OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State leaders say they will begin holding regional family meetings to help families who have been waiting for disability services for years.

In May, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that eliminates the 13-year waiting list for Developmental Disability Services.

By July, Oklahoma Human Services said over 5,100 Oklahomans were still waiting for assistance.

However, the agency says the wait is almost over.

OKDHS announced that the wait list will end in a little over a year.

Now, the Oklahoma Human Services Developmental Disability Services division is launching regional family meetings across Oklahoma to help families who are moving off of the waitlist.

“The meetings, part of the PossABLE initiative, will empower families coming off the waitlist,” said Oklahoma Human Services Interim Director Samantha Galloway. “They will allow families to speak with DDS staff, meet service providers and connect with other family caregivers.”

Eligible families will receive invitations to those regional meetings based on their application date and when they will come off of the waitlist.

The first set of regional family meetings will take place next month. That meeting will be held for families who applied for DDS services between April 2012 and December 2013.

Sessions will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates and locations: 

  • Dec. 5 in Lawton
  • Dec. 6 in Oklahoma City 
  • Dec. 7 in Enid
  • Dec. 12 in Broken Arrow
  • Dec. 13 in McAlester
  • Dec. 14 in Oklahoma City.

Registration is required and the meeting is free to attend.

Officials say a $100 stipend is available for families who need to offset the cost of attendance due to travel or hiring a caregiver.

Call 844-944-9301 or go online to sign up, receive location details and learn about the stipend.

If a family who applied for DDS services between April 2012 and December 2013 did not receive an invitation, contact information can be updated here.