On April 5, 2012, the Iowa Utilities Board (Board) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a qualified contractor to administer its program to distribute assistive telecommunications devices to Iowans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking and associated outreach.
The Iowa Equipment Distribution Program, called Telecommunications Access Iowa, helps persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking pay for specialized telephone equipment. Qualified individuals can receive a voucher that pays for approximately 95 percent of the average cost of specialized telephone equipment.
The Board has the authority under IOWA CODE § 477C.4 (2011) to plan, establish, administer, and promote a program to secure, finance, and distribute telecommunications devices for the deaf. In 1994, with the advice of the Dual Party Relay Council, the Board initiated an equipment distribution program (EDP) administered by a separate contractor. The current contract, as extended, will expire on December 31, 2012. Therefore, the Board solicited proposals from vendors to provide the services to administer the program. In carrying out the required functions, the vendor will administer a program governed by IOWA CODE Chapter 477C and the Board's rules in 199 IAC Chapter 37.
On August 23, 2012, the Iowa Utilities Board issued a notice of intent to award a contract for the administration of the Iowa Equipment Distribution Program (EDP) to Deaf Services Unlimited. Deaf Services Unlimited is located in Des Moines and has been the administrator of the EDP since 1999. The Board sent letters to the vendors who submitted proposals notifying them of its decision on August 23, 2012.
The vendor was selected in accordance with the Department of Administrative Services competitive bidding process. Proposals must have been received by the Board’s Executive Secretary by 4:30 p.m. on June 7, 2012 to have been considered. A copy of the 2012 EDP RFP is available for review.