Oklahoma DRS, Oklahoma Works and Oklahoma ABLE Tech

This resource is a project of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Commentary and Credits

This website is a project of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Oklahoma Works initiative in fulfillment of a contract received by Oklahoma ABLE Tech. All three of these entities partner to provide information to people with disabilities to make their lives better and more productive. As part of on-going education goals and to promote gatherings that address the needs of people with disabilities, we offer this website focusing on planning and conducting meetings, conferences and events that are accessible.

A huge debt of gratitude goes to Mid-Atlantic ADA Center who originally produced this content as A Guide to Planning Accessible Meetings, and graciously is allowing us to copy, edit for our state's needs, and publish it here. To learn more about the project team responsible for this content, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Welcome to the updated, digital version of A Guide to Planning Accessible Meetings, originally published by Independent Living Research Utilization in 1993, written by co­-authors June Isaacson Kailes and Darrell Jones. The Mid­-Atlantic ADA Center and TransCen, Inc. sponsored this update and publication in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the transformational Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This version includes regulatory updates along with practical guidance from a host of meeting planning professionals, subject matter experts, and even June Kailes herself.

The contents of this guide were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR award number 90DP0007). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this guide do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

TransCen’s work represents the intersection of grassroots implementation and national policy and initiatives. Since 1996, it has supported the Mid­-Atlantic ADA Center, one of ten regional ADA Centers of the ADA National Network, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Our goal is that this guide will help make every meeting, event, and conference accessible. It is with great pleasure that we share this work, which will continue to be updated to best serve the needs of planners, and help ensure that all meeting participants are fully engaged and have equal opportunities to contribute to public discourse, learning, and advancement.


How to Use this Guide

This online guide is an update from a print publication issued in 1993. As a web resource, however, it becomes a living document that can be modified and updated as emerging practices become best practices, and as these practices fold into an ever­-widening circle of gatherings, like weddings, family reunions, and more.

Note that information may be repeated in various sections where it may be relevant. The navigation options on the left of the screen are "chapter" titles, and clicking the link will open both DUCductory text and additional subchapters with more information and resources.

Every effort has been made to ensure that links to other online resources are live and unbroken; staff at the Mid­-Atlantic ADA Center will continue to monitor the guide and appreciate hearing from you if broken links are found.

Finally, while the ADA is referenced often throughout this document and technical experts have reviewed content, this is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. Rather, the team presents here what is required under the law as understood by these subject matter experts, and promising practices to make YOUR event fully inclusive, a market advantage in today's competitive and ever-­expanding service economy. By ensuring that all participants have equal access, the world will truly be a richer place.

About the Oklahoma Collaboration Team

As mentioned above, this website is a collaboration between three entities in Oklahoma. Brief descriptions on each follow:

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) expands opportunities for employment, independent life and economic self-sufficiency by helping Oklahomans with disabilities bridge barriers to success in the workplace, school and at home.

DRS is comprised of five program divisions, Vocational Rehabilitation, Visual Services, Disability Determination, Oklahoma School for the Blind and Oklahoma School for the Deaf. These divisions operate dozens of programs that help Oklahomans lead more independent and productive lives.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Division: Employment services for people with any disability, except blindness.
  • Visual Services Division: Employment and independent living services for people who are blind, visually impaired.
  • Disability Determination Division: Determines medical eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Oklahoma School for the Deaf: Educational programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Oklahoma School for the Blind: Educational programs for children who are blind or visually impaired.

DRS also relies on Support Services to handle administrative functions. Support Services comprises of the Executive Division, Financial Services Division and Management Services Division.

Oklahoma Works
is an initiative to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through facilitating quality employment for workers and ready availability of highly skilled talent for business and industry. The initiative is a coalition of state agencies, educational institutions, businesses and other partners.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech
received a contract through the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services to produce this site. Oklahoma ABLE Tech is the statewide Assistive Technology Act Program proudly located at Oklahoma State University in the Department of Wellness. ABLE Tech is funded through the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and maintains coordination and collaboration efforts with partners throughout the State of Oklahoma. The funding provided helps enhance the opportunities for Oklahomans with disabilities to access and acquire needed assistive technology.

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