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Advocacy: The Iowa Commission becomes a Department

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      In 1986, the Iowa Legislature reorganized state government, and placed the Iowa Commission for the Blind under the Department of Human Rights.  This move led to a two year battle by blind advocates with the Iowa legislature to designate the Iowa Commission for the Blind as its own, independent agency. Supporters of this cause argued that the Blind Commission did not belong under the Department of Human Rights because that department is an advocacy agency. The Commission is a service agency, acting as a resource and training center for blind Iowans, unlike the other divisions that were placed under the Department of Human Rights. However, critics of Commission supporters said government reorganization increased efficiency and decreased duplication. They argued that creating another agency would be a step backwards. After a two year struggle, the Commission was granted departmental status in 1988, and officially became the Iowa Department for the Blind.

       

      Documents that Discuss the Reorganization

      Motion by Commission Wellman - January 1986

      Senate votes to recommission blind agency - April 1987

      Blind should have own agency - March 15, 1988

      Senate OKs promotion budget, blind agency move - March 17, 1988