Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

April 30, 2021

The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage.  Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

All Iowans over age 16 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  To locate a provider near you, visit (Google translate tool available).  The website has vaccine provider locations, resources, FAQs, and information to help you prepare to be vaccinated.  

  1. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Each vaccine has gone through extensive testing in clinical trials, which is the standard process for all vaccines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors the testing process to ensure safety and efficacy before authorizing any vaccine for use. Even though the COVID-19 vaccine was developed, tested and approved much faster than other vaccines, the same process was followed.
  2. The vaccine will not give you COVID-19. The vaccine doesn’t contain the virus, but it does help your cells make one of the virus proteins that builds the antibodies you need to fight the virus.
  3. After getting the vaccine, you may experience some side effects. The most common are pain and swelling in your arm where you received the shot. Most side effects are mild and could include headache, fever, chills, and tiredness. If you have side effects that last longer than a few days, call your doctor.
  4. You can’t get the vaccine if you have COVID-19 at the time of vaccination. You must be recovered from the illness and done with quarantine before being vaccinated.
  5. Even if you’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered, you should still get vaccinated. Experts are still learning about how long natural immunity lasts. Getting vaccinated is a safe, effective way to protect yourself. However, if you were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma while ill, you should wait 90 days before being vaccinated. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure about the treatments you received.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Launch Date

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

The FCC announced that on May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to apply for the  Beginning on May 12, households can apply in three ways: 

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.  
  2. Go to to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742. 

Nominations Open for 2021 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame

The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is accepting nominations for the 2021 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame.  Each year the Commission will induct up to three Latinos, plus a recipient of the Iowa Latinx Youth Leadership Award, a recipient of the Robert D. Ray Award for Equity and Justice, and a recipient (BIPOC) of the Iowa LGBTQIA Leadership Award into the Hall of Fame.  The Commission will accept nominations for the 2021 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame until July 1, 2021. For more information and nomination materials, visit

Worker Protections was created by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide information about worker’s rights and common workplace concerns. Learn about the right to be paid property, the right to a safe and healthy workplace, the right to be treated equally, and more.  Go to or (Spanish) to find information about federal labor laws that protect you at work.  

U.S. DOL Efforts to Advance Racial & Social Equity in Employment for People with Disabilities
National Online Dialogue

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is hosting a national online dialogue to gather ideas on how to ensure racial and social equity in employment policies and programs for people with disabilities from historically underserved communities. 

The dialogue will also help DOL formulate future programs and funding opportunities that respond to the needs of people with disabilities, including people with mental-health conditions and those recovering from long-term effects of COVID, who are from diverse backgrounds, including communities of color, religious minorities, LGBTQ+people, and rural communities; and those otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality. 

The DOL will use the input respondents provide during this campaign to help identify strategies for dismantling systemic barriers to employment and participation in workforce services that people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, communities, and identities face.

To participate in the Efforts to Advance Racial and Social Equity in Employment for People with Disabilities National Online Dialogue, visit

FEMA Funeral Assistance

FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.


COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number  844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services are available.

If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

For more information and eligibility, visit

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The pandemic has been a challenging time in many ways.  For some, it has affected their mental health which could continue after the pandemic.  It is important to take care of our mental health as well as our physical health.  Here are some resources to help you manage your well-being.   

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created a COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide in English and Spanish with information on topics about stress, anxiety, assistance programs, and more. 

Videos on Mental Health in Multiple Languages

Videos for Healthcare Providers

The Iowa Department of Human Rights, in collaboration with Mosaic Family Counseling, created a five-part video series focused on mental health and wellness for service providers.

Your Life Iowa (language assistance available)

If you or a loved one are facing a problem with alcohol, drugs, gambling, mental health or suicidal thoughts,  you can  created so Iowans can chat live, text, or call and get reliable information and treatment options, and find nearby help. Call 1-855-581-8111; text 855-895-8398, chat

Covid Recovery Iowa (language assistance available)

COVID Recovery Iowa provides free counseling, virtual activities, referrals and help finding resources to all Iowans of any age. 

  • Warm Line 844-775-9276   
  • Concern Line 800-447-1985   
  • Spanish Line 531-800-3687

Healthiest State Initiative and Make it OK 

Visit for a mental health checklist and resources for Mental Health Awareness Month.

How Right Now (also Spanish)

How Right Now is an initiative to address people's feelings of grief, loss, and worry during COVID-19.

Youth.Gov has resources and services that support positive, healthy outcomes for youth.

COVID-19 Language Resources

American Sign Language Videos-CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations

Congolese Health Partnership Videos

Coronavirus, State Website

Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language

EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center

Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube

Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936 

Multi-Lingual Hotline  1-877-558-2609

Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa  

Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)

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Iowa Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-242-5640 or 1-800-351-4659
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