Iowa Department for the Blind Logo

New Staff Info Sheet

New Hire Signatures and Forms Checklist

  1. Please read the IDB Manual and State of Iowa Employee Handbook (links below)
  2. Sign acknowledgement pages found on the intranet (link below)
  3. Complete the emergency contact form (link below)
  4. Complete the gym release form if you wish to use our gyn (found on intranet)

Policies & Procedures

To read the IDB Manual, go to [

To view all IDB policies, go to

To read the State of Iowa Employee Handbook, visit:

To see specific guidance on sexual harassment policy and reporting, go to

General Information

To get a list of all staff with titles and email and phone numbers, go to :

To get to our intranet, go to: http://idbweb10/intranet/ Many of our forms and procedural documents can be found on the intranet as well as links to forms and other commonly used information.

To access the case management system, go to: http://idbweb10/eforce/

Building Information

Because students live in the building, there are staff people who live in the building and are on duty outside of regular business hours on weekdays and weekends. If you will be in the building outside of regular business hours, please let the duty person know by calling or texting the duty phone at 515-249-6328.

Please remember to turn off your office light and lock up any locking file cabinets, and lock your office door before leaving in the evening. Lobby doors on 3rd and 4th floors will be locked at 4:15.

Please use command strips or hooks to hang any pictures or decorations you’d like to have on your workspace walls. Blue painters tape also works nicely for temporary things. If there is an existing nail, feel free to use it, but it keeps spaces nicer if we don’t add any new holes in the walls. Thanks for helping out by doing this!

If you order food, you need to meet the delivery person at the door. This is especially important if you are paying with cash or need to give a cash tip as you will risk the food being returned to the restaurant.. If pre-paid food is delivered and no one is there to receive it, it will be put on a shelf on a metal bookcase in the vending break room. No one will be expected to monitor this shelf or ensure food is given to the correct owner. It is a good idea to put in the delivery instructions that they need to deliver to the north door (Watson-Powwel)

Staff Intro Videos

In order to help folks get to know you, we would ask that you record a video of about one minute in length introducing yourself. We know a lot of folks don’t like being on video, but it is a really great tool to help us all get to know one another as many of our staff live and work in different parts of the state. Some suggested prompts and instructions for how to record the video using Zoom are below. You may also choose to use your phone to record the video. You can look at the videos from each of your colleagues by pasting the below link in your Windows explorer address bar when you are in the building or connected to our network via VPN.


Prompt Suggestions

How to use your Zoom Meeting as a simple video with audio recording device

Launch your Zoom application (if you do not know how to do this, go ask your boss!)

Click on the “Sign In” button (not the “Join a Meeting” button) and sign In using your email and zoom password

Based on your Zoom Settings, the new meeting may or may not be started with Video and Audio.
Under “Settings” and “Video” if the option “Turn off my video when joining a meeting” is NOT Selected (i.e. not checked) then your Zoom meeting will start with your video camera turned on. If it is checked, then the video camera will be started turned off! Also, under the “Audio” settings you may choose “Automatically join audio by computer when joining a meeting” (i.e. box is checked)

Click the “New Meeting” button to start a new Zoom meeting

Type “Alt + V” to start/stop video

An audio option dialog box pops up, click on “Join with Computer Audio”

Once the Zoom Meeting has started (and it is attended by one participant - you!) Alt + R will toggle on and off recording…

When you are ready to start your recording, type “Alt + R” - Do your presentation

When you are finished with your presentation, type “Alt + R” again to stop the recording

Type Alt + Q to end the meeting, and accept the default “End Meeting for All” (you will need to click on it)

When the Zoom meeting ends, a dialog box pops up saying that Zoom is converting the recording (it converts the meeting to playable audio only and video with audio files).

When finished converting, the folder where the converted audio and video files will pop up.
By default, your video file will be named “zoom0.mp4”. If you start and stop recording multiple times, the next video will be named “zoom1.mp4”, then “zoom2.mp4” etc. There will also be one (or more) “audioonly.m4a” file and “playback.m3u” files - you can ignore these files…

If you close the folder where the audio and video files are located and want to find it later, the default location is “C:\Users” + your username + “\Documents\Zoom” + the date/time stamp of the session + your name in Zoom + Zoom Meeting + your zoom meeting ID.

