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Counseling and Training Professionalism Standards for IDB Staff and Clients

Primary Tasks

    Secondary Tasks

      revised 1/22

      To provide the most effective counseling and training possible, we need to create a climate of mutual respect. Everyone is expected too conduct themselves in a kind and professional manner. This means:

      • No one will make sexual comments or jokes.
      • No one will make derogatory statements or jokes about race, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, or disability,. or that make negative generalizations about any group of people.
      • Everyone will use the preferred name and pronouns of the people with whom they are working.
      • Everyone will ask permission before touching another person.

      Additional Information

      By policy, IDB staff are not allowed to make social media friend requests or accept social media friend requests from anyone to whom they are actively providing services.

      It is common practice fora teacher or counselor to touch a client’s hand, arm, or shoulder when working on learning to use a long white cane to travel independently, to teach a client how to safely use a kitchen knife, industrial arts tool, phone, keyboard, read or write braille, or other task outlined in your training plan or the program
      curriculum. If a request for touch does not seem necessary or appropriate, you have the right to ask the purpose and/or refuse the request.

      What do I do if I have concerns

      If something has occurred that cannot be addressed directly with the teacher or counselor, please contact that individual’s supervisor

      • The supervisor for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors is Keri Osterhaus and she can be reached at (515) 205-8583 or Keri.Osterhaus@blind.state.ia.us
      • The supervisor for Young Adult Transition Program, LEAP, Vocational Rehabilitation Teachers and Rehabilitation Technology Specialists is Helen Stevens and she can be reached at: (515) 829-7411 or Helen.Stevens@blind.state.ia.us
      • The supervisor for Independent Living Teachers is Kim Walford and she can be reached at (515) 250-1184 or Kim.walford@blind.state.ia.us.
      • The supervisor for the Blindness Empowerment and Independence Center-instructors is Karly Prinds and she can be reached at (515) 802-8162 or karly.prinds@blind.state.ia.us
      • If the issue involves a supervisor, please contact the IDB Director, Emily Wharton. She can be reached at 515-802-7313 or emily.wharton@blind.state.ia.us.