Iowa Advocacy Connection | 2018, Issue 3

Issue 19, 10/25/2018

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Articles in This Issue:


The 2018 mid-term elections will be held on Tuesday, November 6. Iowans with Disabilities in Action has partnered for many years with the Iowa secretary of state’s office to provide Iowans with the most accurate information on their voting rights and resources to help be engaged in the political process.

You can find information on our website at to get you ready to vote this November. The Iowa secretary of state’s office is striving to increase participation among Iowans with disabilities while maintaining the integrity of the vote. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said, “I’m proud that Iowa is one of the nation’s leaders in voting accessibility. I am committed to helping each eligible Iowan be a voter.”

  • Voting can present a unique set of challenges to people with disabilities. To ensure that all eligible Iowa voters can cast their ballot, Iowa has taken steps to ensure accessibility.
  • Voters have the right to have assistance. Voters may choose who helps them as long as it is not their employer or an officer of their union. If you need assistance from poll workers, let them know.
  • Voters can cast their ballots before Election Day. To vote early, submit a written request for an absentee ballot on or before October 27. Fill out the ballot and return it in-person or by mail. Go to to request an absentee ballot. A second option is to vote absentee in person. To do this, visit your county auditor’s office and fill out a ballot. You can also locate a satellite polling place in your community by calling your county auditor.
  • Voters have the right to have voting material in alternative formats as well as accessible equipment. Each polling place will have an electronic voting machine that has a braille keypad, and can read the ballot and mark the ballot for you.
  • Voters can vote curbside. To vote curbside, either call your county auditor or have someone go in and notify a poll worker that you want to vote curbside. Two poll workers, one Democrat and one Republican, will bring the ballot to you.

The secretary of state’s webpage, located here:, provides a one-stop shop to help Iowans with disabilities vote. There, you can register to vote online, download an absentee ballot request form and learn about available assistance at your polling site. You will also find videos detailing how to register to vote, what to expect at your polling site and how to use voting machines specifically designed for people with disabilities.

Links to Voter Resources:

4 Steps to Voting

Voting Rights for Iowans

Iowa's Election Integrity Law



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On October 4, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation declaring October National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The purpose is to increase awareness of disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

“Iowans with Disabilities in Action is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Rik Shannon, public policy manager at the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council. “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities.”

Iowans with Disabilities in Action would love to hear your employment stories. To share, call 866-432-2846 or email us at.

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Our annual Make Your Mark! Conference took place September 27-28 at Honey Creek Resort in Moravia, Iowa. We were excited to welcome more than 150 participants to talk about living your best independent life!
This year we focused on Living Your Best Independent Life with session topics such as finances, cooking and employment, just to name a few.

Jason Freeman, from San Diego, CA was our keynote speakers and spoke about Learning to Love Your Imperfect Best. He talked about how scary it can be for any of us to live our best independent life because we fear that something might go wrong. In the face of this fear, it can be tempting to keep putting off what we want to do or not do it all. He shared ways to move forward and do the things we want to do instead of avoiding them out of fear of what might go wrong. Jason said, “Loving our Imperfect Best means we go after our goals and dreams even though we know there will be mistakes and uncertainties along the way.”

Dave Price, WHO-TV’s Political Director, spoke about what we hear a lot in the media today – Fake News. His session Fake News is no News helped attendees learn how to tell the difference between what is credible information and what is fake.

FOR MORE PHOTOS from the event, visit the photo gallery on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to tag us in your photos (@IDAction) from the event! Thank you to our sponsors: the Center for Disabilities and Development and the Iowa Association of Community Providers. We appreciate your support. We are planning for the 2019 Make Your Mark! Conference. Keep checking back on our website or our Facebook page to find out more. 

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DD Council

The Iowa DD Council has openings they would like to fill with Iowans who have a developmental disability. The DD Council promotes the development of a coordinated system of services and supports that provide opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to be independent, productive, and included in their communities.

They do this with activities that:

  • Influence changes to laws, policies and attitudes that affect supports and services used by Iowans with developmental disabilities
  • Build the ability of Iowans with disabilities to make choices and have control over their lives; and/or build the capacity of communities to create welcoming accommodations for people with developmental disabilities
  • Assist Iowans with developmental disabilities to be advocates and leaders involved in the decision-making processes that affect them.

If you are over age 18, have a developmental disability and are interested in disability related issues, we encourage you to apply. Go to:

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Mark it on Your Calendar

November 6, 2018 - Election Day
January 14, 2019 - First Day of the 88th Iowa General Assembly - Legislative Session
April 10, 2019 - Iowans with Disabilities in Action Advocating for Change Day

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