Our Mission

The Mission of the Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. is to protect, promote and expand the rights of people with disabilities.


Belief Statement

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.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS - COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGE

Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. Urges Governor and Oklahoma Supreme Court to Protect Oklahomans from Evictions Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 7, 2020

PRESS CONTACT:
Melissa Sublett, Executive Director
918-830-5559
melissa@okdlc.org

Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. Urges Governor and Oklahoma Supreme Court to Protect Oklahomans from Evictions Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. (ODLC) sent a letter Tuesday asking Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma Supreme Court to investigate why eviction hearings are still taking place despite the Supreme Court’s March 27th order halting all but emergency civil proceedings and further imploring that they issue clear guidance forbidding evictions during this pandemic.

It has come to ODLC’s attention that civil eviction and forceable entry and detainer actions are still being filed in and heard by several courts throughout the state. In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Governor’s recent Emergency Declarations and the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Joint Emergency Orders, this ongoing practice is unacceptable. In the face of numerous shelter in place, safer at home and social distancing orders, the last thing people need to be worrying about right now is whether or not they will be able to remain in their homes and apartments in order to comply with these orders. Allowing eviction proceedings to continue by removing people from their homes during the state of emergency, is not only counter to standing Court orders and best medical advice, but is also cruel and completely ignores one of the most urgent and immediate needs of our state’s residents: the need for adequate shelter. The public health impact that continued evictions may have during a time when Oklahomans are being asked/ordered to stay at home could be substantial.

“Forcing anyone from their homes during this catastrophic health crisis is unacceptable, and it is especially dangerous and traumatic for people with disabilities. We ask the Governor to take immediate steps to ensure no one is evicted during this pandemic,” said Melissa Sublett, Executive Director, Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc.

“A statewide moratorium on evictions is urgently needed to mitigate the hardship confronting many Oklahomas who have already seen or will soon experience an unexpected and significant drop in income. Evicting people during this pandemic unnecessarily puts lives at risk,” said ODLC’s Legal Director, Brian Wilkerson.

Letter to Governor and Office of the Courts-Evictions


 

Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. Sends Letter to Governor Opposing Discriminatory Medical Rationing Policies – Expresses Need for Statewide Guidelines Preventing Discriminatory Allocation of Life-Saving Medical Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 31, 2020

PRESS CONTACT:

Melissa Sublett, Executive Director
918-830-5559
melissa@okdlc.org

Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. Sends Letter to Governor Opposing Discriminatory Medical Rationing Policies – Expresses Need for Statewide Guidelines Preventing Discriminatory Allocation of Life-Saving Medical Care

 

Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. (ODLC) urges Governor Stitt to immediately adopt and disseminate mandatory statewide guidelines to ensure that life-saving care is not illegally withheld or removed from disabled residents.   ODLC advocates for statewide guidelines mandating individualized and objective medical standards that deny or remove care only when continued treatment would be futile.

As COVID-19 cases increase, the experience in other countries and predictions of U.S. health officials is that there will not be enough acute care services or equipment, such as ventilators, to meet the demand of patients with the virus who require intensive treatment.  Health care professionals in the United States are already developing protocols for responding to COVID-19, including treatment rationing that will determine who will and will not have access to life-saving treatment.

“Oklahoma’s draft Hospital Crisis Standards of care plan contains many troubling provisions that would deny or remove lifesaving care from individuals with disabilities. We will not sit by as members of our community are left for dead. We stand up for those with preexisting disabilities and those with newly acquired disabilities who are impacted by COVID-19.  We implore Governor Stitt to amend the current plan and provide urgently needed guidance to the health care professionals to ensure Oklahomans with disabilities are not illegally denied lifesaving care based disability,” said Melissa Sublett, Executive Director, Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc.

“Even in the midst of the current crisis, Oklahoma must abide by its obligation to not discriminate against people with disabilities.  Lives of Oklahomans with disabilities are at stake. I urge Governor Stitt to take swift action to protect them,” said ODLC’s Legal Director, Brian Wilkerson.

