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IDB Return To In Person Services Rules and Procedures

Primary Tasks

    Secondary Tasks

      Last Updated 7/31/20

      Overview

      IDB is working to transition from an operational mode, where all staff are working from home unless there is an important task that can only be done in the building, to an new operational mode where staff will be working in the building when doing so is the most productive and efficient way of accomplishing one’s assigned duties. Our agency is tasked with serving clients and patrons and we need to use the most effective and efficient methods to provide these services. Every position in our agency has its own unique requirements for tools, levels of contact, communication and other aspects of their work. In addition, each individual has different needs in regards to what constitutes a productive work situation. Some people can work efficiently from home and others are distracted, interrupted, or uncomfortable. Some jobs only require a computer and a phone and others require client contact, access to braille and audio books, specific spaces and tools, or other factors that make working from home less productive or effective. Some people don’t mind not seeing other people in person and others are energized by contact with their colleagues. We want to be able to work with each staff member to come up with a plan that will help them to be the most productive and effective they can be. Supervisors will be having conversations with each of their team members to discuss what combination of working from home or working from the IDB building best meets operational needs and promotes productivity and efficiency. While we want to be able to be supportive of employee preferences, the ultimate deciding factor in determining any work schedule and location arrangement will always be what is best for those we serve and it is the supervisor’s job to make this determination.

      We want to continue to encourage clients and patrons to use the phone or electronic means to contact us or receive services as much as possible. Any service that is currently being provided via phone, Zoom, or other distance should not be replaced with face to face services unless doing so would significantly improve the quality of the service provided. We should only engage in face to face service provision as necessary and in alignment with the below rules.

      The below guidance and work rules are designed to create a working environment where the likelihood that someone will catch or transmit the COVID–19 virus is as minimized as possible while still allowing people to do their jobs effectively. The work we do is critical to those we serve and we need to get our clients and patrons the training, materials, and guidance they need to be successful in employment and independent in their communities. We are instituting these rules for the benefit of all and following these rules demonstrates kindness and concern for your clients, patrons, and colleagues.

      These rules and guidelines may need to be adjusted as situations change. This is an unprecedented situation that is continually evolving and this document will continue to evolve in response to the situation.

      We know that everyone is stressed and dealing with the many ramifications of the crisis in their family and personal lives. We ask everyone to be kind and clear in helping each other to remember to wash hands thoroughly, wear masks in accordance with the rules below, and stay home when you are sick. We need to have compassion for ourselves and others if we don’t get it right immediately or accidentally forget. We encourage staff to remember to take their breaks and not work through breaks or lunch. Please ask for time off when needed to deal with family and personal issues. Please make an extra effort to assume everyone you are working with is doing the best that they can and choose the best possible explanation for things that they do or say. Supervisors will continue to allow as much flexibility in scheduling as possible. Please do remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers many free resources to help you to deal with the stress, uncertainty, and other issues we are all facing. There is no shame in asking for help. For more information about EAP services Call: 800.833.3031 or visit http://www.eaphelplink.com/ and use the employer code IOWA.

      If you have questions regarding your specific work area or duties, please speak with your supervisor. If you need to request an accommodation that involves a need for alternatives to the below measures, please share this with your supervisor.

      Operational Details

      • The main accessible entrance on the North side of our building will be unlocked from 9:00 to 2:00 during non-Holiday workdays.. Clients and patrons are encouraged to continue to conduct as much business as possible via phone and internet.
      • If clients are coming into the building for appointments, counselors and teachers need to be sure to let front desk staff know they will be coming, respond promptly to Envoy notices or be ready to greet and escort clients.
      • Clients waiting for counselors or teachers will be asked to sit in a socially distanced chair.
      • Front desk staff will check any guests into Envoy and the sign-in iPad will not be used.
      • Staff will work with their supervisor to obtain and maintain a supply of disposable masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, cleaning wipes, and garbage bags needed to perform work duties.
      • The IDB gym will remain closed until further notice.
      • By order of the Department of Administrative Services, celebrations, parties, food and treat days, shared coffee pots and social gatherings are prohibited in State buildings
        until further notice.
      • For information regarding leave, workers compensation, or FMLA related to COVID–19, please view the DAS guidance provided at: https://das.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/hr/documents/COVID19/COVID–19...
      • Call your supervisor immediately if you have any questions or concerns regarding potential exposure to COVID–19.

