The Mission of the Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. is to protect, promote and expand the rights of people with disabilities.
The ODLC mission reflects the belief that people with disabilities are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect; to be free from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.
The ODLC mission also reflects the belief that people with disabilities are entitled to equal rights and to equally effective access to the same opportunities as are afforded other members of society.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2018
CONTACT: State Election Board PIO Bryan Dean, (405) 522-6624 email@example.com
Voter registration deadline approaches
(Oklahoma City) – Oklahoman’s have until Friday to register to vote or update their registration in time for the Nov. 6 General Election, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said today.
“It’s critical that people confirm their voter registration information and make any necessary changes before the deadline,” Ziriax said. “Elections are our chance as voters to have a say in our government, and that starts by making sure you are registered to vote.”
Voters can check their party affiliation, polling place and other registration information, view a sample ballot and track absentee ballots using the Online Voter Tool on the State Election Board’s website. It can be accessed at http://elections.ok.gov.
Voter registration forms, used to change any registration information, can be downloaded from the website, as well. They are also available at county election boards, post offices, tag agencies, libraries and some other public locations.
Voters must either deliver their voter registration forms in person or mail and have them postmarked before the deadline.
Those who are already registered to vote may update their information online. Voters can change their residential or mailing address within their current county and update their party affiliation. Address changes to a new county, name changes and new voter registrations will require a completed paper form, which can be downloaded on the website.
The General Election will allow voters to choose candidates for state and federal offices including Governor, state officers, U.S. Congressional seats, state legislative races, district attorneys and nonpartisan judicial races.
For more information, visit http://elections.ok.gov.
ODLC Encourages Oklahomans to Participate in
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and all Oklahomans are encouraged to participate. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
Held annually, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM.
For specific ideas about how you or your employer can support National Disability Employment Awareness Month, visit www.dol.gov/ndeam. Suggestions range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.
You are invited to a meeting for families who have a loved ones on the DDS Waiting List. DDS (Developmental Disabilities Service) is under DHS and offers assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities to be able to live in the community and stay with their family. DDS waivers offers job training, skill building and health and medical care. This Waiting List continues to grow (more than 7,700) with no hope of any help coming to these fragile families. The WAIT is over 12 years long with no sight of it ending.
Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 1:30 PM – 3 PM
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building – Room C-47 Basement Level
2400 N Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK
Members of the DHS/DDS leadership team will be present to update families on the status of Home and Community Based Waiver Services and answer questions. Those attending the meeting, will receive a breakdown of the DDS Waiting List. These handouts detail what services are being utilized during the waiting, the length of time waiting and the number of individuals in each county who are waiting.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires state and local governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations to provide goods, services, and programs to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the public.
Some people think that only new construction and alterations need to be accessible and that older facilities are “grandfathered,” but that’s not true. Because the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code, older facilities are often required to be accessible to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.
The ADA has different requirements for state and local governments and for places of public accommodation (businesses and non-profit organizations that provide goods to or serve the public).
State and local governments (ADA title II entities) must ensure “program accessibility.”
Public accommodations (ADA title III entities) must remove structural and communication barriers where it is “readily achievable” to do so.
Want to know if your facility or program is doing enough to ensure people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate? Use the ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities
Learn more at adachecklist.org
Oklahoma Disability Law Center, ACLU of Oklahoma, Applaud State Officials for Rescinding Termination of Services for Oklahomans with Disabilities, but Note that Major Challenges Remain
March 29, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Allie Shinn, Director of External Relations, ACLU of Okla., firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-525-3831
Gary Taylor, Legal Director, ODLC, email@example.com, 405-436-8211
Oklahoma City, OK – Following the State of Oklahoma’s passage of supplemental funding to avoid its threatened termination of community disability services, the federal district court dismissed Anderson v. Lake, the case challenging the termination. The Oklahoma Disability Law Center and the ACLU of Oklahoma, representing the plaintiffs in the case, commend state officials for taking the necessary steps to at least delay termination of critical waiver services for thousands of Oklahomans with disabilities, but note that the state has far to go to remedy its discrimination against people with disabilities.
On March 26, 2018, Judge Heaton issued an Order dismissing the case stating, “The harm which plaintiffs sought to avoid — the termination of waiver services — has now been avoided . . .”
“We are pleased to be able to tell our clients our litigation resulted in the State’s commitment to maintaining these vital waiver services,” said Gary Taylor, Legal Director for the Oklahoma Disability Law Center. “Our clients are relieved to know they are no longer at immediate risk of unnecessary institutionalization.”
However, massive challenges remain, such as the State’s failure to secure alternative services or comply with larger mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The State’s motion to dismiss affirmed the State’s commitment not to terminate waiver services during the current fiscal year,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director for the ACLU of Oklahoma. “However, the State must do far more to avoid continuing litigation to protect the rights of people with disabilities.
“The State must also make a genuine, competent effort to implement the State’s Olmstead Plan. This plan is a roadmap for respecting the rights of people with disabilities, but it currently sits on a shelf collecting dust while the promises within it go unfulfilled,” said Amy Gioletti, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Oklahoma.
Both organizations will be continuing the fight to remedy the state’s failure to fulfill its obligations to ensure equality for Oklahomans with disabilities. According to Taylor, “ODLC and ACLU of Oklahoma remain committed to protecting the rights of Oklahomans with disabilities as long as those rights are threatened by the State of Oklahoma.”