 

FINAL- ODLC Medical Rationing Response Letter


 

Coronavirus Tips for Staying Healthy

Here are some important tips for staying healthy from our friends at the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.


 

ODLC Services Continue During COVID-19 Outbreak, Offices Closed to the Public

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 16, 2020

PRESS CONTACT:

Melissa Sublett, Oklahoma Disability Law Center
Executive Director
918-830-5559
melissa@okdlc.org

OTHER HELPFUL NUMBERS:

Applying for our legal services or clients who have open cases: 1-800-880-5575

ODLC Continues Providing Services During COVID-19 Outbreak

Offices Closed to the Public, Temporary Operational Procedures in Place

Tulsa—Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc., the federally designated protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in Oklahoma, is committed to the health and safety of our staff, their families, the people we serve and our communities.

Because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to prevent community spread, we are taking the following precautions until at least April 16, 2020, or longer if needed. These safeguards are in place not only to protect our staff and clients, but also the communities where we live and especially populations that are more vulnerable to the virus.

Please know we are equally committed during this time to continuing our services to protect and advocate for people with disabilities.

Starting March 16, 2020, and continuing until at least April 16, 2020, or longer if required:

  1. We have asked our staff to work from home. Our Information Technology Team is providing support and resources to allow our staff to continue to do their work and offer services to our clients and the community with as little interruption as possible. You can still contact our main line and individual staff through email addresses or phone numbers previously provided.
  2. Our offices throughout the state will be closed to the public. Locations include our both our Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices.
  3. Our intake phone lines and our office and staff phone lines will remain open during regular business hours.
  4. Our staff will not participate in any in-person meetings at our offices or in other locations. We will use email, telephone, video conferencing and other means to communicate with clients and others.
  5. All staff speaking engagements and exhibiting events are cancelled.
  6. All non-essential staff travel is suspended.

We urge you to continue taking preventive measures recommended by the CDC including proper hand washing, social distancing, and more.

Watch our Facebook, Twitter and our website for special resources for people with disabilities who might be facing unique disability rights situations because of the outbreak.

We will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 and provide regular updates to our community on changes in our time frame or specifics of these preventive measures.

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Oklahoma Disability Law Center Inc. is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. Its mission is to protect, promote and expand the rights of people with disabilities. Learn more on our website at http://okdlc.org/ or call us to apply for legal services at 1-800-880-5575.


 

OKLegalConnect.org is here!

OKLegalConnect.org is here!

Oklahoma Disability Law Center has partnered with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Indian Legal Services to bring you OKLegalConnect.org.

OKLegalConnect.org is a simple way to find free or low cost legal help for those who qualify.

Each partner organization has specific eligibility criteria and may have restrictions on what type of legal issues they are able to handle, this one-stop solution matches your legal issue with the right service, in the right place, at the right price.

Whether you’re facing discrimination, special education issues, guardianship issues, eviction or foreclosure, divorce, child support or visitation rights, or other legal problems, the help you need is just a few clicks away.

Start by going to OKLegalConnect.org and answering a few confidential questions:

The OKLegalConnect.org interview provides an initial screening for legal help based on common basic eligibility requirements.
We will try to match you with the best low or no-cost legal fee organization that might take your case or give you legal advice.
These free or low-cost providers in Oklahoma are a part of this service:
• Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
• Oklahoma Indian Legal Services
• Oklahoma Disability Law Center
Other organizations in Oklahoma provide free or low-cost legal help.
We will also give you information to contact them.

Link to oklegalconnect.org


 

ODLC and ALRC Respond to OHCA’s Proposed Rules for SoonerCare Coverage of ABA Therapy

On March 3, 2019 the Oklahoma HealthCare Authority (OHCA) posted proposed rules for the coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis Services.  ODLC has serious concerns about the proposed rules as written.  We have partnered with the Autism Legal Resource Center to submit public comment to OHCA detailing these concerns.  Our joint public comment follows:

ALRC OKDLC Comments on OHCA Proposed ABA Policy