Hey, buddy! #pwdad2019

An overcast and drizzly day outside turned into warm, bright greetings in the Oklahoma Capitol on People with Disabilities Awareness Day 2019.

Participants of DRTC's various on campus programs pose for a group photo outside the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Group photo outside the Capitol.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) gathered a team of individuals involved in its various programs to participate in the annual event put on by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.


Debbie Ladd, Mobile Workforce Coordinator, assembled the team of nine prior to the six-mile trip down Northwest 23rd Street to go over the game plan. They reviewed lawmakers to visit, including those located within DRTC’s district, as well as other key legislators. In addition, Ladd also provided handouts from Oklahoma Community Providers regarding legislation that impact people with disabilities to supply to lawmakers and their staff.

Once at the Capitol, DRTC clients visited the offices of approximately 20 lawmakers. However, most were conducting state business and were unavailable. Individuals did a fantastic job speaking with their assistants, introducing themselves and Dale Rogers Training Center, as well as talking about legislation that could impact people with disabilities statewide.

Chris, who has gained agency-wide fame for his famous “Hey, buddy!” greetings, used his signature call on just about everyone throughout the Capitol, including Majority Leader Jon Echols who was on his way to a colleague’s office. The two spoke briefly about DRTC’s visit before taking a picture together.

Chris and Majority Leader Jon Echols.
Chris and Majority Leader Jon Echols.

Well-known work

Gracie Monson speaking with DRTC's crew.
Gracie Monson speaking with DRTC’s crew.

Dale Rogers Training Center is well known throughout the Capitol. Not only is DRTC Oklahoma’s oldest and largest vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities, but the nonprofit agency also manufactures products used throughout the Capitol building.


“We order plaques from Dale Rogers (Training Center),” said Gracie Monson with Senator Kevin Matthews’ office.

Sonya Barker, Legislative Assistant to Representatives Mark Lawson and Kyle Hilbert told us they have picture frames produced at Wyman Frame, a division of DRTC, in their office.

Dale Rogers Training Center participates in the State Use program, which facilitates contracted work between state agencies and nonprofit agencies providing work for people with disabilities. DRTC currently holds contracts for awards, trophies, plaques, name plates, badges, holders (through Prism Place), picture frames (Wyman Frame) and even delineators.

Bills to watch

Dale Rogers Training Center is paying attention to a couple of bills this session:

HB 1290 – Would impact the State Use program by eliminating the 14c Department of Labor Certificate as a condition for participation in the program.

SB 202 – Would affect group home reimbursement from bed capacity to bed occupancy.

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Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs approximately 1,000 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

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