Recent News


ABLE Presentation on Aug. 17th

August 9, 2017

People with disabilities, parents, guardians, case managers, and anyone in the general public, are invited to an informational presentation on ABLE Act accounts at Horizons Unlimited at 5 pm on Thursday August 17th. ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for people with disabilities. ABLE funds can be used for qualified disability-related expenses.

The presentation will be given in the Horizons conference room by Kelly Mortimore, Work Incentives Practitioner. Horizons is located at 2107 Main Street, in Emmetsburg. Those wanting more information can contact Horizons at 712-852-2211, ext. 120.


ABLE Quick Facts

July 18, 2017

The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act was enacted in Iowa in 2015 and promises to provide terrific new financial opportunities for many people with disabilities in the state. Here are some fast facts about the ABLE Act being implemented:
  • ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged accounts that people with disabilities can take advantage of
  • ABLE expenditures can be used for qualified disability expenses (expenses related to a disability)
  • Up to $14,000 can be depoisited into an ABLE account every year
  • With an ABLE account, the first $100,000 of assets deposited into the account are exempt from the personal resource limit that restricts eligibility for Medicaid benefits
  • ABLE accounts can help people with disabilities save up money while protecting other benefits
Horizons Unlimited will be hosting an informational presentation on ABLE in the near future. Stay tuned! Time and place to be announced.

No Walls Newsletter - June 2017

July 18, 2017

Issue #2 of our No Walls (Day Hab) Newsletter is out! Please click here to read it.

Open Interviews! July 10-14, 2-4pm

June 29, 2017

OPEN INTERVIEWS

Horizons Unlimited will be conducting open interviews for those interested in becoming Direct Support Professionals (DSP) the week of July 10th-14th from 2-4 pm. Please stop in at 2107 Main Street in Emmetsburg to fill out an application and have a short interview. If you have any questions, please contact Horizons Unlimited at 712-852-2211 or email evelynschneider@horizons-unlimited.net.

HCBS Finds Horizons in 100% Compliance

June 23, 2017

In late April 2017, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Quality Oversight staff reviewed the job development and day habilitation programs at Horizons Unlimited. We are pleased to report that Horizons Unlimited's programs were found to be in 100% compliance with all laws, regulations, and quality standards. So far, Horizons Unlimited is the only known organization in the state of Iowa to have passed at this high of a level. We thank IME-HCBS for the time they spent here surveying our programs and thank our job coaches and day habilitation staff for the pride they take in offering the highest quality services.

To read the full report that we recently received from the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), please click here.

CARF Survey Upcoming

June 22, 2017

Coming Soon

A survey team from CARF International* will be visiting on

September 11-13, 2017

We invited the surveyors to evaluate how well we meet international standards for quality. The survey will tell us what we are doing well and ways we might improve. As a result of this survey, we may earn or continue accreditation.

As part of the survey, the surveyors will interview people who receive services, their families, our staff, and others. Some questions the survey team members might ask people are:

  • Do we provide a clean and safe setting?
  • Do you receive the services you need and want?
  • Are you treated with respect?
  • Do you take part in planning your services?
  • Are you told what you need to know about your services?
  • Are your questions answered in a way you understand?
  • Do you know where to go with questions or concerns?

If you would like to talk with one of the survey team members or want to learn more about CARF International, please let one of our staff members know. You may also contact CARF International directly.

  • Internet: www.carf.org/contact-us
  • E-mail: feedback@carf.org
  • Mail: CARF International, 6951 East Southpoint Road, Tucson, AZ 85756, USA
  • Telephone: (520) 495-7001
  • Fax: (520) 318-1129



*CARF International — A group of companies that includes CARF, CARF Canada, and CARF Europe. 


No Walls Newsletter - May 2017

June 1, 2017

Issue #1 of our brand new No Walls (Day Hab) Newsletter is out! Please click here to read it.

Tablescapes 2017 Wrap-up Slideshow

May 30, 2017

Thank you to those who attended, donated to, and volunteered at the 2017 Tablescapes theme table fundraiser gala! Please click here to view the slideshow of the beautifully decorated tables at this year's event.

Congrats to Jodi Stewart!

May 15, 2017

Horizons Unlimited extends our congratulations to Jodi Stewart, one of our members, who earned a Certificate of Appreciation from the Palo Alto County Health System for having volunteered for over 224 hours in their facilities. Jodi gives generously of her time as an activity assistant in the retirement center wing of PACHS. We are very proud of Jodi and her cheerful and charitable spirit.

Congrats to DSP-R recipients!