As an example, for a recent session I recorded, my folder is “C:\Users\tim west\Documents\Zoom\2020-11-06 09.45.23 Tim West’s Zoom Meeting 82602431448”

Once you find the video you like and want to use please rename it to have your name. That’s it - congratulations, you’re a video producer!

Here is a link to the folder. You may have to paste this into the address bar in Windows Explorer (to open Windows Explorer, hold down the windows key and press the letter e) You will need to be in the building or on VPN to connect to this folder just like any other H drive folder.


Important Forms

To report a non-urgent technical problem not related to the case management system , Use this form:

To report an issue with the case management system, use this form:

To report a non-emergency building maintenance issue, use this form:

To complete the IDB emergency contact form, visit:

To submit anonymous feedback or an anonymous question for the Director that will be answered in Coffee Talk or at All Staff meetings, go to:[

Other Useful Forms

Business Card Requests

please use the below form to request business cards. Please note that individuals will have their work email and work cell number on the card and not the general IDB number. Some teams, like the library, have a general card with the general number and the appropriate extension. Your request will be sent to and approved by your supervisor. If you have any questions, please talk to your supervisor.

Order Form For Internal Braille Needs

Please use this link for IDB internal use only. There are other links for teachers, and others outside IDB.

Link to WuFoo form for ordering Braille:

Birthday or Employment Anniversary Share

Below is a link to use if you would like to share your birthday or employment anniversary day with the rest of our agency in the Upcoming Events section of the weekly Coffee Talk email newsletter. This will give folks a chance to get to tell you happy birthday or work anniversary. This is totally voluntary and opt-in as not everyone likes birthdays or being noticed in these ways, and that’s totally fine. We don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable, we just want to add a little joy where possible. Here is the link:

How To Direct Someone on Applying for IL, VR, or Library Services

To apply for vocational rehabilitation or independent living services,
Complete our referral form
or call (515) 901-8621

To apply for library services, call 515-281-1323 or use the online application form at:

Newsletters, Blogs, & Podcasts

Coffee Talk

This is a weekly internal newsletter emailed to all staff from the director. Staff are expected to read all items before the “end of required content” header. There is also a calendar of events, job postings, welnness tips, and other info. Everyone is encouraged to send shout outs to colleagues, success stories, additional articles, committee announcements, quotes, or jokes to for inclusion in Coffee Talk. A copy of the Coffee Talk archive can be found on the intranet or in the CommonGround folder.

IDB Newsletters

you or anyone who is interested can sign up to receive our email newsletters. We have a quarterly volunteer newsletter, a general announcement newsletter, and others. You can sign up using the “sign Up” link on our website or by visiting:

Email Ettiquette


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers confidential resources to help State employees and eligible family members address challenges which may impact job performance, affect well-being, and take a toll on overall health. EAP services are provided at no cost to employees and eligible family members. To learn more, visit:

“Appointments with EAP counselors are available during business hours as well as some evenings and weekends.

You may see a counselor on your own time and no one will need to know. If you need to see an EAP counselor during work time, you will need to:

Get approval from your supervisor for time away from work.
Sign a release of information form provided by the EAP counselor. This allows the counselor to confirm your work time attendance with your supervisor.
No other information will be released without your written permission.”

You do not need to sign a release or bring a note if you are using sick or vacation time to attend EAP appointments.

Retirement Investment Club
The Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) provides State of Iowa employees the opportunity to automatically save toward retirement through payroll deduction and matching funds.

General Practices and Info

Definitions of Common IDB Terms

All-staf (meetings) – also known as Quarterlies or Quarterly staff meetings or all-staff meetings. These mandatory meetings are held in February, May, August, and November. See Coffee Talk Upcoming Events or webpage calendar for dates/times. There are also generally IL, VR, and VR Team meetings throughout the week of these meetings

AEL – Adult Education and Literacy, agency that provides Title II programs and is a core partner under WIOA

BEP – Business Enterprise Program also known as the vending program or Randolph Shepherd Program. This work unit is part of the VR division.

Blindness Empowerment and Independence Center or Center – the division of IDB that provides intensive comprehensive adjustment to blindness training to VR clients and staff IDB training.