      Mask Considerations

      IDB has masks available for staff, clients, and patrons. Please speak with your supervisor about the number and types of masks you need.

      There is no restriction on the design of the mask worn except that it is able to meet the below considerations and does not violate IDB’s Dress Code.

      • Masks must securely cover one’s nose and mouth.
      • Do not reverse, move or remove your face covering unnecessarily in the workplace.
      • Do not share your face coverings with others.
      • Disposable face coverings must be properly and safely discarded into trash receptacles after its hours of use have expired.
      • Multiple-use face coverings must be machine washed or hand washed and machine dried or air dried regularly in accordance with washing instructions. Generally this should be done at least once a day or more often if contamination occurs. The masks acquired by IDB do say to hand wash and air dry, but other masks may be machine laundered.

      All IDB Staff & Individuals Living in the Building

      1. Will thoroughly wash hands with soap and water upon entering and leaving the building. This should be done before leaving the first floor.
      2. Will wear masks at all times when inside the IDB building and not working alone in their office or cubicle or in their apartment or dorm room.
      3. Will continue to use phone or video conferencing to hold meetings whenever possible. If a face-to-face meeting must occur, it must be held in a room or space where participants can stand or be seated 6 feet apart.
      4. Will make every effort to stay six feet away from others.
      5. May take off masks while eating lunch. Lunches or snacks may be eaten in one’s work area, in 2nd floor South, on the rooftop deck, or in the basement break area. While eating staff will maintain a six foot distance from others. After eating, each person will clean their eating area. Cleaning solution will be available in 2 South and in the basement break room. Staff should bring wipes to clean their area after eating when choosing to eat lunch on the roof.
      6. Will stay home if they are feeling ill and will go home if they begin feeling ill during the workday.
      7. Will not share an elevator with another person. People must ride elevators alone to maintain proper social distancing.
      8. Will make every effort to avoid passing one another on stairs and stay to the right when going up and down stairs.
      9. Will cover all coughs and sneezes even when wearing a mask as coughs and sneezes propel particles at great speeds forcing them to travel through masks.
      10. Will adhere to social distancing at all copy machines and other high traffic areas. Disinfecting of all copy machines, refrigerators and microwaves is required after each use.
      11. will not allow guests into the building anywhere other than the first floor and will ensure that any guest in this context is wearing a mask at all times. A “guest” is defined as any person who does not either have a business reason that requires their presence in the building or have permission to stay in the building apartments or dorms.
      12. will not allow delivery persons to use the East door or allow them to go beyond the front desk area of the building.

      Optional Behaviors

      If you are able to do so and time permits, please take a minute to wipe down door knobs, elevator buttons, meeting room tables, and other frequently touched surfaces with provided wipes. This will help maintenance staff and everyone working and living in our building.

      VR Counselors

      During the COVID–19 Pandemic, VR Counselors are encouraged to meet with clients or other individuals (guardians, parents, employers, providers, etc.) using video or phone conferencing options whenever possible. When the client and counselor have determined a need to meet in-person, counselors will use the following standards:

      1. Counselors will meet with clients at IDB, in workforce centers, public libraries, or other public places whenever possible.
      2. Counselors meeting clients at IDB will meet on the 1st floor in the Director’s Conference room or one of the temporary meeting rooms in the assembly room.
      3. Counselors will call all clients in the 24 hours before the in-person appointment to confirm the appointment, explain that they are taking additional precautions to protect themselves and the client from COVID–19 and complete an informal assessment to confirm that the client does not have a fever, dry cough, or other symptoms of illness. If counselors make multiple attempts to contact the client and are unable to contact the client, they may cancel the appointment.
      4. Counselors will wear masks whenever working with clients.
      5. Counselors will ask clients to wear masks and may choose not to see a client that will not wear a mask during meetings.
      6. Counselors will maintain six feet of distance from clients whenever possible.
      7. Counselors will wash their hands thoroughly before and after meetings.
      8. Whenever soap and water is not available, the counselor will clean their hands with hand sanitizer.
      9. When meeting at IDB, and when possible at other locations, counselors will show clients to an appropriate restroom upon entering and leaving the meeting location so that they are able to wash their hands.

