Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

September 16, 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.

New IPBS Documentary Screening of Gov. Robert Ray 

Join Iowa PBS for an in-person premiere from the new series, Governors of Iowa

Iowa PBS will host a premiere screening of Governors of Iowa: Robert D. Ray.  The late Governor Robert Ray has a legacy for his humanitarian efforts of welcoming Southeast Asian refugees during the late 1970s in Iowa. The screening will be held on September 26, 2022, at 7 p.m. at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, Iowa.  A panel discussion will follow the screening. Register for the free event here: 

Latino Heritage Month

From September 15 through October 15, Iowa and the United States observe Latino Heritage Month by recognizing and celebrating the rich heritage, cultures, and contributions made by Latinos.

This observation started in September 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and later expanded in 1988 to National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15).  The month also celebrates the anniversaries of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. 

For resources and a list of ways that you can observe Latino Heritage Month, please see the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Office of Latino Affairs' Newsletter.

Latino Heritage Month Proclamation

Latino Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Join us in honoring the 2022 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame inductees.  

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022

Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Des Moines Art Center (sponsor), 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa  

Virtual Option: The ceremony will be livestreamed via the Commission's Facebook Page 

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Office of Latino Affairs' website.

LHOF Inductees

International Week of the Deaf September 19-25, 2022

The Iowa Department of Human Rights celebrates human diversity.  During International Week of the Deaf, we highlight the importance of communication access for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing because they do not all communicate in the same way.  Each individual is unique and has varying communication needs and preference. 

Telecommunications Access Iowa 

Telecommunications Access Iowa is an organization that helps provide access and assistance to individuals who are deaf, heard of hearing, or have speech difficulties to get specialized equipment that best suits their communication needs.  Qualified individuals can receive a voucher that pays for approximately 95% to 99% of the average cost of specialized telecommunications equipment.  Learn more at

Check out the video below about Dylan Heuer, Telecommunications Access Iowa Program Manager!  

For additional information and resources, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Office of Deaf Services' website:

People You Should Know: Dylan Heuer

Dylan Heuer

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 introduces  Iowans who give their skills, talents and knowledge to make a real difference in human rights in Iowa. This month we feature Telecommunications Access Iowa Program Manager, Dylan Heuer.  Dylan uses American Sign Language, and the video has audio and closed captioning.  

Learn about Dylan Heuer 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!

September is National Service Dog Month

In addition to using technology to assist persons with disabilities, service dogs also play an important role in helping people gain more independence.  September is National Service Dog Month, a time to raise awareness and show appreciation for dogs who support persons with disabilities.  Service dogs are individually trained do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The range of tasks include pulling a wheelchair, guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds such as alarms or doorbells, providing protection or rescue assistance, retrieving items, and reminding their handler to take medicine.  

For information, publications, and resources, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Office of Persons with Disabilities' website:

Disability State Profile Data

Did you know that 114,835 Iowans in 2019 reported an inability to hear conversations or a
serious hearing loss?  Click the image below for additional information on Iowans with disabilities as it relates to employment, veterans, and other characteristics.  

Iowans with Disabilities Image

Data source: Iowa Data Center and Iowa Department of Human Rights/Office of Persons with Disabilities

The Way Up 2022 Conference

Theme - Women on The Way Up: Embracing Challenges and Creating Opportunities 

The Way UP Conference promotes promotes women in higher education institutions in Iowa as they develop leadership and administrative skills and expertise.  Registration is open, and the conference will be held on November 3-4, 2022, at the Bien VenU Event Center, 7400 Hudson Rd, Cedar Falls, Iowa. For registration information and to learn more visit 

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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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