Oklahoma Department Of Rehabilitation Services Works To Empower Students With Disabilities

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021, 9:59 pm


This summer, a state agency is offering two programs to help students and young adults with disabilities. The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services told News 9 the need is bigger than many of us realize.

State officials said according to data from the Census, 1 in every 6 Oklahomans has a disability. Their goal this summer is to provide tools for those Oklahomans to succeed in and out of the classroom.

For 17 years, Renee Brisco said she has been working to empower people with disabilities.

“I have a nephew who was born with a type of cerebral palsy, and he had difficulty walking and things like that. When he took his first steps, I was like this is what I want to do. I want to make sure these kids have a life after high school,” said the transition coordinator for the Department of Rehabilitation Services.

This summer, OKDRS is offering a free virtual program to give students insights into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industry.

“They are going to learn how to make mouse pads, they are going to learn how to make t-shirts, they are going to make cars made from paper, it’s crazy they actually run. They have races and things like that,” she said.

OKDRS also has another program for young adults called Building Employment Skills for Today.

“They learn how to be productive and still have their disability. Knowing the importance of going to work, showing up on time, how to dress, how to talk to people, giving them the confidence to go out and be successful,” Brisco said.

She said this program will be in person with COVID-19 protocols in place. There is only a number of spots for each program, people who are interested can sign up on the DRS website.

“I love it, it’s all about the kids and making them successful and how we can do that, how can we be the vessel to get them to where they need to be for success,” she said.

A total of 13 sessions of the programs are available this month and next month.