Disability award winners honored at state Capitol

Woman hands document to man

OKLAHOMA CITY –– More than 830 Oklahomans with disabilities and supporters came to the state Capitol March 12 to celebrate the 24th People with Disabilities Awareness Day and honor disability award winners.

Those who were recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services included Meg Wingerter, a health reporter for The Oklahoman, who earned DRS’ he 2018 Excellence in Communication award.

DRS Commissioner April Danahy acknowledged Wingerter’s “well-researched and interesting stories about Oklahomans with disabilities and critical disability issues.”

It's National Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day

a thank you card
Each year, the United States Senate recognizes March 22 as National Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day. Commissioner Emily Cheng and I recognize those who have chosen this profession. As a former vocational rehabilitation client and counselor, I (Commissioner Cheng) have been on both sides of your desk. We sincerely appreciate your commitment to successful employment of Oklahomans with disabilities. You enable and inspire jobseekers to reach their goals for economic independence and an improved quality of life. In Oklahoma, we continue to recognize your master’s-level rehabilitation counseling education and professional certifications as valued credentials that document your dedication to this rewarding career.

You and the administrative and professional staff on your team truly make a difference in our state.

Emily Cheng, Commission for Rehabilitation Services Chair
Melinda Fruendt, DRS Executive Director

Huge turnout for School for the Deaf’s sign language camp

A group of people signing at a table

SULPHUR, Okla. –– Oklahoma School for the Deaf recently hosted an American Sign Language Immersion Camp, which brought ASL to life for 164 students learning sign language at six high schools and seven colleges.

Students from two high schools and one college in Texas participated in the two-day training at OSD’s campus in Sulphur.

OSD’s camp was a sign only event, which challenged students to communicate without using their voices.

Go back in time with us with this classic press release - meet Dale McFarlin



This media release was originally released on Oct. 13, 2006. DRS has been empowering Oklahomans for 25 years.


Agra native celebrates 50 years in business at the same hometown snack bar

McFarland in his snack shop.

AGRA, Okla. -- 1956 -- the year that Elvis Presley’s first single hit the music charts and President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized adding “under God” to the “Pledge of Allegiance” – was also the year that Dale McFarlin opened his snack bar business on Main Street in Agra, Oklahoma.

A native of the small central Oklahoma town, 30-year old McFarlin returned home with his wife Helen and young son Jim, preferring the simplicity of small town life to the faster pace in Enid where they had previously lived.

“I just always kind of liked a small town – the atmosphere and all,” McFarlin said standing in his usual position at the snack bar counter. “Things are just a little bit simpler in a small town seemed to me like.”

Dale McFarlin liked Agra so well that he stayed in business in the same white, clapboard store in the same town for the last 50 years. The townspeople who can’t imagine life without him assume that’s a record.

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