates and family members; another for field professionals and teachers. Eligible individuals and families may apply to the Council once every two years for such support, which is provided as reimbursement for travel expenses. The Council requires short reports and copies of important materials from each traveler, as well as letters from the traveler to his/her elected policymakers in the Oklahoma Legislature and U.S. Congress.

Fourth Generation

With the 2000 reauthorization of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, “priority areas” were changed to “areas of emphasis,” and new areas were defined. The areas of emphasis include Quality Assurance; Education and Early Intervention; Child Care; Health; Employment; Housing; Transportation; Recreation; and Formal and Informal Community Supports. The Council responded by changing the Committee Structure of the Council by first dropping the Systems Coordination and Community Education Committee (with an eye toward assuring that all Council activities were reflective of systems coordination and community education issues), then ultimately collapsing all former “priority area” committees into a single Project Development Committee to assure that all State Plan goals, objectives and activities were being considered in a single committee. Projects continued to evolve in this generation to assure greater “statewideness” and more systemic change in nature. Council investments in these projects and activities were often larger and more long-term.

Business Leadership Network/Job Fit, contracted with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Executive Services Corps of Central Oklahoma

The Business Leadership Network is a national model that seeks to educate local businesses of the value of hiring persons with disabilities. The Council worked with the Executive Services Corps to coordinate the original Business Leadership Network; and worked with the Department of Rehabilitation Services to develop a website that both job seekers and businesses could access. This site allowed job seekers to post resumes, search for jobs, and match their skills to available positions. Human Resources managers could post jobs and search available resumes.

Tech Now! and Cache High Tech Connections, contracted with Bethany Public Schools and Cache Public Schools

The national High School-High Tech program was brought to Oklahoma by the Council. The first two programs were funded in Cache and in metro-Oklahoma City. The metro-Oklahoma City program worked originally in five schools. Over the course of five years, Cache eventually became part of Tech Now, and Tech Now continues to expand.

Tech Now Inc. is a program designed to encourage students with disabilities to explore post-secondary education and careers related to technology. Today, there are 36 sites across the state in both high schools and junior high schools. The curriculum includes classroom instruction, field trips to local technology-related businesses, mentorship from local business leaders, and computer project competitions. Students participating in the program are eligible for scholarships and cash awards provided by local businesses, the Oklahoma Department of Career Technology, and the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education.

Funding for the program is now provided by local school districts, as well as through the State Department of Education, the State Department of Rehabilitation Services, and federal grants. Council staff serve on the non-profit’s Advisory Board and assist with fund development and program expansion.

SoonerCare Health Education Partners, contracted with the Center for Learning and Leadership at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

With the roll-out of SoonerCare, the state’s managed health care program, the need was identified to assist enrollees about their rights and responsibilities related managed care. SoonerCare Health Education Partners improved the knowledge of the managed care system of health care providers, primary care providers, Oklahoma Health Care Authority (the state’s Medicaid agency) service representatives, Exceptional Needs Coordinators, self-advocates and family members.

Youth Service Worker Training Programs, contracted with the National Resource Center for Youth Services

This project developed training for Oklahoma’s community-based youth service agencies and other community-based service agencies providing services to children and youth to build their capacity to work with children and youth with developmental disabilities.

OASIS Update contracted with OASIS, Oklahoma City

OASIS is the statewide information and referral system for persons with disabilities. While comprehensive, the Council determined the need to update the information provided in their data base, and supplement it with local, generic services that could be of assistance to individuals with disabilities – such as church food pantries and utility assistance programs. Over the course of three years, all data was updated and the Council funded sub-contracts in Tulsa and McAlester to identify and include such generic services.

Home of Your Own/Home Ownership Options for Persons with Disabilities, contracted with the Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies


Based on the national home-ownership model “Home of Your Own,” Affordable Home Ownership Options for People with Disabilities was an activity funded through the Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA). The program developed home-ownership readiness training, down payment/closing cost assistance programs, and weatherization/rehabilitation programs for potential home owners. Additionally, OACAA built relationships with the Oklahoma Housing Finance Authority, banks and mortgage companies to assist home buyers with disabilities. Though the Council no longer provides funding for this program, most of the products have been incorporated into the core services of Oklahoma’s community action system.

Workforce Center Access Project, contracted with the University of Oklahoma’s National Center for Disability Education and Training

This program provided training and technical assistance to the state’s Workforce Centers to assure each met the requirements for programmatic and physical accessibility for persons with disabilities as the federal Ticket to Work program went on-line.