      VR or IL Teaching

      1. Teachers will call all clients in the 24 hours before the in-person appointment to confirm the appointment, explain that they are taking additional precautions to protect themselves and the client from COVID–19 and complete an informal assessment to confirm that the client does not have a fever, dry cough, or other symptoms of illness. If teachers make multiple attempts to contact the client and are unable to contact the client, they may cancel the appointment.
      2. Teachers will make every effort to see clients in libraries, workforce offices, or other public facilities rather than client’s homes.
      3. Teachers will wear masks at all times when working with clients.
      4. Teachers will ask clients to wear masks and may choose not to see a client that will not wear a mask during training.
      5. Teachers will wear gloves when performing any instruction involving physical contact.
      6. Teachers will wash their hands thoroughly before and after providing training.
      7. Teachers will remind clients to wash their hands before and after training.
      8. Whenever soap and water is not available, the teacher will clean their hands with hand sanitizer.

      BEP Business Counselors

      1. Counselors will call all vendors in the 24 hours before an in-person appointment to confirm the appointment, explain that they are taking additional precautions to protect themselves, the vendor and the vendor’s staff from COVID–19, and complete an informal assessment to confirm that the vendor and anyone accompanying the vendor does not have a fever, dry cough, or other symptoms of illness. If counselors make multiple attempts to contact the vendor and are unable to contact the vendor, they may cancel the appointment.
      2. Counselors will either ask operators to wipe any surfaces with which the Counselor will be in contact with the appropriate type of cleaner for the surface, or perform that cleaning themselves.Video link to machine cleaning during Covid–19
      3. Counselors will make every effort to meet or provide training to operators in the least confined and most socially distanced environment possible.
      4. Counselors will wear masks at all times when working with operators.
      5. Counselors will ask operators to wear masks and may choose not to work with an operator that will not wear a mask during training.
      6. Counselors will wear gloves when performing any teaching that requires personal contact.
      7. Counselors will wash their hands thoroughly before and after working with operators.
      8. Counselors will remind operators to wash their hands before and after training if hands-on training is being provided.
      9. Whenever soap and water is not available, the counselor will clean their hands with hand sanitizer

      Center Training

      1. Students returning to the building agree to wear a mask in the building, on cane travel, and in public at all times even during evenings and weekends.
      2. Students and staff will sit six feet apart during morning announcements and business classes. Business classes will be held in 2 South.
      3. Teachers will wear masks at all times when working with clients.
      4. Teachers will wear gloves when performing any teaching that involves physical contact.
      5. Teachers will wash their hands thoroughly before and after providing training.
      6. Students and teachers will wipe down any tools or equipment used at the end of each class including keyboards, slates, shop tools and equipment.
      7. Students will not leave home management without fully cleaning and sanitizing their work area and washing all dishes and utensils used.
      8. Teachers will remind clients to wash their hands before and after training.
      9. Whenever soap and water is not available, the teacher will clean their hands with hand sanitizer.
      10. Students living in the dorms will be provided with cleaning and sanitizing equipment and expected to sanitize the restrooms after each use.

      Facilities

      1. When performing physical labor, you may opt for using disposable masks in lieu of cloth—please use for 8–10 hours (one day). See your supervisor if you propose a certain type of mask if the nature of your work has you working long hours in one. Conversations are welcome about how to make this most comfortable.

      2. If you are working more than an hour wearing mask, please allow yourself a short walk outside, on the roof patio or in poor weather, an space that will be designated to give relief (where no one will be in there three hours before or after you); if this space has been used, contact your supervisor for an alternative. Use this prudently to have fresh air periodically if you sense that you aren’t getting enough.

      Library Staff

      • The library staff will start returning to the building for full days starting June 8th.
      • A schedule has been created with 6–7 library staff members and 4 summer staff will be in the building each day, so a total of 10–11 in the building each day. These staff will also cover mail, SuperDup and the front desk.
      • Front desk shifts will be 2 – 2 ½ hours long and can be shortened if needed as they will have to wear masks.
      • The building door will be open so we plan to serve library patrons at the front desk.
      • The Library phone will be covered by a staff member who is not scheduled to be in the building that day to let those in the building get the in-building tasks done.