Council Project History

Second Generation

The second generation of Council projects followed a slightly different set of rules. Each of these projects was awarded by competitive bid and was renewable for two additional one-year periods. The funding provided by the Council was to decrease in each year of the contract. The Council expected that the matching funds required by the project would increase each year of the contract, thus assuring continuation of the project over the long-term. These projects were considerably more progressive in nature, and most projects continue in some form at the local or state level.

The projects were good for both the Council and the communities they served, but neither these projects nor the State Plans under which they were funded were strategically planned, and therefore the systemic impact of these projects was not clearly defined. The projects listed are organized under the four federal priority areas as they were then defined by the Developmental Disabilities Act: Child Development Priority Area, Community Living Priority Area, Employment Priority Area, and a new heading entitled Systems Coordination and Community Education Priority Area.

Second Generation Specific Priority Areas:

Child Development

Community Living


Systems Coordination and Community Education


Child Development Priority Area

Project PEAK – contracted with the Oklahoma City Chapter for Autistic Citizens, Oklahoma City

This contract designed and established an assessment and program development program for children with autism at the State Department of Education. Psychometrists at the 21 Regional Education Service Centers were trained to screen children who might have autism in their local school districts. Regional resource libraries assist parents and teachers working with children with autism help assure proper programs and supports.

Mobile Outreach Unit – contracted with University of Okla. Health Sciences Center/Child Study Center, Oklahoma City.

In addition to the Child Study Center, the Health Sciences Center campus also includes Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma. This hospital specializes in treating children with significant and complex medical and developmental needs. Once the children are discharged, specialized care is not often available in their home communities. Through this contract, a developmental pediatrician and clinical staff traveled throughout the state to provide medical and developmental screenings of children who had been discharged from Children’s Hospital and other children considered “at-risk” of developmental disability or delay. Medical services were not provided to these children; rather, the team consulted with the child’s medical physician and nurse clinicians to assure the medical personnel were familiar with developmental processes and appropriate intervention strategies.

Fetal Alcohol and Drug Exposure Prevention Project – contracted with University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/Child Study Center, Oklahoma City

Aware of the rising population of children born to narcotic-addicted mothers, this project provided multidisciplinary evaluation, therapies for developmental disabilities, and parent-child interaction training to ameliorate disability and prevent the development of behavior problems in infants and toddlers with fetal drug exposure. The project also provided training for professionals at the in-service and pre-service levels.

Minority Developmental Disability Outreach Program for Children and Families – contracted with Community Health Centers Inc., Oklahoma City

At the time this proposal was accepted by the Council, personnel of the Community Health Centers were about to begin work on the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program. Phone interviews were conducted by Community Health Centers in northeastern Oklahoma County, which is predominantly an African-American population. If children in the home were determined to have developmental disabilities, the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program could provide information and referral to appropriate services if the child’s parents were veterans of the Vietnam War. However, children with disabilities whose parents were not veterans could receive no further assistance. With the funding provided for the Council, children identified through the Agent Orange Class Assistance Program who did not qualify as children of veterans could also be provided these services.

LINK Project – contracted with the Children’s Medical Center Child Development Institute, Tulsa

LINK is a Child Development project which began in Tulsa. At the time this project began, there were 13,000 children in 193 child care centers. Personnel at the Child Development Institute were being contacted by child care providers about possible delays in some of the children in their centers. Through this project, all children in child care centers in the Tulsa area were screened for possible developmental delays. When delays were found, parents of these children were linked to service providers who could assist the family.

The Chickasha Project – contracted with the Center for Child and Family Development/University of Oklahoma, Norman

The Council’s first Family Support project, the Chickasha Project served 25 families which included children with severe disabilities in Chickasha, Oklahoma. In addition to providing early identification and early intervention services, the families involved in the project helped to support each other, which built esteem in the families and friendships among the adults and children. The project also increased awareness of early identification of developmental delays.

FACT Project (Family Assistance Through Caregiver Training) – contracted with the Center for Child and Family Development/University of Oklahoma, Norman

The FACT Project addressed the need of child care for children with disabilities. FACT specifically targeted eight rural areas of Oklahoma and trained not only childcare professionals, but also parents and other family members. The training was also offered to classroom teachers and aides, VISTA volunteers, Foster Grandparents and others who might wish to volunteer their services to assist families of children with disabilities. The eight sites were Woodward, Stillwater, Afton, Sallisaw, Idabel, Ardmore, Chickasha, and Altus.

