This policy outlines what information is included in and excluded from Iowa Compass website and database. The purpose of the policy is to improve the consistency and uniformity of database content.

“Disability-specific” is a term used throughout this policy. Disability-specific signifies an organization that directly relates to people with disabilities or their families or their friends. Iowa Compass includes organizations and services that are disability-specific. The term disability refers to physical and cognitive impairments, diseases and health conditions. It also includes mental health diagnoses such as learning disorders, ADHD/ADD and autism spectrum disorders.

Guidelines for Inclusion

  • Services must be available to Iowans. Iowa Compass will generally consider 30 miles outside of Iowa as a reasonable distance to travel for services.


  • Service or organization must meet the criteria below.


  • Inclusion does not imply endorsement and omission does not indicate disapproval of an organization.


  • This policy reflects only what we are including or excluding now, not what we would consider including or excluding in the future. Iowa Compass welcomes discussions with potential funders on category inclusions of interest to them.

What Iowa Compass Includes

Assistive Technology Services

  • Assistive technology product demonstration centers
  • Free assistive technology listing services
  • Not-for-profit assistive technology loan closets (i.e. loans out assistive technology equipment)
  • Home modification services if they are EITHER:
  • Iowa Medicaid waiver approved to bill for home modification services
  • Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) Lookup
  • Sales and Rentals of modified vehicles and cycles (bicycles, tricycles, and so on), and services that modify vehicles or cycles to make them accessible to people with disabilities
  • Services that assess the needs of individuals and develop the particular type of assistive technology product they require (including seating and positioning services that evaluate individuals for customized molds/impressions for wheelchair cushions)
  • Services that provide for free or that provide financial assistance to purchase or repair assistive technology or home modifications
  • Lions Clubs of Iowa – Local Club Lookup
  • State Assistive Technology Act Programs Lookup
  • Tip Sheet – Assistive Technology Equipment Loan Closets
  • Tip Sheet- How To Ask Private Agencies For Help Paying For Assistive Technology
  • Tip Sheet – How to Use Crowdfunding to Buy Assistive Technology
  • Tip Sheet – Workers’ Compensation as a Source for Assistive Technology Funding


  • Child care services specifically for children with disabilities

Classes, Lessons and Instruction

  • Nonacademic disability-specific classes, lessons and instruction (for example: Braille instruction, computer classes, dance classes, distance education courses independent living skills instruction) including those for entrepreneurs and business owners with disabilities. Note: classes, lessons and instruction on health condition management are not included.

Community Based Services

  • Adult day care services
  • Day habilitation services for people with developmental disabilities
  • Supported Community Living (SCL) services

Companionship and Respite Services

  • In-home and in-facility respite care services intended for people with disabilities
  • In-person and over-the-phone reassurance services
  • Friendly telephoning, friendly visiting and live-in companion services
  • Private sitting in hospitals, nursing homes and other care facility settings


  • Complaints Resolution and Legal Representation/Legal Counseling – Public Accommodations
  • Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA)
  • Iowa Foundation for Medical Care
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman offices
  • Office of Ombudsman
  • Managed Care Ombudsman
  • United States Access Board

Crisis Services

  • The following statewide crisis intervention hotlines:
    • Rape Victim Advocacy Program’s Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline
    • Children & Families of Iowa’s Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline
    • Foundation 2’s Crisis Center
    • Iowa DHS’s Child Abuse Reporting program
    • Iowa DHS’s Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting program
  • Evacuation assistance registries of people with disabilities who may require special assistance in the event of a disaster or emergency
  • Publication – Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Educational Services

  • Disability-specific preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and other postsecondary opportunities
  • Early Intervention Programs intended for children with disabilities/delays (for example: Early ACCESS, Early Head Start and Head Start)
  • Head Start program Lookup
  • Parents as Teachers Lookup
  • Scholarships for primary and secondary students with disabilities (note: postsecondary scholarships are included in the lookup record chart below in Inclusion #53)
  • Student disability services provided by the Area Education Agencies (AEAs) for primary and secondary school students
  • Transition services for students with disabilities
  • Tip Sheet – Facts about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Tip Sheet – How Section 504 Protects Students with Disabilities
  • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
  • Workshops, seminars and conferences Lookup


  • Center-based employment (also known as sheltered workshops)
  • Career development services
  • Job matching services
  • Job search guidance services
  • Job training (for example: internships
  • Prevocational training
  • Supported employment services (for example: enclaves, job coaching)
  • Transition services for students with disabilities
  • Vocational assessment/evaluation services
  • Vocational rehabilitation services
  • Services of Iowa Workforce Development regional offices

Free Services or Products

  • Disability-specific programs that provide items or services for free
  • Services that pay for or provide for free single shoes or pairs of shoes for individuals with two different-sized feet

Financial Assistance and Loans

  • Disability-specific financial assistance and loans (including those for entrepreneurs and business owners with disabilities including wish foundations)
  • General Prescription Medication Assistance Lookup
  • Services that provide for free or that provide financial assistance to purchase or repair assistive technology or home modifications
  • Tip Sheet – How to Use Crowdfunding to Buy Assistive Technology
  • Tip Sheet – Workers’ Compensation as a Source for Assistive Technology Funding

Health Insurance

  • Government-run health insurance programs
  • Counseling/planning assistance services for government-sponsored health insurance or the ACA (Affordable Care Act) health insurance exchange
  • Senior Health Insurance Information Programs Lookup

