Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

December 11, 2012

Transition of SORC is manageable task — Much of the apprehension following a decision to close Oklahoma’s two disability related institutions has hinged on the lack of a full announced plan on transition into the community.

However, despite the fear that clients would not have similar needs met comparable to what they received somewhere like Pauls Valley’s Southern Oklahoma Resource Center or its sister site NORCE in Enid, there are those who believe it’ll be much smoother than one might think.

Take Ben Williamson, area III manager for the Developmental Disabilities Services Division of the Department of Human Services for example, who not only believes it can be done but has seen it work for the more than two decades he has worked for the local office.

“Pauls Valley has done a really good job transitioning people into the community already,” said Williamson, noting how things have improved and people have done well since he started working in the 1980s. “We’re working with them to make this as smooth as possible.”

One of those areas Williamson is confident needs will be met is anyone who may wish to continue living within Garvin County.

Williamson said that if all of the 120 plus clients that need to be moved were going to live in Pauls Valley, there would need to be a significant infrastructure overhaul here to make it possible, but he has actually seen trends to the contrary.

As case managers assigned to the clients have been working with them, Williamson has found how a majority of them are actually going to be near parents or guardians who live outside the county.

For those who wish to keep relatives close to this area, they are presented with existing providers be it in a group home network like the Garvin County Community Living Center or smaller family owned operations.

Williamson noted there are options where clients can have any level of freedom they were accustomed to before and as confirmed by the official state resource center transition plan, accommodations exist through providers be it vocational work programs to the ability to rent an available property in town. If a home is not ready to meet needs of a client, that too will be handled through this transition and homes will be modified depending on a person’s disability.

“These aren’t state homes… They rent from a landlord like we would,” said Williamson, adding how each county in the state has providers and DHS employees who already handle care of disabled clients in every community. “It may be a matter of finding a place to rent.”

Williamson also wishes to clear up a misconception that those who are the most profoundly disabled will not be able to get the same round the clock attention.

Options existing that would work in this scenario include a shared home environment chosen by guardians that includes nurses or other medical professionals from nutritionists to physical therapists who are there in rotating shifts even if needed for all 24 hours in a day.

As far as meeting the closure date of April 30, 2014, Williamson notes how this is more of a goal set through the vote than an absolute certainty. However, while it could take longer than the date to place everyone, he feels it is entirely possible to have all residents placed in communities of their choice by that time, if not earlier.

In the end, Williamson said the DDSD office has even learned from the previous institution, Hissom that closed near Tulsa, and can promise it will go much more smoothly with no mandate to close it before all clients are placed.

He fully expects transitions to begin early in 2013 with talks on options underway the moment the closure vote was cast and he said it will take a lot of cooperation from everyone involved.

“We don’t do this overnight,” said Williamson.

“Oklahoma’s gone through one institution closing and there was a deadline and we’ll meet this deadline... They won’t leave people out there just to meet a deadline.”

Text Only
Local News
  • PV Easter Weekend 2014 Easter weekend egg hunts in PV


    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Footloose Fest offers a full day for visitors

    The tradition that has made Elmore City a household name, The Footloose Festival, is set to bring its signature event back for a fourth year.

    April 24, 2014

  • Earth Day Recycling Anniversary Recycling fun for Earth Day

    Tips on living healthy, conservation and even plastic water bottles were flying all over this week as Pauls Valley’s new recycling center celebrated its first ever birthday.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Unicycle fun one more time

    A class teaching kids and adults alike how to ride a unicycle is about to make a second go around here in Pauls Valley.

    April 23, 2014

  • Arbor Week Honor Tree honor runs deep

    Maysville’s grade school was a good place for some learning, namely about trees as students and others gathered Monday to celebrate one of their own taking the top prize in a statewide Arbor Week contest.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community rallying around teen

    Waging a war against cancer has always included support not just for those afflicted, but for loved ones impacted by the disease.

    April 22, 2014

  • Relay for Life Treats Tasty Treats Help Relay for Life


    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • BrickFest, Hero Day to join forces

    The wait is finally over and the news is looking good for a BrickFest event this year in Pauls Valley.

    April 21, 2014

  • Visions big for local food pantry

    Board members for a Pauls Valley food pantry now have their plans in place for yet another holiday tradition later this year.

    April 21, 2014

  • Worker safety focus of area event

    Bringing people together for some family fun and a serious message is a way for a couple of Wynnewood and Pauls Valley widows to honor their late husbands.

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents