You are invited to a special event this Thursday, April 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the IRIS studios in the lower level of the Park Fair Mall, 100 East Euclid Avenue, Suite 117 in Des Moines, Iowa.
CELEBRATE IRIS will feature food, games, a raffle, and fun! This third annual gathering of listeners, volunteers and friends is a great opportunity to make a little noise, get social with other IRIS lovers, and celebrate the service's 25th year. Raffle tickets will be sold for $1.00 but are free to our listeners. Otherwise, everything else is free!
Mary Frances Evans, IRIS's Executive Director, is enthusiastic about the event. "We’d love to see as many folks as possible!"
Transportation (free) is available in the Des Moines area for our listeners. Please call to RSVP or reserve transportation at 243-6833.
Prior to last year's legislative session, the Iowa Department for the Blind requested an increase of $550,000 in state revenue to close the gap in spending because we had not received an increase in state revenue during the last 4 years. Blind Iowans worked very hard to support the request for additional revenue, and as a result, the IDB budget was increased by $350,000 for FY 2014. The increase was significant and it helped fill gaps in service delivery but the $350,000 that we received was still less than the $550,000 that we requested. This year, the Iowa Department for the Blind requested an additional $200,000 in state revenue for the 2015 FY. The Iowa Senate has now approved an increase of $250,000 which is $50,000 above the governor’s recommendation. Though the request has passed through the House appropriations committee, it is part of the overarching education bill, aspects of which are still under debate. We may not know the outcome until the end of the month.
We hope that all blind Iowans will support our request by contacting their legislators. A link to legislator’s contact information is listed below. Thank you very much for your support of the IDB budget and please educate your legislators as to the services that blind Iowans receive from the Iowa Department for the Blind.