Iowa Launches COVID Recovery Iowa

June 8, 2020

The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) is one of five contractors hired by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to participate in COVID Recovery Iowa, an innovative program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). DHS received nearly $1 million in funding from FEMA to offer free virtual counseling and referral services to any Iowan affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. CDD, Iowa's UCEDD, will focus on getting much needed supports and services to Iowans with developmental disabilities through this program.

CDD has hired two former Iowa LEND trainees to serve as Virtual Outreach Counselors for the program. They will reach out to people with disabilities via web-based meetings and telephone to promote social connections, assess urgent and unmet needs, provide basic information about resources, and help people build coping skills.

"CDD's experience and expertise will help Iowans with disabilities deal with increased uncertainty, anxiety and grief at this time, when their natural social supports and community services have been reduced due to the COVID crisis," said Derrick Willis, director of Iowa's UCEDD.

Iowa Compass, the state's disability-related information and referral service based at Iowa's UCEDD, will lead CDD's outreach on this project. Currently, the outreach counselors are participating in FEMA Crisis Counseling training to ensure they are prepared to provide appropriate support, resources, and services to people with disabilities who need help.

To learn more about COVID Recovery Iowa, get in touch with Meredith Field at the Center for Disabilities and Development at [email protected].