25 Anniversary logo
Join us in celebrating 25 years as an independent agency. On June 11, 1993, then Gov. David Walters signed Senate Bill 356, establishing the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. Its passage was evidence of the state of Oklahoma’s commitment to provide more effective consumer responsive services for its citizens with disabilities. DRS was established to serve many of the major programs important to the disability community including Rehabilitation Services, Visual Services, Oklahoma School for the Blind, Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Disability Determination Services.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Buddy Thomas



This media release was originally released on Oct. 6, 2017. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Shop manager, bladecrafter is DRS Disability Employment Awareness Month spokesperson

Thomas hammering metal on an anvil wearing heavy fireproof gloves.

QUAPAW, Okla. – Two jobs are not enough for Tulsa Native Norman “Buddy” Thomas. Someday, he hopes to add a third job helping others who are deaf “chase their own passions and dreams.”

Thomas is shop manager at Metal Fab Trophy and Screen Printing in Miami. He also owns Tree of Liberty Bladecraft and Forge, a professional grade knife-making business recently featured in national Blade magazine.

He has made 200 knives or other weapons, but Thomas considers himself an apprentice.

School for the Blind Jazz Band to perform Oct 15 at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa

Five students play saxophones in a mall

TULSA, OKLA. – The Oklahoma School for the Blind will celebrate National White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Monday, October 15, at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

The free event is open to the public.

Woodland Hills Mall is located at 7021 S. Memorial Road.

OSB faculty will display educational exhibits beginning at 3 p.m.

The award-winning OSB Jazz Band, which earned 2-A state championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018, will perform at 6 p.m.

OKC advocates celebrate National White Cane Safety Day October 13

Man with white cane holds arm of woman with White Cane Day sign

OKLAHOMA CITY ─ Saturday, October 13, will mark the 10th year the Heartland Council of the Blind has celebrated National White Cane Safety Awareness Day in Oklahoma City.

Activities focus on the importance of the white cane as a tool to achieve independence and a symbol of people with vision loss.

Heartland Council members will gather with participants from Visual Services in the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and Veterans Independence Through Adaptive Living (VITAL) at 11 a.m. in Bricktown.

DRS serving 2,960 wait-listed jobseekers with disabilities since January 1

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Department of Rehabilitation Services is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by transferring approximately 1,800 job seekers with significant disabilities from waiting lists to active Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services caseloads.

VR and VS staff began providing career planning and employment services to the most recent group of 904 applicants on September 24. Staff will begin serving approximately 900 more jobseekers on October 08. The exact number will be determined on that date.

Pages