Persons with Disabilities

Welcome to the

Iowa Office of Persons with Disabilities

You are here

Office of Persons with Disabilities

"People with disabilities have forged a group identity. We share a common history of oppression and a common bond of resilience. We generate art, music, literature, and other expressions of our lives and our culture, infused from our experience of disability. Most importantly, we are proud of ourselves as people with disabilities. We claim our disabilities with pride as part of our identity.  We are who we are: we are people with disabilities."

Steven E. Brown
(Re-published in Steve's 2003 book, Movie Stars and Sensuous Scars:
Essays on the Journey from Disability Shame to Disability Pride)

The Office of Persons with Disabilities exists to promote the employment of Iowans with disabilities and reduce barriers to employment by providing employers and citizens with disabilities:

  •  Information
  •  Referral
  •  Assessment and guidance
  •  Training
  •  Advocacy services

Technical assistance, information and referral are available concerning matters of employment, housing accessibility, transportation, education, programs and services. All services are free of charge.

The Office works closely with the Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

Disability Inclusion Efforts

Even with 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities continue to face barriers to employment equality. In 2012, the overall employment rate of adults with disabilities was 33.5%, as compared to 76.3% for others.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law on July 22, 2014 to help knock down those barriers. One important goal of this law is to decrease employment disparity by connecting job seekers with disabilities and federal contractors and subcontractors.  Under the new rules, employers should invite job applicants and existing employees to self-identify as a person with a disability, if they choose. All self-identification information must be kept separate from other personnel records and cannot be available or used for any employment decisions. Employers should also create partnerships with disability organizations to assist in finding and recruiting qualified job applicants with disabilities. Collectively, these efforts will increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities as well as diversify the workforce of federal government contractors and subcontractors while simultaneously meeting their business needs by filling positions with qualified, skilled professionals.

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally mandated program designated to assist individuals who encounter conflicts with programs funded under the Rehabilitation Act which include:

  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Iowa Department for the Blind
  • Centers for Independent Living
  • Other agencies funded under the Rehabilitation Act