Civil Rights

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach - Civil Rights Plan

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach ("ISU Extension and Outreach") has developed the following Civil Rights Plan to ensure compliance with federal civil rights law and to serve all Iowans. It provides a systematic process for the assessment of compliance with federal regulations as it pertains to policies, procedures, programs, and practices as well as the development and implementation of modifications and remedial steps taken to correct any instances where deficiencies are identified. Iowa counties will complete a civil rights audit every four years. ISU Extension and Outreach’s Civil Rights Plan has two components comprising (1) county civil rights audits and (2) annual program reviews by regions and program.

In order to complete the field marked Appendix A on the county audit form, county staff will need to pull demographics for their region using this tool. County staff will also need to use the Accessibility Checklist to complete question one for the accessibility section of the audit form. As counties review their audit forms, they will find the Assurance of Non-discrimination Form referenced on question number 9 or 13 depending on the version of the county audit form used. The question referencing it reads, "Please list the organizations which have provided a signed letter that the organization does not discriminate in membership practices."

Federal Civil Rights laws

As a recipient of federal funds and educational institution, ISU Extension and Outreach's state staff and county staff must comply with federal laws which prohibit discriminatory behavior in the various roles we serve in as educators, coworkers and providers of programs and activities. As educators, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must provide an educational environment free of barriers to participation on the basis of sex (Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972). As employers or coworkers, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must maintain a workplace free of discriminatory behavior on the protected bases of race, sex, religion, national origin, and color (Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964). The Age Discrimination in Employment Act also prohibits discrimination on the protected basis of age (40 years or older). As a recipient of federal funds, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must serve all Iowans equally regarding the same bases as listed above in Title VII (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). 

ISU Extension and Outreach also falls within the scope of two landmark pieces of disability rights legislation, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"). As employers and coworkers, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must maintain a workplace free of discrimination on the basis of disability and provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities (Sections 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and (Title I of the ADA). As providers of programs, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must serve all Iowans equally in providing programs and activities (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and (Title I of the ADA). ISU Extension and Outreach staff also must strive to ensure website accessibility (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act).

All of these federal laws prohibit ISU Extension and Outreach staff from retaliating against those who exercise these rights.

ISU Extension and Outreach does not fall within the scope of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The IDEA applies to primary and secondary education institutions. Universities are mentioned, but only insofar as they must provide educational opportunities to those seeking the profession of special education educators.

State Civil Rights law

The Iowa Civil Rights Act, among other areas such as credit and housing, applies to the same areas as the federal laws listed above that councils engage in such as public accommodation, education, employment. The Iowa Civil Rights Act also applies to similar bases as the federal legislation listed above, but adds the protected bases of creed, sexual orientation and gender identity. However under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the protected basis of age is not limited to those who are 40 or older. It similarly prohibits ISU Extension and Outreach staff from retaliating against those who exercise rights under these acts.