Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 17, 2008
Sen. Ron Justice
Unanimously Approves Measure for Regional Service Center for Deaf
The State Senate gave unanimous approval
Wednesday to a measure to establish the Oklahoma School for the
Deaf regional service center on the University of Science and Arts
of Oklahoma (USAO) campus in Chickasha. House Bill 1546 is authored
by Chickasha Republicans Sen. Ron
Justice and Rep. Susan Winchester.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,”
said Justice. “Not only would this center be able to provide
more services to deaf and hearing impaired students than are currently
available, but having the day school would also provide a unique
training and education opportunity for those studying deaf education
by giving them hands on experience.”
Under provisions of the legislation, if the Department of Rehabilitation
Services has any funds left over from the monies appropriated to
it by the Legislature for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009,
the agency would use $941,000 to fund the operations for the regional
“This is a project that has been a long time in the making.
The completion of the Deaf Education Lab School will be a tremendous
addition to the USAO campus and will provide much needed assistance
for the families of Oklahoma,” said Winchester, who has been
championing the legislation for this project since 2002.
By partnering with USAO, the Jane Brooks School for the Deaf and
the Jane Brooks Foundation, the service center would be able to
provide a number of services to deaf and hearing impaired students
and their families including a childhood and elementary day school
and a variety of support services. It would serve families within
an approximately 40-mile radius including parts of Lawton-Ft. Sill
and the Oklahoma City metro.
“Because we’ve been working on this project for so
many years, the facilities are already in place at the university.
We just need the Legislature and Governor to take this last step
for Oklahoma’s deaf and hearing impaired students,”
Established in 1945, USAO’s deaf education program has been
nationally recognized for its quality in teacher education and support
of the deaf community. The Oklahoma School for the Deaf (OSD) is
the single largest employer of graduates from the Deaf Education
program at USAO and the university supplies more teachers for OSD
than any other university.
HB 1546 will now return to the House for final approval.
For more information contact:
Senator Justice's Office: (405) 521-5537