Environmental Design Prototype, contracted with the OSU College of Environmental Sciences, Stillwater

This project produced a study, “The Impact of the Near Environment on People’s Psychological Well Being,” and conducted a literature review of current standards, products and facilities for persons in temporary congregate living situations. As part of the research, students in the college designed model residential homes for youth with mental health situations who were making a transition from institutional care to a less restrictive environment. These designs, including blue prints and suggestions for furnishings and fixtures, were provided to Oklahoma’s service providers at no cost and several more “home like” homes with important durability and safety features have been built.

Dreamnight at the Zoo, contracted with the Oklahoma City Zoo

Dreamnight is an international event, held each year on the first Friday evening in June. The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens is the only Oklahoma zoo participating and the Council has helped to design and sponsor this event since it began in 2005. In addition to providing access to families of children with disabilities, the Council funded disability awareness training for zoo employees that is now part of new employee orientation. Additionally, the zoo wrote and published a Dreamnight at the Zoo manual, working with zoos from across the country to compile important information. This has been disseminated to all Councils on Developmental Disabilities and has been presented at national conferences of zoo professionals.

Sooner SUCCESS, contracted with the Child Study Center of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

This project supports the effort to establish a coordinated collaboration of formal and informal service providers and families at the county level. Council funding supported salary for six county coordinators, all of whom were parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs. Sooner SUCCESS will eventually expand to all 77 counties in Oklahoma.

Court-Appointed Advocates for Vulnerable Adults (CAAVA), contracted with the Aging Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services

CAAVA meets a significant need by training citizen volunteers as adults for vulnerable adults with and without disabilities. These advocates, assigned by district court judges to serve as guardians ad litem for vulnerable adults in civil court proceedings (typically guardianship), assure that the rights of such adults are preserved and protected, while helping to assure that they are safe from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Justin A. McCurry Library and Resource Center

Through the years, the state’s DD Act partners, the Council, the Disability Law Center and the Center for Learning and Leadership had amassed a large collection of print and electronic media. As a Redlands Partners collaboration project, all material was housed in a single location (at the Council office) and this became the Justin A. McCurry Library and Resource Center. Print materials may be checked out to any member of the public, and video resources may be viewed at the Council office.

Emergency Preparation for Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Emergency Response Personnel

Another collaboration of the Redlands Partners has been the work related to emergency preparation in Oklahoma. Oklahomans have experienced significant natural and man-made disasters, and with these projects, all operated in-house, persons with disabilities and emergency response personnel are better prepared to handle such situations. Among the work completed under this banner are the distribution of thousands of Red Cross Disaster Preparation for People with Disabilities books, the distribution of more than 10,000 laminated tip cards for first responders to emergency personnel in more than 22 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, and the participation of professionals in the field of developmental disabilities in the State’s Department of Emergency Management advisory councils.

Youth Leadership Forum

The Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is a week-long summer camp for rising high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. YLF, an in-house project of the Council, provides training in leadership, career and post-secondary education exploration, public speaking, and working with policymakers.

Master of Social Work Stipend Program

This former in-house program of the Council promotes career exploration for graduate students in social work by providing a stipend for practicum experiences at non-profit organizations and state agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Housing Study, contracted with the Aging Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Oklahoma ranks second in the number of children being raised by grandparents. Many of these children have disabilities. The Council has worked closely with the Aging Services Division of OKDHS to identify and help meet the needs of these families and conducted this study to determine housing-related needs of this population.

Direct Support Professionals Project, contracted with Tulsa Community College

As part of the overall strategy to train and support qualified direct support professionals, the Council is working with Tulsa Community College to create a certificate of educational attainment that can be taken to Tulsa Community College (and hopefully soon more community colleges). The training required of these professionals can be transferred into college credit hours, which we expect will encourage these professionals to continue working on a college degree, thus increasing their career advancement in the field of developmental disabilities.

Adopt-A-Stop, contracted with the University of Oklahoma

The project was intended to address transportation needs of Oklahomans with disabilities by working with the University of Oklahoma to design accessible bus stop structures and concrete pads using criteria required by the City of Oklahoma City. This project experienced a dramatic personnel change, and while some design prototypes were produced, there was no work on collaboration models within city government or the private business which provided the bus stop structures.

