Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

May 27, 2022

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.

DHR is on Instagram!

Follow @iowadepthumanrights to keep up with all things DHR! 

House File 604

Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K)

Governor Kim Reynolds signed HF604 into law on May 24, 2022.  HF604 is Iowa's version of LEAD-K (Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids) which  will ensure that children who are deaf or hard of hearing will have resources, assessments, and a strong language foundation for academic success.  Thank you to all the advocates, including the Iowa Commission of Deaf Services, for your efforts in supporting this initiative. 

To learn more about hearing loss in children, visit the CDC's website: Hearing Loss in Children.   Additional resources can be found on the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website:  Office of Deaf Services.

Assistive Technology

The Iowa Department of Human Rights promotes inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities, individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, and aging populations. Assistive technology is a device or service used by a person with a disability to maintain or improve function, which can help them live productive and healthy lives.  Examples of assistive technology include screen readers, voice recognition software, and assistive keyboards.  Assistive technology as a reasonable accommodation can also help employees with disabilities learn, communicate, perform tasks, and maintain employment.  Here are some resources on assistive technology:

People You Should Know 


At the Department of Human Rights, we are honored to know many Iowans who work without fanfare to make our state better. Our People You Should Know series will introduce you to Iowans who give their skills, talents and abilities to make a real difference in Human Rights in Iowa. This month we feature, Monsoon Multilingual Advocates, Danya Albert and Aiyuko Maun. 

Do you know someone who should be highlighted in "People You Should Know"? Nominate them here!

Native American Affairs Commissioner Featured on Iowa PBS

Kelly Montijo Fink, a member of the Iowa Commission of Native American Affairs, is a gifted musician and songwriter.  Hear her music and story on Iowa PB'S collection of interesting Iowans with unique stories in the latest Greetings from Iowa! View on Iowa PBS

Disaster Distress Helpline

It's common for people to experience emotional distress and other reactions after a disaster or traumatic event.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a Disaster Distress Helpline which provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.  Counseling is available via calls or texts.  Assistance is available in more than 100 languages, including American Sign Language.  Call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.  Spanish-speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support.  For more information and resources, visit SAMHSA's website:  

Preserve Iowa Summit

The 2022 Preserve Iowa Summit is a conference for professionals and volunteers involved in historic preservation. The summit will take place June 2-4 in Mason City and is a coordinated effort of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office and the city of Mason City. The three-day program starts Thursday with some inspiration – an awards ceremony to honor the Preservation Projects of Merit, Excellence in Historic Preservation & Archaeology awards, and Preservation Iowa’s “Preservation At Its Best” – and wraps up Saturday with a round of how-to sessions specially designed for Iowans who work or volunteer at local historical societies and history museums across the state.  For information about financial assistance to attend this event please contact To learn more and register, visit Preserve Iowa Summit. 

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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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