Outreach and Education
The Commission's mandate to eliminate and prevent discrimination through education is an increasingly important area of our work. During FY 90, the Commission fulfilled requests for 159 educational programs. This was more than double the number of the previous year. This increased outreach was made possible by the participation of additional professional staff in fulfilling requests, and by the continuation of the staff person specializing in fair housing programs.
Agency staff is trained and available to present programs ranging from an explanation of the agency's jurisdiction and services to specific topics such as preventing sexual harassment, non-discriminatory employee selection, and fair housing practices. In addition, staff responds to hundreds of telephone calls and letters asking for general and specific information on civil rights. Consultations with employers and landlords on non-discriminatory practices are also provided upon request.
This fiscal year also saw an increase in publications available for distribution. New brochures giving information on the agency and on the areas covered by Section 601A were published, including one with the text in both English and Spanish. Two new housing posters were printed, and requests for the "Iowa Fair Housing Awareness Packet" continued to be fulfilled. Regularly-scheduled publications included the Annual Report, four issues of the Communicator, the newsletter, and Case Reports, Volume VIII.
As the Commission is able to reduce the case inventory through vigorous case processing, it is anticipated that additional staff time will become available for expanded outreach and education activities.