Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

August 19, 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.

Iowa Women's Hall of Fame 

Women's Hall of Fame-2

For more information on the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame, please visit 

Press and media are welcome and encouraged to attend. 

People You Should Know


At the Iowa 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 knowledge to make a real difference in Human Rights in Iowa. This month we feature Erica Nichols Cook, J.D., Director of the Iowa State Public Defender's Wrongful Convictions Division. 

Learn about Erica Nichols Cook and other People You Should Know by subscribing to Iowa Department of Human Rights on Youtube. 

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

State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council Members Appointed

Congratulations to the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC) members appointed for the 2022-2023 term!  SIYAC is a youth council within the Iowa Department of Human Rights.  SIYAC advocates on youth issues to the Governor, legislature, and other leaders. 


Volta Adovor

Achinteya Jayaram

Cody Messer

New London

Jemma Bullock

Eric Johnson
Rock Valley

Cleah Phillips

Jordy Cambara
Sioux City

Abby King

Sophia Polking

Hannah Dillehay
Council Bluffs

Wilsee Kollie

Reyna Roach
Iowa City

Rhett Ellerbroek

Brenda Koumondji     
Cedar Falls

Lulu Roarick
Iowa City

Tate Giesemann

David Lee

Nevaeh Stover

Lily Glenn

Drake Luong           
West Des Moines

Trey Voeller
Prairie City


Hearing Aids will be available over-the-counter 

On August 16, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of hearing aids over-the-counter, which may in turn lower costs for millions of Americans. This enables consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist. Over-the-counter hearing aids may be available in traditional retail and drug stores as soon as mid-October.  

Importance of Hearing Screening

While hearing loss is commonly caused by aging, hearing difficulties can occur at any age and can be caused by certain physical and medical conditions. Hearing loss can negatively affect your quality of life, so it's important to get regular hearing screenings and tests to help you manage and protect your hearing health.

Did you know? 

  • 115,539 Iowans have a hearing difficulty
  • 3,935 are younger than 18
  • 37,385 are between 18 - 64 years old
  • 74,219 are over 65

Data source:  2020 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates (US Census)

Youth Leadership Academy


The Youth Leadership Academy was held in July and helped youth with disabilities learn leadership skills, civic engagement, and goal-setting.  Thank you to the Iowa Developmental Disabilities CounciI, Access 2 Independence, ASK Resource Center, and University of Iowa Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for your partnership in hosting the program!   
(Pictured: Some YLA graduates  
Photo credit: DD Council)

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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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