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The Oklahomans for Independent Living (OIL), a nonprofit, consumer controlled, free standing organization was formed in the Spring of 1985 as the direct result of a public forum on disabilities sponsored by the City of McAlester's Mayor's Committee on Disability Concerns and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Rehabilitation Division. The Mission of OIL is to encourage individuals of all ages, with all types of disabilities, to increase:

- personal independence

- empowerment and self determination and

- integration & participation in their work, community, school & home activities.


Left: Mike Ward of McAlester, Oklahoma - Winning Throw National Wheelchair Athletic Association (now Wheelchair Sports USA) Combined Nationals in 1985 at University of Illinois in Champagne-Urbana, Illinois. Photographer, Curt Beamer of Sports and Spokes Magazine.
Right: Kim Brownfield of Dewar, Oklahoma - Winning Lift of 525 lbs at the 1989 Oklahoma Classic Powerlifting Event held in McAlester, Oklahoma.