The March 12, 2014 at theTri-State Independent Blind Society in Dubuque, IA has been cancelled.
Information on a rescheduled workshop will be available soon.
The Iowa Department for the Blind will hold its annual legislative open house on the morning of Tuesday, March 18 from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. in the Legislative Dining Room at the State Capitol building. Staff, clients, special guests, and supporters of the department will receive legislators and share information about the department’s services and successes. A light breakfast will be prepared and served by students in IDB’s Orientation Center. Among the special guests will be vocational rehabilitation client Robert McKernan of Dubuque. Rob lost his vision and livelihood due to a stroke in 2009. His compelling story of starting a successful photo booth rental business with the department’s assistance is a great testament to the benefits of IDB’s services. Attendees can have a complimentary photo taken in his booth while having the opportunity to meet and visit with Rob and other special guests. We invite supporters and friends of the department to attend the open house.
Prior to last year's legislative session, the Iowa Department for the Blind requested an increase of $550,000 in state revenue to close the gap in spending because we had not received an increase in state revenue during the last 4 years. Blind Iowans worked very hard to support the request for additional revenue, and as a result, the IDB budget was increased by $350,000 for FY 2014. The increase was significant and it helped fill gaps in service delivery but the $350,000 that we received was still less than the $550,000 that we requested. This year, the Iowa Department for the Blind requested an additional $200,000 in state revenue for the 2015 FY. In January, we learned that the Governor is in support of our request. If the Governor’s proposed increase is granted by the legislature we will have achieved the entire $550,000 we need to cover program costs.
The legislature has to approve the Governor's budget for 2015, so there is much work to be done, but if IDB receives the $200,000 increase in revenue for 2015, we will have the money that is needed to fully support all agency programs. We urge all citizens and consumer groups to support the budget as proposed by the Governor.
We hope that all blind Iowans will support our request by attending the legislative open house and contacting their legislators. A link to legislator’s contact information is listed below. Thank you very much for your support of the IDB budget and please educate your legislators as to the services that blind Iowans receive from the Iowa Department for the Blind.
What do our volunteers mean to you? We’d love to hear your stories!
We’re so appreciative of all the important things that volunteers do for the Library. Volunteers transcribe print materials to create Braille and audio books, providing access to our Library patrons and IDB clients. These transcriptions are crucial for education or job training and retention, but they are also important for community involvement, reading for information, spiritual enrichment, or just plain pleasure.
Volunteers also help with many other daily Library and IDB functions. They repair machines and do clerical work, they offer to be drivers or readers, they mentor blind teens, and a myriad of other things that help us provide needed services to Iowans.
Alex Gillaspie, IDB Transition student, is a busy young man
Blind Iowan progresses on path to vocational goals
2014 Iowa Braille Challenge brings smiles, results
IDB VR Client Yesenia Leanos featured on KCCI
Audio news from the Library for Winter 2013
Iowa Commission for the Blind-meeting minutes and audio