Household and Chore Services

  • Disability-specific home safety evaluation services
  • Minor home repair, yard maintenance, homemaker services and housekeeping services that are either intended for people with disabilities or Iowa Medicaid waiver approved

Housing and Living Settings

  • The following living settings:
    • ICF/MRs (intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities)
    • Group homes/waiver homes for adults and children (for example, Supported Community Living)
    • RCFs (residential care facilities)
    • RCF/MRs (residential care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities)
  • Tip Sheet – Finding Accessible Housing

Individual Specific Support

  • Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
  • Disability-specific case/care management services
  • Interpreters for the Deaf Lookup
  • Orientation and mobility training intended for people who are blind/visually impaired
  • Reading services for people with disabilities (such as radio reading services and telephone newspaper reading services)
  • Services that provide and/or train service animals
  • Telecommunication relay services and video relay services
  • Tip Sheet – Microboards in Iowa
  • Veterans Affairs – County Lookup

Information and Referral lines and Helplines

  • Disability-specific services, or Information and Referral lines, that maintain information about and link individuals who are in need of specialized services to community resources over the phone for free
  • Information and referral services of the following organizations:
    • Area Agencies on Aging
    • 2-1-1 Call Centers
    • Office of Consumer Affairs
  • Disability-specific services, or Helplines, that provide informational support and an empathetic listener over the phone for free

In-Home Services

  • Health aide services
  • IV therapy, including IV medication and IV nutritional therapy (also known as parenteral nutrition)
  • Nursing services
  • Nutritional counseling provided by a Registered Dietician
  • Personal care assistance services
  • Physical, occupational, speech and language therapy
  • Respite care services
  • Telemedicine services
  • Tube feeding (also known as enteral feeding)
  • Ventilator therapy

Legal Services

  • Complaints Resolution and Legal Representation/Legal Counseling for:
    • Conservatorships / Guardianships
    • Employment Issues for Employees
    • Medicaid/Medicare Issues
    • Public Accommodations
    • Special Education Issues
    • Special Needs Trusts
    • SSI/SSDI
  • The following legal services when they are intended primarily for people with disabilities:
    • Alternative dispute resolution
    • Individual advocacy
    • Legal counseling
    • Legal representation
    • Paralegal counseling
    • Self-representation assistance
  • Legislator Lookup
  • Paid guardianship services
  • Publication – Guardianship / Conservatorship Papers
  • Tip Sheet – Microboards in Iowa

Mental Health Services

  • Community Support Services (CSS)
  • Community Supported Living (CSL)/ Supported Community Living (SCL)/Home-based Habilitation services
  • Day habilitation services
  • In-home psychiatric nursing services
  • Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation (IPR) services
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Illness (ICF/PMIs) (including those exclusively limited to seniors)
  • Psychiatric Case Management (Integrated Health Homes)
  • Residential Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Illness (RCF/PMIs)

Money Management

  • Day-to-day money management services (such as check writing and checkbook balancing) intended for people with disabilities
  • Representative payee services
  • Support broker services
  • Tip Sheet – Tax Facts for People with Disabilities

Nursing Facilities and Clinics

  • Clinics that provide a comprehensive set of disability services for a range of disabilities such as The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital’s – Center for Disabilities and Development and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha
  • Skilled nursing facilities that primarily serve children ages 17 or under

Peer to Peer Networking

  • Disability-specific peer to peer networking (also known as peer matching), mentoring and pen pal services
  • Disability-specific support groups
  • The following disability-specific, exclusively web-based services:
    • Live chat groups
    • Online discussion groups and listservs
    • Social networking services

Public Assistance Programs

  • State Supplementary Assistance Program
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Interim Assistance Reimbursement (IAR)

Recreational and Social Activities

  • Disability-specific charter groups and field trips/excursions
  • Disability-specific travel planning/booking services
  • Services offering disability-specific social activities, recreational activities (including sports, games, music groups and so on), and day and overnight camps
  • Special Olympics Iowa – Local Lookup


  • Driving evaluation services
  • Iowa Public Transportation Lookup
  • Medical escort services
  • Organizations that issue special parking permits to people with disabilities
  • Transportation services that are either:
    • Intended primarily for people with disabilities or complex health conditions
    • Iowa Medicaid waiver approved for transportation services

Services or Organizations Not Eligible for Inclusion

  • Secondary services. A secondary service is a service of an organization available only to individuals that are already enrolled in or receiving another one of the organization’s services. In other words, a secondary service is not an entry-point service. (For example, a residential group home provides transportation services only to their residents. In this example, the residential group home is the primary service and the transportation is the secondary service.) We may mention secondary services in records in which the primary service meets our inclusion criteria. Secondary services are not searchable in the Resource Database.


  • Services limited exclusively to seniors unless specifically included above.


  • Any organization that Iowa Compass has adequate reason to believe may spread hatred or have a philosophy that could be hurtful to the well-being of individuals, groups or the community as a whole.


  • Organizations Iowa Compass is unable to contact for updates will be considered for exclusion.


  • Organizations that have been in existence for less than one year (exceptions may apply).


  • Organizations and services intended to serve primarily other organizations, businesses or service providers unless specifically included above.


  • Resources not available to Iowa residents.


  • Organizations with an information-based service that focuses primarily on a specific treatment option.

How to Get Listed

Contact us for more information about adding your organization to our resources.

Appeals and Complaints Process

To appeal an organization’s exclusion from the database or discuss any complaints, contact the Iowa Compass Resource Database Manager or the Iowa Compass Program Director.