Braille Challenge – Iowa regional event for the National Braille Challenge. This is held annually in the winter and is a celebration of braille and braille literacy.

Business Class or Business of Blindness Class – the blindness discussion class held in the Blindness Empowerment and Independence Center.

Commission or Commission for the Blind or Iowa Commission for the Blind – The Board that hires the IDB Director and is respolsible for setting IDB policy. It is comprised of 3 members and appoionted by the Governor. It meets quarterly and as needed. See Coffee Talk callendar for dates/times.

CBT – Community Based Training – a short-term group training for IL clients

Common Drives – Most current shared information can be found in the CommonGround folder at:


Director’s Forum – monthly Zoom call with IDB Director where interested stakeholders can receive updates and ask questions. Also updates are available as a podcast.

ERC – Employee Recognition Committee. One of three employee committees. This committee focuses on providing treats for staff and giving out length of service awards,

flower fund – Funded by employee donations. Sends cards and plants in case of illness or loss of a close family member.

Food Bank Committee – One of three employee committees. Focuses on raising money for the food bank by hosting various events.

G&B – Gifts & Bequests Fund. A fund that receives donations from individuals. Blind Iowans can apply for loans or grants from this fund. See the policy page for guidelines.

H drive – the network share located at \idbopac2\data\user\ where each staff member has their own folder and shared folders are located.

Holiday Tea – One of three employee committees. Held each November during all-staff week. Puts on a breakfast event for all staff and students around a theme.

IESBVI or Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired – also known as the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. provides teachers and support services to blind and low vision k-12 students through contracts with Area Education Agencies. Formerly located in Benton and now on the campus of the Iowa School for the Deaf in Concil Bluffs. IESBVI is under the Board of Regents

IL – Independent Living. May refer to the program, work unit, or services provided by the IL work unit.

IL Integration – held 3 times annually. IL students spend a week in the center gaining skills and confidence. Center students provide mentoring and assist with teaching.

ILRT – Independent Living Rehabilitation Teacher. Part of the Independent Living work unit.

IMC – Instructional Materials Center. Part of the Library. Provides educational materials. Funded largely through a grant from the Department of Education

IVRS – Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. also known as general rehab, the general agency, or Iowa General. Provides VR services to individuals who are not blind but are otherwise disabled.

IWD – Iowa Workforce Development; handles Title 1 and Title III workforce programs and is one of our core partners under WIOA
jean days – On Fridays staff are allowed to wear jeans if they do not have work duties that would make this inappropriate. See Dress Code for more details.

LEAP – summer training program for ages 14-21 where the youth learn blindness skills, develop a positive attitude toward blindness, and build social skills while having fun and making new friends.

Patron Services – work group within the library providing direct service to library patrons.

RTS – Rehabilitation Technology Specialists. works with VR clients VRCs, and employers to ensure client has needed technology, skills, and access to perform their job duties.

Self-Advocacy Seminars or SAS – discussion groups that function much like Center Business classes and are held virtually or in different areas of the state for IL and VR clients. These groups are held in conjunction with braille classes and other skill building classes. For more information, contact Terri Wilcox.
VR – Vocational Rehabilitation. May refer to the program, work unit, or services provided with VR funding. .

VR Teams – three teams comprised of members of the center, VR counselors, RTSs, and Employment Specialists. These teams work together to improve VR services, and improve communication among staff serving VR clients.

VRC – Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

VRT – Vocational Rehabilitation Teacher. Part of the Education & Training work unit

WIOA – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, federal legislation governing VR program

YATP – (Young Adult Transition Program) serves youth who have completed high school but still need to complete IEP goals. These students live in the building.

Tech How-Tos

Fax Instructions

Have your document open.
Select File - Print or Press CTRL+P.
Locate the Which Printer combo box, usually I shift+Tab back to it.
Arrow down to IDB 3rd Fax on IDBUtil or IDB 1st Fax on IDBUtil depending on which you want to use.
Find Print button and activate it.
A dialog window comes up. If it isn’t already on the Enter Destination tab, select it to go there.
Tab to Fax Number. Enter it with a leading 9. If local to DSM, it is a 7-digit number, if not, add 1 and area code.
Tab down to Details; it says “J” after it.
Activate this, tab down to “Job Done Notices” check box, and check it.
Press, “Enter” to dismiss the notification that pops up.
Tab to the Email address and enter your email address.
Tab to OK and activate it.
Tab to Send and Activate it.
You get an email when the job is completed, or if there is an error. It will also print out the results at the printer chosen above.