May 5, 2017

Congratulations to four Horizons Unlimited staff members who recenty earned their DSP-R (Direct Support Professional registered) certifications. The staff members include two residential employees, Liz Mammen and Cherie Flynn, and two Day Hab employees, Kristin Elbert and Samantha Nolte. These credentials are an important first step in their becoming some of the most qualified providers of services in this region. Horizons is very proud of our four new certificants!

Tablescapes 2017

May 3, 2017

The 7th Annual Tablescapes Themed Table Dinner took place on April 20th, 2017! Decorators showcased their themed table decoration skills and had a delicious chicken cordon bleu and cheese cake dinner, all while enjoying the talented piano music of Glenn Henriksen and the fun silent auction (which featured items autographed by Michael Phelps, Clint Eastwood, Billy Joel, and the cast of Star Wars, as well as numerous items donated by area businesses).

This year, the first place winner of the Judge's Choice award was the "A Look Back In Time: 1927 Wedding" table decorated by Cindy Pederson & her mother, and sponsored by Palo Alto County Health System. The second place winner of the Judge's Choice award was the "Thanksgiving" table, decorated by Ryan Banwart & Leonard Swalve, and sponsored by Pharmacists Mutual Co.

The first place winner of the People's Choice award was the "Where Flowers Bloom, So Does Hope" table decorated by Laurie Schmidt, and sponsored by Davis Brown Law Firm. The second place winner of the People's Choice award was the "Hawaii" table, decorated by Alice Zimmerman, and sponsored by West Bend Red Power.

Thank you to all who sponsored, volunteered, decorated, and came to the event. We hope to see everyone again next year!

Thank you to our sponsors and donors:





Platinum Sponsors

Hughes Pharmacy
Hughes Health Mart Pharmacy
Emmetsburg

Spencer Radio Group
Spencer Radio Group (KICD, KMRR, CD107.7)
Spencer

Wild Rose Casino
Wild Rose Casino & Resort
Emmetsburg


Gold Sponsors

Aureon HR
Aureon HR
West Des Moines

Emmetsburg

PACHS
Palo Alto County Health System
Emmetsburg

Pharmacists Mutual Companies
Pharmacists Mutual Companies
Algona

Poet Biorefining
Poet Biorefining
Emmetsburg

Pratt Family
Pratt Family
Emmetsburg, Marion

Schmidt Family Association
Schmidt Family Association
West Bend, Emmetsburg

State Farm Insurance
State Farm Insurance (agent David Olson)
Emmetsburg

Farmers National Company True Value Hometown Convenience
Wentzel/Brown Families
Emmetsburg, Iowa

Monetary & Auction Item Contributors:

Addy Mae's Cafe, West Bend
B&B Handmade Products, Whittemore
Blossoming Creations, Emmetsburg
Country Maid, West Bend
DejaBrew, Emmetsburg
Del's Garden Center, Spencer
Ellies On Main/The Beehive, West Bend
Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic, Emmetsburg
Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities, Emmetsburg
EMS Auto Supply, Emmetsburg
Hansen Chiropractic Clinic, West Bend
Hughes Brennan & Wirtz Insurance, Emmetsburg
Iowa State University Extension, Emmetsburg
Jamison Equipment, Emmetsburg
Josiah Schmidt Professional Genealogist, Emmetsburg
Kampen Foods, West Bend
KICD Radio, Spencer
Kirby's Cafe, Emmetsburg
Linda Kay's/Schmidt's BBQ & Catering, West Bend
Lost Island Jewelry, Ruthven
Petersen Furniture & Carpet, Emmetsburg
Pizza Ranch, Emmetsburg
Riviera Theater, Emmetsburg
Slash Point Sales, Emmetsburg
Swanson Hardware Store, Emmetsburg
Wentzel's True Value, Emmetsburg
Wild Rose Casino & Resort, Emmetsburg

Thank You, Donors: New TV at 15th Street!

May 2, 2017

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, one of the recent updates we made to our 15th Street Group Home was to add a new flat screen television in the dining room. Although it may seem like a small thing, having a separate room in which residents may watch TV increases the choice available to our members. Wayne Bordwell (pictured) especially enjoys the ability to have more freedom to watch the programs he likes and to socialize with whomever he wants, whether in the living room, the dining room, or elsewhere. Thanks again, donors!

Horizons Participates in 2017 St. Pat's Parade

March 22, 2017

On Saturday, March 18th, nine Horizons Unlimited members participated in the Horizons float at Emmetsburg's annual Saint Patrick's Parade. The members were: Wendy Robinson, Wayne Bordwell, Gary Bordwell, Mark Stillman, Jim Frederick, Greg Jones, Jack Parrish, Ryan Banwart, and Leonard Swalve. Parade-goers enjoyed seeing the members' well-known faces, and the members enjoyed the opportunity to increase Horizons Unlimited's public exposure as well as throwing out candy to the children.