Oklahoma Alliance for Youth, contracted with the National Center for Disability Education and Training/University of Oklahoma

Funding from the Council was used to assist with capacity building and outreach for this existing project focused on youth empowerment and youth leadership.

Therapeutic Horticulture Garden Project/Sensory Gardens, contracted with Oklahoma State University

The Botanical Gardens at Oklahoma State University are a large part of the university campus, as well as a study site for horticulturalists and gardeners, both professional and avocational. Throughout the two years of this project, a sensory garden was built to demonstrate the many textures, smells, sights and sounds of gardens; and gardening classes for people with physical disabilities were established.

ME! Transition Success, contracted with the Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment at the University of Oklahoma

This contract helped the Zarrow Center to write and test a curriculum designed for high school students with IEPs. In working through the curriculum, students would better understand their disability, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and learn crucial goal attainment skills to increase their overall level of self-determination.

Longitudinal Study of Council Projects, contracted with Oklahoma State University

With 20 years of project experience, the Council wished to study the long-term success of the Council’s current and former projects. This contract commissioned this two-part study. Part One was a survey of all former Council projects; Part Two was a more rigorous study of several of those projects to identify what made those projects particularly successful or unsuccessful. Very happily, all projects were successful at some level! This report is available for viewing at the Council’s office.

Download Impact Study
Final Report - PDF
Appendices - PDF

Emergency Management Equipment Dissemination

The Council worked with county emergency management professionals in all 77 counties of Oklahoma to assess the needs for each county in terms of establishing emergency shelters and assuring their accessibility for those with disabilities. The Council then provided to each county such pieces of equipment, such as portable ramps, large button phones, accessible cutlery, plates and cups for people with disabilities, and the like. This project was highly praised by emergency management professionals throughout Oklahoma, and the Council remains involved with these emergency managers as questions about accommodations for people with disabilities are discovered.

SibShops, contracted with the OUHSC Child Study Center

SibShops is a national model for supporting and educating siblings of children with disabilities. Oklahoma is committed to supporting local SibShops projects throughout the state, and this contract supported a Statewide Coordinator, a first nationally for the SibShops “movement.”

Oklahoma Early Access Autism Screening Project, contracted with the OUHSC Child Study Center

As the diagnostic rates for autism continue to grow, this project established mobile clinics for screening and diagnosis for developmental delay and disability, including autism. As children were screened, referral was made to local services and specialists. As this program progressed, local “teams” were trained to continue work in those areas targeted for screening visits, leaving in place a local source for screening and referral.

Camp of Champions, contracted with Cameron University, Lawton

Camp of Champions is a well-established camp for young children with disabilities in southwestern Oklahoma. The Council provided funding for two years to support the tuition of campers with disabilities.

Person-Centered Thinking Learning Community, contracted with the Center for Learning and Leadership.OUHSC

Based on the work of Michael Smull and Mary Lou Bourne, this project is designed to promote the concepts and ideals of true person-centered thinking and person-centered planning. To that end, this project supports the training certification of Oklahoma trainers and funds plan facilitation meetings for individuals with developmental disabilities living and working in the community. A major component of this project is the partnership with BIOS, a large provider in Sapulpa. This provider has fully adopted this model of person-centered planning for all clients.

Oklahoma Self-Advocacy Network, contracted with the Center for Learning and Leadership

In 2011, the U.S. Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities convened a series of regional meetings for its “sibling” agencies and leaders of the state’s self-advocacy organizations and networks. As a result of this meeting, Oklahoma’s team developed the Oklahoma Self-Advocacy Network. The self-advocate leaders of this group set goals for the coming years of the organization, including training programs and a campaign to end the “R word.” The Council supports this work financially through our sibling agency, the Center for Learning and Leadership. It’s project director is a self-advocate and graduate of both Partners in Policymaking and the Youth Leadership Forum.

The Council office holds cabinets and bookcases full of additional information about these former projects; if you’d like more information about any project, please contact the Council office.

Contact Us

Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council
2401 N.W. 23rd Street, Suite 74
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
PHONE: (405) 521-4984 or
FAX: (405) 521-4910
E-MAIL: staff@okddc.ok.gov

Partners in Policymaking | Youth Leadership Forum | Consumer Involvement Fund | Library & Resource Center | Links


Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council

Partners in Policymaking | Youth Leadership Forum | Consumer Involvement Fund | Library & Resource Center | Links