National & State Scan: Iowa

  • The lead agency in with oversight of policy and services for children and youth with an ASD is the Iowa Department of Education Bureau of Student and Family Support Services; other state agencies contributing to the work and services include Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Department of Public Health Bureau of Family Health.
  • State-level commission or workgroup pertaining to ASDs: the Iowa Autism Council acts in an advisory capacity to the state in developing and implementing a comprehensive, coordinated system to provide appropriate diagnostic, intervention, and support services; and the Regional Autism Services Program is a collaboration between the Department of Education and the University of Iowa, which established Autism Resource Teams to provide a variety of services to area education agencies, parents, and community providers
  • Notable state-level transition-related activities specific to students with disabilities include: a Secondary Transition Summer Institute offered annually through the Department of Education; the Transition Notebook developed by Vocational Rehabilitation Services, offers a variety of activities for students and tools for job planning. Additionally they have a “Transition” page with resources for Parents, Teachers, and Students; with resources, success stories, FAQs and more; a Matrix for Transition Assessment developed by the Department of Education as a transition planning tool. It was updated in 2012 through the work of local educators, and professionals at the University of Northern Iowa and University of Kansas; ASK is a resource and advocacy organization that is also a provider of information and tools pertaining to transition for youth with disabilities
  • Unique secondary education and vocational programs within the state for individuals with an ASD include: Iowa Lakes Community College SAVE Program provides special education secondary students with an option where they will receive, based on their IEP goals, further education in the areas of life skills training, vocational/employability skills training, and transitional/self advocacy skills training; and The Homestead offers a wide range of services for children and adults with autism, including a rural, agricultural lifestyle that would be an option for adults with autism in Iowa
  • The percentage of youth with special health care needs who received the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including adult health care, work, and independence, as reported in 2009/10 for IO, 45.0% (n=323)