Education and Outreach
During this year, the Commission expanded its education and outreach with an increase in the number of workshops presented, printed materials distributed and video materials available for loan. Commission staff did 92 workshops, compared with 53 the previous year. These workshops were on a variety of subjects, such as overview of the civil rights laws, preventing sexual harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), equal opportunity in employment, fair housing, and preventing discrimination.
Based on records kept for part of the year, staff fields an average of 260 information calls a month, or over 3,000 in a year. These calls come from the general public, particularly employers and landlords, seeking information on civil rights and related topics. (This does not include intake calls or individual case-related calls.) If staff cannot provide the information being sought, appropriate referrals are made wherever possible.
Staff distributed over 33,000 pieces of educational materials to the public. This included two issues of the newsletter, The Communicator, the Annual Report, Case Reports Vol. XI, brochures on a variety of topics, and EEO and housing posters. The EEO posters were revised to include the ADA, and were printed in English, Spanish, and English with five Southeast Asian languages.
A new 48-page 1992 Fair Housing Guide which includes additions, deletions and changes to Iowa's housing discrimination laws was printed. Also published by Job Service of Iowa, with assistance from the Commission and the Iowa Department of Personnel, was a revised edition of Successfully Interviewing Job Applicants.
Three brochures were produced in formats for persons with visual impairments - braille, large type, and cassette tape. The Commission also installed a teleconununication device for the deaf (TDD); the number is 515-281-8085.
A series of advertisements and articles was placed in the Communicator, a multi-cultural newspaper published in Des Moines and distributed statewide. Additional media contacts were made around the state to increase the knowledge of the agency's services.
Several new video programs have been purchased and are available for
loan. These tides include, Prejudice Dividing the Dream, Subtle Sexual Harassment Series, The ADA on Video Series, A Different Dance-A Story About Respecting Others, and Valuing Diversity-You Make the Difference. The Commission also has copies of Hate Crimes, a training program from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, and Racism in Iowa, produced by Iowa Public Television.
"Ask Iowa" Kiosk
The Commission is one of six state agencies
participating in the "Ask Iowa" project, an electronic information
kiosk. The kiosk is an interactive computer and video program through which
individuals can get information about the agencies and their services. The
agencies besides the Commission who are involved are Department of Employment
Services, Department of Transportation, Iowa College Aid Conunission, Iowa
Public Employees Retirement System, and Department of Natural Resources.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held June 3, 1993, at the first kiosk located in the Hy-Vee Store on Euclid Ave. in Des Moines. Governor Terry Branstad officially opened the system, and representatives of each agency demonstrated their sections of the information system.
In the Commission's program, individuals can learn about the legal definition of discrimination, how to file a complaint, services available from the Commission, and cn print out an order form for requesting publications.