Congrats to Kate Simonson on DSP-Certification

March 1, 2017

Kate Simonson, a residential manager for Horizons Unlimited, recently became the first in the county to earn national certification through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). Kate Simonson is now Direct Support Professional-Certified (DSP-C). Her certification follows years of experience, numerous work samples and documentation meeting stringent criteria in different categories, and the submission of a 70-page portfolio.

As a DSP-certified professional, Kate Simonson is fully qualified to provide a wide range of residential support services to individuals with disabilities.

Says Ron Askland, CEO of Horizons Unlimited: “Kate Simonson is a valued employee. I am very proud of her dedication and support of people with disabilities. I would like to join our Horizons family in congratulating Kate on earning her DSP-Certified status.”


Plan on Tablescapes - April 20th, 2017

March 14, 2017

Horizons Unlimited is excited to announce our 7th Annual Tablescapes theme table decoration gala from 5-8 pm on Thursday, April 20th, 2017! The event will be held at the Wild Rose Ballroom in the Wild Rose Casino & Resort. Proceeds benefit individuals with disabilities in our area.

Attendees will enjoy a delicious dinner of:
Chicken cordon bleu
Wild Rose rice with sauce
Capri vegetables
Wild Rose salad
Cheese cake and brownies for dessert
& a cash bar!

Attendees will also enjoy the live piano music of Glenn Henriksen, as well as a silent auction featuring goodies from area businesses as well as items autographed by major celebrities!

Tickets are on sale for $20 each at the Thrift Store (corner of Broadway & Main, Emmetsburg) or at the Horizons Unlimited main office (2107 Main Street, Emmetsburg).




Platinum Sponsors

Hughes Pharmacy
Hughes Health Mart Pharmacy
Emmetsburg

Spencer Radio Group
Spencer Radio Group (KICD, KMRR, CD107.7)
Spencer

Wild Rose Casino
Wild Rose Casino & Resort
Emmetsburg


Gold Sponsors

Aureon HR
Aureon HR
West Des Moines

Emmetsburg

PACHS
Palo Alto County Health System
Emmetsburg

Pharmacists Mutual Companies
Pharmacists Mutual Companies
Algona

Poet Biorefining
Poet Biorefining
Emmetsburg

Pratt Family
Pratt Family
Emmetsburg, Marion

Schmidt Family Association
Schmidt Family Association
West Bend, Emmetsburg

State Farm Insurance
State Farm Insurance (agent David Olson)
Emmetsburg

Farmers National Company True Value Hometown Convenience
Wentzel/Brown Families
Emmetsburg, Iowa

Monetary & Auction Item Contributors:

Addy Mae's Cafe, West Bend
B&B Handmade Products, Whittemore
Blossoming Creations, Emmetsburg
Country Maid, West Bend
DejaBrew, Emmetsburg
Del's Garden Center, Spencer
Ellies On Main/The Beehive, West Bend
Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic, Emmetsburg
Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities, Emmetsburg
EMS Auto Supply, Emmetsburg
Hansen Chiropractic Clinic, West Bend
Hughes Brennan & Wirtz Insurance, Emmetsburg
Iowa State University Extension, Emmetsburg
Jamison Equipment, Emmetsburg
Josiah Schmidt Professional Genealogist, Emmetsburg
Kampen Foods, West Bend
KICD Radio, Spencer
Kirby's Cafe, Emmetsburg
Linda Kay's/Schmidt's BBQ & Catering, West Bend
Lost Island Jewelry, Ruthven
Petersen Furniture & Carpet, Emmetsburg
Pizza Ranch, Emmetsburg
Riviera Theater, Emmetsburg
Slash Point Sales, Emmetsburg
Swanson Hardware Store, Emmetsburg
Wentzel's True Value, Emmetsburg
Wild Rose Casino & Resort, Emmetsburg

Volunteering at the Daycare

March 7, 2017

On March 3rd, Jack Parrish, a member of the Horizons Unlimited "No Walls" Day Hab program, graciously volunteered his time to read to the children of Karyn Huberty's local daycare. Jack was a hit! The children sat and listened to every word that Jack read, and were enthralled with the colorful illustrations in the books. All of the kids thanked Jack and were sad to see him go. Jack greatly appreciated the opportunity to use his skills for the benefit of others. 

The new Horizons "No Walls" Day Hab program provides participants like Jack the opportunity to build great skills, to fulfill dreams, and to give back to the community. For more information, click here.

What is an ABLE Account?

January 27, 2017

ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Accounts are relatively new instruments that people with disabilities can utilize to save money that can pay for qualified expenses. Please see the recent Des Moines Register article below for more details:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/columnists/2017/01/09/what-able-account/96357364/

Thank You to Fall Campaign Contributors!

