Media release

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Productive summer fun is just around the corner with free training and work experience summer programs offered by Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Transition program for youth with disabilities.

 

Transition will start summer camps soon in multiple urban and rural locations around the state.

 

The DRS Transition program serves 3,725 students, 16-21, eligible for DRS’ employment programs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

 

BEST STEP

 

DRS clients, ages 16 and older who will return to high school in August 2022, can improve their employment readiness and gain summer work experience in the five-week, two-part program BEST STEP (Building Employment Skills for Today and Summer Transition Employment Program).

 

BEST participants attend one week of employment training before working part-time through STEP for up to 25 hours of paid employment each week at businesses in their communities. Applications and interviews are required. For more information, download the BEST STEP flier, email rsansom@okdrs.gov or jgoldston@ou.edu or call at 405-212-7789

 

BEST STEP is funded by DRS with summer camp training and services delivered in partnership with OU National Center for Disability Education and Training’s Pre-ETS program.

 

STEM CAMPS

 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camps are open to all Oklahoma students, ages 14-19, with documented physical, mental or cognitive disabilities. Students learn to use computers, software and related technologies to design and create power racer dragsters, High Tech (HT) powered racers, t-shirts, patches, bracelets, mouse pads and buttons.

 

Tech Now is partnering with DRS to offer STEM camps in Lawton, Garber, Tulsa and Oklahoma City in June and July. Download the STEM Camps flier for each location to get dates and more information about general camps. You can also get information about the OKC camp designed for students with autism spectrum diagnoses. Contact rsansom@okdrs.gov or tech-now@hotmail.com, or phone 405-212-7789 with questions.

 

SUMMER VIBE

 

VIBE (Visually Impaired and Blindness Empowerment) camps are June 26 through July 1, and July 24 through 29 for students with visual disabilities. These week-long camps focus on assessment, and career and higher education exploration to help students prepare for employment and independent life. Participants improve communication, travel and transportation, technology and team building skills.

 

VIBE is offered by DRS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Applications are required. For more information, download the VIBE flier, email csnow@okdrs.gov or dtrout@okdrs.gov or phone 405-522-3333.

 

The Transition program serves clients, ages 16 to 21, eligible for DRS’ employment programs, Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

 

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Transition program works closely with the OU National Center for Disability Education and Training through a statewide contract to provide pre-employment transition services, or Pre-ETS. PreETS helps DRS clients and potential clients identify career interests in preparation for DRS’ direct Transition and VR and SBVI adult employment assistance to help them become taxpayers.

 

DRS partners with Tech Now to help high school age youth with disabilities prepare to enter the workforce and to lead independent lives. Tech Now is an entrepreneurship course that develops career skills, offering youth the opportunity to use design software and build computer and related technology skills.

 

DRS served 82,533 Oklahomans with disabilities in 2021 with career preparation, employment, residential and outreach education, independent living programs and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits. The agency helps job seekers with disabilities face barriers to employment, such as inaccessible worksites, lack of transportation or the need for specialized equipment or training. For more information, visit http://www.okdrs.gov or phone 800-845-8476.