By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Executive Director Melinda Fruendt recently announced the recipients of the 2020 Executive Director’s Award.
Fruendt honored Lyuda Polyun, policy development and program standard’s administrator, and Stephanie Roe, DRS project coordinator.
Polyun, a resident of Oklahoma City, was recognized by Fruendt for “her exceptionally high degree of courage in her leadership abilities.”
“She is a trusted leader who earns the respect and loyalty of subordinates,” Fruendt said. “She excels in conveying her knowledge to others. Overall, Lyuda is a visionary thinker and planner. She promotes a strong vision of DRS’ future.”
Fruendt honored Stephanie Roe, of Edmond, “for the high priority to partners and stakeholders with whom she works side by side.”
“She delivers consistently high performance on a multitude of projects,” Fruendt said of Roe. “She views problems as opportunities. She is a strong supporter of and works incredibly hard to represent all DRS programs and services.
“She is a true ambassador for DRS. Stephanie excels in intercommunications and interactions, as well as in facilitating group discussions and meetings. Overall, Stephanie is able to turn visions into reality to inspire future success,” added Fruendt.
The awards were presented at a recent meeting of the Commission for Rehabilitation Services.
The Commission is the governing board for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), which serves more than 88,000 Oklahomans with disabilities each year through vocational rehabilitation, employment, independent living, educational programs, and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits.
DRS is comprised of five program divisions, Vocational Rehabilitation, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Disability Determination, Oklahoma School for the Blind and Oklahoma School for the Deaf. These divisions operate dozens of programs that help Oklahomans lead more independent and productive lives.
In February, proposed rule changes potentially affecting several programs for Oklahomans with disabilities will be the focus of a public hearing held by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council.
The public is encouraged to attend in-person at the Department of Rehabilitation Services State Office, 2nd floor conference room at 3535 NW 58th St., in Oklahoma City or through Zoom on Monday, Feb. 8 from 2 – 3 p.m. or via on-line Zoom meeting Meeting ID: 922 7601 9587, Passcode: 084037
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the public can attend via on-line Zoom meeting only from 5 – 6 p.m. (Meeting ID: 924 9848 3059, Passcode: 115266). Find your local number, or join by Skype for Business.
Programs affected by the proposed new rules are administered by DRS and include vocational rehabilitation and employment services for Oklahomans with all types of disabilities. For passcodes and to learn more, click here.
This story first appeared online on Jan. 18, 2021.