Community Living Priority Area

Community Integration Marketing Project Contracted with Tulsa ARC, Tulsa

This project focused on developing positive community attitudes regarding individuals with developmental disabilities and programs which integrate them into the community. A comprehensive public information and marketing strategy targeted 19 counties in northeastern Oklahoma, the catchment area of the former Hissom Memorial Center, and the geographic area of most former Hissom clients who were returning to the community. The theme of the public relations effort was "Count Us In."

Consumer Leadership Project contracted with Tulsa ARC, Tulsa

A curriculum entitled “Leadership +” was developed and presented to persons with cognitive disabilities. The goal of the project was to train and place persons with disabilities on boards and advisory committees of public agencies and private organizations. The curriculum taught leadership and group participation skills. Tulsa ARC also worked with agencies and organizations to teach them how to accommodate persons with disabilities serving on their boards.

Parent Training Program – contracted with the Oklahoma City Chapter for Autistic Citizens, Oklahoma City

At the time of this contract, the only service offered to families which included an individual with autism was placement at a specialized residential school in a neighboring state. Recognizing that this was not a desirable option for most parents, the Oklahoma City Chapter for Autistic Citizens developed and implemented a training program to teach parents how to navigate the school-based services and write effective IEPs, learn and teach better communication skills for persons with disabilities, plan for the future, and other coping skills.

Information and Referral Support Network for Persons with Epilepsy – contracted with Epilepsy Association of the Sooner State, Oklahoma City

In addition to establishing support groups statewide for persons with epilepsy and parents of children with epilepsy, the contract provided for several in-service training sessions for public school teachers and civic organizations, and performed several “Kids on the Block” puppet shows at preschools, elementary schools and libraries to increase awareness about epilepsy.

Centennial Park – contracted with Centennial Park Inc., Duncan and Freedom Trail Playground – contracted with City of Yukon

Daycare Photo
The Tulsa LINK Project conducted developmental assessments on children in daycare settings in Tulsa County
Kids playing photo

Recreation and Leisure Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities contracted with The Power Shop, Duncan

The Power Shop is a large provider agency in the city of Duncan. Although vocational services and residential needs of their clients were being met, there were no efforts being made to assure that their clients and others with disabilities in Duncan had recreational opportunities in the community of Duncan. With the assistance of a physical and occupational therapist, recreational opportunities already available in Duncan were presented to clients of The Power Shop and others with disabilities living in Duncan. Not only did individuals benefit from exposure to these opportunities, it allowed the citizens of Duncan to meet and get to know individuals with disabilities as their fellow citizens.

Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center, contracted with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/Dept. of Physical Therapy, Oklahoma City

Although there were several resources for assistive technology services available at the Health Sciences Center prior to this contract, the establishment of a single site coordinated the various equipment, supplies and personnel under one office. Over the course of the contract, the Positioning and Mobility Center, as it was originally known, became an important part of the service delivery system. OATC is today a well-established entity within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at OUHSC.

Day Care Worker Training for Children with Disabilities – contracted with Special Care Inc., Oklahoma City

Special Care, Inc. is a day care center which serves children with and without developmental delay and disability. Because of the great and increasing demand for child care for children with disabilities, Special Care proposed to train workers in typical day care centers so those centers should accept children with disabilities. By 2000, more than 650 day care workers in 94 Oklahoma communities had been trained with the Special Care curriculum developed with this contract. In 2000, the Council provided additional financial assistance to close-caption the training videos for greater accessibility of the program.

Project Access – contracted with McAlester Public Schools, McAlester

While technically a contract with McAlester Public Schools, this project was actually a community inclusion program, as the old McAlester High School had become a community center and meeting space. In order to better serve its citizens, architectural modifications were needed. Council funding provided extensive renovation to the exterior of the building and the addition of an elevator. This project was significant as by this time, the Americans with Disabilities Act had passed, but exempted historical buildings from being retro-fit for accessibility. The City of McAlester declined to exempt the building, and the Council was therefore able to support this effort.

Futures – contracted with TransVoc Inc., Tulsa

Parents in southern and central Oklahoma had been traveling as far as Wichita Falls, Texas to give their children the opportunity to play on an accessible playground. In both Duncan and Yukon, groups of parents began to work with their municipal governments and public and private funding sources to design, plan and build accessible playgrounds in those cities.

