OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Beaty from McAlester earned the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Vocational Rehabilitation Client of the Year award on March 10 at the state Capitol.
Beaty received his award on DRS’ 25th People with Disabilities Awareness Day.
Commission for Rehabilitation Services Commissioner Emily Cheng and DRS Executive Director Melinda Fruendt recognized Beaty for his success “in commercial real estate sales for ReMax Advantage in McAlester and expertise in marketing restaurants and wholesale buildings.”
Beaty had a successful career in sales for 23 years before three strokes created issues with left side mobility, stamina, unsteady walk and coordination of muscle movements.
He needed a new job with a flexible schedule so he could work when his stamina was high.
Beaty applied for Vocational Rehabilitation employment services with counselor Valerie Rogers. She offered career counseling and purchased training and speech to text software, which enables Kevin to create documents and operate his computer with verbal commands.
Today, Kevin Beaty serves on the Expo Authority for City of McAlester, Patient Advisory Board for McAlester Regional Health Center, Southeast Oklahoma Association of Realtors Political Action Committee and Professional Standards Committee for Oklahoma Association of Realtors.
In years past, People with Disabilities Awareness Day brought nearly a thousand Oklahomans to the state Capitol to talk with lawmakers and share their stories. Construction at the state Capitol this year made such an onsite event impossible, leading supporters to come together online at www.okdrs.gov/pwdad for a social media event.
Last year, DRS served 82,787 Oklahomans with disabilities with career preparation, employment, residential and outreach education, independent living programs and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits. The agency helps job seekers with disabilities face barriers to employment, such as inaccessible worksites, lack of transportation or the need for specialized equipment or training. For more information, visit http://www.okdrs.gov or phone 800-845-8476.