Directions for setting up your Work account to access Google Docs and other features.

  1. Go to Google
  2. Click on the Google Apps thing that looks like 3 rows of dots. JAWS calls it Google Apps Button Collapsed.
  3. Select Account link
  4. Select the link ‘Create an Account”
  5. Select the button “Use my current email instead”
  6. Fill it out email, password twice, and first and last name.
  7. Select Next
  8. Verify your email(you will get a code sent to you, JAWS users will not be able to cut and paste), but it reads just fine.
  9. Enter your birth date and gender (required) and phone number (optional if you want 2-factor authentication)
  10. If you entered a phone number, Select skip button on the next window that is “Get more from your number”
  11. Select “I agree” button after you read the whole Privacy and terms window.
  12. Done.

Sharing your calendar with IDB Staff

Your supervisor may have additional sharing requirements and you can repeat these steps to make any needed additions. in the settings box, there appears to be an option for allowing access to your entire organization. This doesn’t work, so please share to the email address provided. Thanks much,

  1. Login to Office 365 on the web. DO not use the Outlook program on your computer. Chrome seems to be the best browser to use for this.
  2. Click on the Calendar icon.
  3. Click Share icon
  4. Select which calendar you would like to share; most people only have one calendar.
  5. In the Share with: field, type the email address
  6. Select the permission Can view titles and locations
  7. Click Send. ###Steps for Changing passwords for IDB accounts

From Wes: As I have helped people over the past couple weeks, this method for changing passwords appears to work even if you inadvertently open Outlook before its ready: The longer you can wait before trying outlook, the better, but this should still work. We are still discouraging people from changing passwords at the end of the day because they are more easily forgotten.

What to do:

  1. Verify that you have a stable connection to IDB, either because you’re on IDB wifi, plugged into the wire in the building, or have FortiClient connected.
  2. Close all apps and folders, except for FortiClient if you’re working remote from the IDB headquarters
  3. Change your password by pressing CTRL+Alt+Delete and arrowing down to “Change Password”. You can use the Mouse after hitting CTRL+Alt+Delete, the important thing is not to use the little Windows popup when your computer thinks it’s going to expire, you must use CTRL+Alt+Delete.
  4. Fill in the Old Password, New Password, and Re-Enter New Password fields and choose “OK”.
  5. You should get the message that the password has been changed, choose “OK”. If you got an error, check you are connected to IDB headquarters and try again.
  6. Activate the Start Menu by pressing the Windows Logo Key (four little squares inside a bigger square) or choose the start button from the main Windows 10 screen near the bottom by the taskbar.
  7. You land in the Search box; please type “Shared Experience”.
  8. The first result, which should have focus, is “Shared Experience Settings”; double-click this, or press “Enter”.
  9. This causes the Settings app to open with the Shared Experiences already on the screen. JAWS users navigate this dialog with “Tab” and Shift+Tab.
  10. Look in this dialog for an option that says “Fix Now”. If you see this, activate it and enter your new password in the box that comes up.
  11. If you did not see “Fix Now”, look for an option that says “work or school account created by your IT Department” and activate that.
  12. A browser should appear.
  13. Make sure that the “Choose an Account” box shows “Work or School”. Then enter the password for that account in the password box and sign in.
  14. If the Info Bar asks for you to update the stored password, say “no”. You can say “yes” to the prompt that says “Stay Signed In?”
  15. Now you can start Outlook again. You might be prompted for the password again, and if you are, enter the new password.
  16. If not prompted for a password, the Inbox should appear momentarily.
  17. If you are prompted for the password, the inbox will appear momentarily after the password dialog goes away.
  18. If this does not seem to work, close Outlook and repeat Steps 6-14again after a brief delay.

Your phone’s password can be updated as normal when the prompt appears.

ICN Lines

Our two ICN conference lines each have a calendar. They are on the room list so that they can be reserved just like a meeting room. Please continue to use phone calls when possible. Please use Facetime, Microsoft Teams, and other options as well for internal smaller team meetings so the ICN lines can be used for providing client and patron services.