Both parks, built before the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, have been wildly successful in their communities and are models of new park design in Oklahoma.

Future1 pic

Services Satisfaction Survey – contracted with Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

By 1990, community-based services had been part of the Oklahoma service system for several years. This survey discussed satisfaction with the systems in place by surveying primary and secondary consumer as well as providers of services.

Employment Priority Area

11th Street Laundry – contracted with Tri-Cities Helping Hands, Wewoka

In the rural community of Wewoka, employment options for persons with developmental disabilities were extremely limited. Working with Council funding, a local provider employed persons with disabilities while teaching independent living skills at this full-service laundromat.

Computer Training Project – contracted with Ki-Bois Community Action Foundation Inc., Stigler

Emerging technology was the focus of this Council project, which served four cities in southeastern Oklahoma: Stigler, Wilburton, McAlester and Poteau. As a way to develop and improve job skills and independent living skills for persons with disabilities, computers with accessible hardware and software were purchased. Project participants used basic educational programs, and as computer skills progressed, new programs were added.

Sweets, Etc. – contracted with the Sequoyah County Human Development Center, Sallisaw (formerly People Inc.)

By the time this contract was signed, The Spud Shoppe had been a very successful employment program in Sallisaw. Based on that success, the Human Development Center proposed to open a second food service business. This was a difficult decision for the Council as moves away from “traditional” employment sources such as food service were being advocated. However, based on the economic situation (many fast food restaurants; not many other job opportunities for anyone in the population) and the business profile of Sallisaw (i.e. no bakery operating in Sallisaw), the Council did approve this project, which was indeed very successful.

Developmental Disability Employment Training Project – contracted with Progressive Independence, Norman

Progressive Independence is a Center for Independent Living that developed a model job-readiness program with a unique difference. Individuals who took part in this project focused their employment goals on community change by choosing an issue of community-wide importance and developing and implementing a plan for positive change. The hypothesis tested through this project was that active participation in improving one’s community might provide a key to gainful employment.


Systems Coordination and Community Education Priority Area

pdf logoConsumer Involvement Fund Brochure

Consumer Involvement Fund

Individuals with developmental disabilities, family members and professionals are encouraged to participate in conferences, training sessions, and related activities.The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council has a small pool of funds we make available as financial assistance for advocates in the developmental disabilities field to participate in conferences and short-term educational programs. The Council provides this support as a method of capacity-building for Oklahoma.

The Council, through an application process, provides financial assistance annually for up to 25 persons to attend these events. Those wishing to travel with the Council’s assistance agree to present a written report about the conference to the Council and write a letter of introduction about themselves and their issues to their state legislators and congressional representation.

For more information please see the Council's Consumer Involvement Fund section.

Vocational and Community Integration of Persons with a Dual Diagnosis – contracted with The Power Shop, Duncan

Persons with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and mental retardation are a particular challenge to the service system in Oklahoma as there are two state agencies designated to serve the population: the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The Power Shop spent many hours learning how to work with this population and provided supported employment services through this contract. Additionally, The Power Shop worked to fully integrate the persons served by the contract into the community by arranging residential services for clients, including some who were discharging from the Greer Center, an institution serving persons with a dual diagnosis in Enid.

ENaBLE (Everyone Needs a Better Living Environment), contracted with the University Affiliated Program of Oklahoma (now the Center for Learning and Leadership), Oklahoma City

ENaBLE worked to develop the community infrastructure necessary for coordinated community support of initiatives to support people with developmental disabilities and their families on a regional and statewide basis. This included the design and implementation of an interdisciplinary advocacy training program, a model community education demonstration project on family support, and initiation of a dialogue between advocacy organization leadership.

CARE Councils (Community Awareness, Resources, and Education), contracted with Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Tulsa

Based on the findings of a Council report, the College of Osteopathic Medicine attempted to develop community councils in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. The goal of the councils was to provide information and community education on issues related to developmental disabilities. The major foci of community education were education, employment, information and referral, and residential alternatives.


Future pic 2

Futures is an independent living skills training project which assisted clients of TransVoc, an employment provider. Among the skills developed were basic reading and math skills, independent leisure skills, and “social survival skills” – cooking, social interaction skills, and the like.

Photos:Futures Program at TransVoc Inc.Tulsa, OK

Centennial Park in Duncan, OK