The Iowa Utilities Board, by authority of the Legislature, oversees programs that provide telephone accessibility to Iowans who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking. Those programs are Relay Iowa and Telecommunications Access Iowa. They are funded by an assessment to telecommunications service. (See below.)
Relay Iowa is a telephone relay service that helps individuals who have hearing and/or speech difficulties with communicating over the telephone. There is no per-minute cost for users of this service. During a Relay Iowa phone call, a Communication Assistant is present and can assist with facilitating the call in a variety of ways.
The Iowa Equipment Distribution Program, call Telecommunications Access Iowa, helps individuals pay for specialized telephone equipment that is designed to assist in communicating more effectively over the telephone. Qualified individuals that experience difficulty hearing or speaking on the phone can receive a voucher for approximately 95 percent of the average cost of specialized telephone equipment, including amplified phones, captioned telephones, and wireless devices.
Dual Party Relay Assessment
The Iowa Dual Party Relay Service (DPRS) law found in Iowa Code chapter 477C requires wireless carriers and wire-line local exchange carriers providing telecommunications service in the state to pay three cents ($0.03) per month for each telecommunications service phone number provided in Iowa. Read more on the Dual Party Relay Service Assessment page. Telecommunications companies required to submit the reportable DPRS information file their revenue-producing telecommunications service phone numbers for the previous calendar year within IUB 24/7. The filing deadline is April 1 each year.