Oklahoma County Commissioners’ Commission on Disability: What Does it Mean?

As smartphone penetration has increased and apps that facilitate geolocation have become more common, the idea of being able to place oneself in a virtual space has become increasingly feasible. This sense of personal exploration is perhaps best exemplified by video games, which have been useful in helping people understand the mechanics of a new environment, especially for those with visual impairments.
In an effort to make the county’s services more accessible to all, the Commissioners’ Commission on Disability was established in January 2016. The Commission is a subcommittee of the Oklahoma County Commissioners’ Executive Committee, which oversees the local government. The Commission’s goals include assessing the county’s current programs, services, policies and services to identify barriers to services, and identify opportunities for ensuring that all Oklahomans have equal access to all county services.

What does the Commissioners’ Commission on Disability do?

The Commissioners’ Commission on Disability is an advisory group that serves to facilitate the county’s work to provide services and opportunities that are accessible to all citizens, including those with disabilities. The Commission will also serve as a forum for ideas and concerns of Oklahomans with disabilities.
The Commission has four major goals, which are:
– Identify and assess the current programs, services, policies and services provided by the County in order to identify any barriers they may pose to equal access.
– Identify opportunities for ensuring that all Oklahomans have equal access to all county services.
– Provide recommendations on how existing policies can be improved or changed in order to provide better service for those with disability.
– Provide recommendations on how new policies can be created in order to ensure that all Oklahomans who identify as disabled receive equitable service from the County.

The Commission’s first meeting

The Commission’s first meeting was held on September 20, 2016. The focus of the meeting was to assess the county’s current services and opportunities for improving Oklahoma County’s accessibility.
As mentioned previously, the Commission is a subcommittee of the Oklahoma County Commissioners’ Executive Committee. This means that members from the executive committee will make recommendations to commissioners, who then vote on whether or not to implement any changes. This system allows for greater oversight by local government officials as well as a measure of transparency for those affected by these changes.
Additionally, in order to ensure that all Oklahomans have equal access to county services, the Commission will encourage and facilitate collaboration with other agencies and organizations in order to implement their goals effectively.

The Commission’s next steps

The Commissioners’ Commission on Disability is looking to do three main things:
1) Create a county-wide plan for ensuring that all Oklahomans are provided equal access to services and have opportunities to be involved in decision-making processes.
2) Educate and train employees and community members on disability issues, including how to provide effective customer service.
3) To bring local government into the 21st century by creating a digital hub that will allow citizens to access information about their government easily and efficiently.

The urgency of creating accessibility policies like this one is due to the increasing rate at which people with disabilities are trying to find employment
and move away from reliance on public benefits. The commission hopes that through these initiatives, they can help ease some of the burden faced by Oklahomans with disabilities as they try to make progress in their professional lives.

Accessible Technology

One of the Commission’s first recommendations was to establish a virtual reality lab, which would provide access to virtual experiences for those with visual impairments. The lab is currently being funded by the state and will be operational in 2019.
Additionally, the Commission also recommended that the county’s online services be accessible for citizens with disabilities or hearing loss. This recommendation came about as a result of an evaluation of what barriers are put in place by Oklahomans with disabilities or hearing loss when accessing digital service options.

Oklahoma County’s Accessible Demise Plan

The Commission’s first report, released in May 2016, addresses the county’s lack of accessibility and recommends a comprehensive plan for making all county services more accessible. The Commission also recommended that no one should be excluded from any county service based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Commission’s final report was released in June 2017. This report discussed the implementation of the recommendations made by the Commissioners’ Commission on Disability and provided an overview of data collected as a part of a survey sent to all Oklahomans who had interacted with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office during 2015-2016. The survey found that approximately 4 percent of those surveyed indicated that they were denied service due to their disability.
Who is this program for?
This program is for anyone with disabilities who needs assistance interacting with the county government. If you are not sure if your disability qualifies you for some type of accommodation or service, contact our Customer Service Center at [email protected]

Conclusion

The Commissioners’ Commission on Disability is Oklahoma County’s first step in creating a plan to make Oklahoma County more accessible. The future of the Commission is uncertain, but their first meeting laid out the groundwork for a plan that will hopefully change Oklahoma County for the better.

Leave a Comment