PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - January 15, 2020 


Efforts to make Paid Family and Medical Leave go further; nurses sick of reusing N-95 masks even as COVID infections spike.


2020Talks - January 15, 2021 


States shore up security ahead of Inauguration Day; Biden unveils an ambitious economic relief plan; and Human Rights Watch report chides Trump's record.

Iowa Lawmakers Visit Workplace of Constituents with Disabilities

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Iowa Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, left, visted Jessica Williams' place of employment and met in Urbandale and met her manager, David Watts as part of October's National Disability Employment Month. (DDCouncil)
Iowa Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, left, visted Jessica Williams' place of employment and met in Urbandale and met her manager, David Watts as part of October's National Disability Employment Month. (DDCouncil)
November 6, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa - The contribution people with disabilities make to the economy is hard to quantify, but last month three Iowa lawmakers got a first-hand look at how hard they work.

As part of October's National Disability Employment Month, state Sens. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, and Jackie Smith, D-Sioux City, and state Rep. Tim Kacena, D-Sioux City, joined two constituents at their place of employment. Brooke Lovelace, executive director of the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, said Zaun joined Jessica Williams at an Urbandale Walgreens, while Kacena and Smith visited with Billy Haberman, who works for Lunchtime Solutions at South Sioux City Middle School.

Lovelace said she hopes their visit will have an impact at the State House.

"Hopefully," she said, "they'll recognize, "Well, hey, I met Jessica or I met Billy - how would this policy affect them and their supports that they get to be employed and to be part of the community?' "

Jessica Williams told Zaun that having a set work schedule is vital to her daily routine, while Billy Haberman shared that his job has given him a sense of purpose and allowed him to lead an independent lifestyle.

Haberman's job highlights the importance of government-private partnerships in furthering the disabled community's goals of acceptance and community-based employment, according to Lovelace. She said she worries that Iowa's low unemployment rate could cause employers to overlook their diverse skills and abilities.

"It's another way to bring awareness to individuals about the importance of employees with disabilities and the contributions that they make," she said. "They're constituents, too. They're taxpayers. They contribute to the economy and to the community."

The Developmental Disabilities Council sponsors the campaign, but Lovelace said a fourth person in Spirit Lake initiated her own visit from a lawmaker, which demonstrates that people with disabilities are proud of their work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for job seekers with disabilities is roughly 9%, or more than double that of the non-disabled population.

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs and Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council contribute to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Disabilities, Environment, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Mental Health, Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA