Public Hearings will be conducted by Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (and the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council on May 14 in Lawton, May 15 in Tulsa and May 16 in Oklahoma City. Comments will be heard regarding updates to the DRS State Plan for programs that focus on services for Oklahomans with disabilities.

Programs affected by the proposed new State Plan are administered by DRS and include vocational rehabilitation for people with all types of disabilities and supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities who need assistance on and off their jobs to obtain and maintain employment.

DRS provides a variety of services that help individuals with disabilities achieve employment, personal independence and self-sufficiency. The ORC advises DRS on development of policies and plans for rehabilitation services.

The comments from current or former clients and disability advocates will assist DRS in making annual updates to the Title I, State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Title VI, Part B, Supported Employment Services.

The State Plan documents DRS’ commitment to provide services to Oklahomans with disabilities in compliance with federal statutory, regulatory and policy requirements. The agency works closely with the ORC to jointly develop goals and priorities and ensure collaboration with Oklahomans with disabilities and key partners of the statewide workforce investment system.

Public hearing dates and locations are:

• Lawton – Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 1 – 3 p.m., Great Plains Technology Center, 4500 West Lee Blvd, Building 600 – Room 655

• Tulsa – Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 1 – 3 p.m., Total Source for Hearing Loss and Access (TSHA), 8740 E 11th Street, conference room

• Oklahoma City – Thursday, May 16, 2013, 2 – 4 p.m., Department of Rehabilitation Services State Office, 3535 NW 58th Street, 2nd floor conference room

If you would like to comment, but are unable to attend the public hearings, written comments may be sent to the attention of Melinda Fruendt, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, 3535 NW 58th Street, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK 73112-4824. Written comments must be received no later than May 16, 2013.

Hard copies of the proposed State Plan may be obtained from Melinda Fruendt, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 3535 NW 58th Street, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK, 73112, by email or by calling toll free 1-800-845-8476. Copies of the plan will also be available on the DRS website