Policy For Accessibility For Persons With Disabilities
The General Assembly and its agencies have analyzed their services to the general public in conjunction with the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act and will provide the following:
A. Printed Materials
Each of the agencies of the General Assembly will assign an individual staff member within the agency, upon request, to read printed materials aloud. (A list of printed materials of the General Assembly is attached.)
Upon request, printed materials of the General Assembly will be provided as soon as reasonably possible in one or more of the following formats:
- Audio cassette tape.
- Large print.
- Computer disk in either ASCII or Word Perfect format for conversion to synthetic speech.
- Braille, prepared by the Department for the Blind.
B. Internet Documents and Information
Information on the General Assembly website has been formatted to accommodate browser software for the visually impaired, wherever possible. In those instances where information is unable to be interpreted, the Legislative Information Office is prepared to assist any individual requesting assistance by assigning a reader or providing the information in one of the alternate formats listed above for printed materials.
C. Interpreting Services
The General Assembly has executed an agreement with the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa of the Department of Human Rights for provision of interpreter services either by the Deaf Services Commission or an interpreter in private practice. The services will be paid for by the respective houses of the General Assembly. Upon request given 48 hours in advance, the General Assembly will provide an interpreter for any session of either house of the General Assembly, any standing or interim committee meeting, and meetings with individual legislators at the State Capitol. It is understood that although meetings, floor debate, and activities may be scheduled for a specific day and time by either house of the General Assembly, those dates and times may be altered by that house without advance notice. To the extent possible, requests for interpreting services will be provided under the revised time schedule.
D. Assistive Listening Systems
The General Assembly has purchased and installed FM broadcast infrared assistive listening devices for the Senate and House chambers and galleries. A portable infrared system has been purchased that can be used in committee rooms in either house. The General Assembly has purchased receivers for the Senate and House of Representatives. The receivers will be in the custody of the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House during the legislative session and the Legislative Information Office during the interim. Individuals wishing to use a receiver must leave a driver’s license or credit card with the custodian of the receiver. The driver’s license or credit card will be returned upon return of the receiver.
E. Telephone Access
A tele-typewriter for the deaf (TTY) is available through the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House offices. Staff members from these two offices will be available to assist any individual desiring to use the device. The telephone numbers of telephones that have access to the device will be publicized. A TTY is also available in the Office of Ombudsman.
F. Physical Access
The Senate and House galleries located off the third floor (Capitol rotunda balcony) hallways are open to the public and accessible to and functional for persons with physical disabilities. The Senate and House lobbies are open to the public and accessible by elevator to and functional for persons with physical disabilities and are equipped with speakers which carry the chamber debates. If public meetings are held in either chamber, the elevator is available in each lobby that accesses the upper lobby areas in each house and these areas are accessible to the respective chambers. Pursuant to rules adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives, access to the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives chambers shall be allowed during debate of interest to persons with physical disabilities, including such persons who are registered lobbyists, if those persons are unable to access the galleries.
Most Senate and House committee rooms are accessible to and functional for persons with physical disabilities. Upon request and to the extent possible, a meeting not scheduled for one of these committee rooms will be moved to a committee room that is accessible. Legislative agencies are also able to use meeting rooms of other government agencies that are accessible if they are not otherwise in use. Members of the public who have physical disabilities may convey requests for accessible meeting rooms to the Secretary of the Senate, the Chief Clerk of the House, and to the Legislative Information Office.
G. Procedure for Complaints
A person with a disability whose request for assistance within the General Assembly has not been fulfilled to the person’s satisfaction may file a complaint of discrimination with the Iowa Legislative Information Office, on a form provided by the Legislative Information Office, within 24 hours of the time of the alleged discrimination. The Legislative Information Office shall transmit the complaint form to the General Assembly Staff Committee. The Staff Committee consists of the Secretary of the Senate, the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Director of the Legislative Services Agency, and the Director of the Legislative Information Office. If the complaint of discrimination involves the Office of Ombudsman, the General Assembly Staff Committee shall also consist of the Ombudsman. The General Assembly Staff Committee shall consider the complaint as soon as practicably possible.