January 27, 2017

THANK YOU to those generous donors who contributed to our Fall Campaign!

Steve Alger
ANONYMOUS
Apostolic Christian World Relief
Ron Askland
Eldon & Karen Banwart
Irene Banwart
Phyllis Banwart
Bethany Lutheran Church WELCA
Kellina Birkey
Marguerite Brawley
Mike & Lynn Brennan
Robert & Rose Mary Campney
Gwen Carmichael
Renee Chism
CienaCares
Davis Brown Law Firm
Betty Drew
Jeanne Drew
Russel & Marjorie Drown
Zachary & Alicia Eichmeier
Fenton United Methodist Women
Tom & Jackie Frederick
Bill & Marcie Frevert
Marilyn Gardner
Graettinger Knights of Columbus
Ray Grandstaff
Mary Jo Greene
Bob & Sue Gress
Hawkeye Transportation Services
Arlene Heldt
Jane Heykes
Hometown Thrift Store
Michael & Linda Hood
Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz
Gary & Marilyn Hughes
Iowa Lakes Community College
Madonna Kakacek
Linda Keepers
Angela Ketrick
Patrick Kibbie
Knights of Columbus, Iowa State Council
Roger Krieg
Joseph Kunz
Vincent & Mary Ellen Leners
Alex & Megan Lenz
John Lillevik
Tom & Cindy Magee
Liz Mammen
Rosemary Matthews
Eugene & Marilyn McCartan
Gerald & Alice McDaniel
Jeff & Lori Morey
Mary Helen Morling Prop Management Trust
Amanda Murray
Helen Myers
Jeff & Tammy Naig
Lois Neighbors
Bruce & Jana Nelson
Ruth & Larry Neppl
Dr. David & Julia Nixon
Beverly Norland
Northland Auto & Marine
Palmer Knights of Columbus
Palo Alto County Health System
Lanny & Colleen Paul
Petersen Furniture & Carpet
James & Mary Lynn Pratt
Jean Prendergast
Robert & Joan Reinhart
David & Ruth Rouse
Ruthven United Methodist Church
Arnold Schilling
Beverly Schneider
David & Elaine Sidles
Sean Solberg
Alice Srp
Elmer Steier
Jim & Jane Stevens
Ann Stillman
St. Mary's Christian Mothers
St. Peter's Women of the ELCA
LeRoy & Paula Swalve
Luther & Paula Thoresen
Joan Tunnicliff
Unifund
Thomas Vaughan
Wentzel Realty
Robert & Edna Wentzel
West Bend Community Drive
West Bend Knights of Columbus
Beth Wiemers
Michael & Marne Woods

Super Pancake Breakfast - Feb 5, 2017

January 23, 2017

Don't miss our Super Pancake Breakfast at the VFW Hall (3205 Main St.) in Emmetsburg, from 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM on Sunday February 5th, 2017

Advance tickets cost $6.50 and are available at the Horizons Unlimited offices (2107 Main Street, Emmetsburg) or at Second Hand Thrift Store (corner of Broadway & Main, Emmetsburg). Tickets at the door will cost $7.50.

Before you watch the big game on February 5th, come to the Super Pancake Breakfast and enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes and syrup, omelettes, and sausage, all cooked fresh right in front of you to your liking. Unlimited orange juice, milk, and coffee are also included.

The event will be catered by Kiwanis, and proceeds will benefit individuals with disabilities served by Horizons Unlimited. Get your tickets today!

Nominations Sought for 2017 Governor's Award for Quality Care

January 13, 2017

DES MOINES, IOWA (January 12, 2017) – Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Governor’s Award for Quality Care in Health Care Facilities. The Governor's Award recognizes Iowa health care facilities that offer unique or innovative activities to enhance the quality of care or quality of life for their residents. Nominations are open to all health care facilities licensed under Iowa Code chapter 135C, which include nursing facilities, residential care facilities, and intermediate care facilities, including those facilities specializing in the care of persons with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. (Not eligible for nomination are assisted living programs, elder group homes, or hospital-based nursing facilities as these facilities are not licensed under the Iowa Code chapter establishing the Award program.)

Last year, Atlantic Specialty Care and Oaknoll Retirement Residence were selected to receive the 2016 Governor’s Award for Quality Care. Atlantic Specialty Care is a 90-bed long-term care facility in Cass County, and Oaknoll Retirement Residence is a 58-bed nursing facility located in Iowa City. Since the first awards were presented in 2001, a total of 53 awards have been presented to 46 individual facilities.

Residents and family members may nominate an Iowa-licensed long-term care facility for the award. Facilities may not nominate themselves for this recognition. In order to be considered for a 2017 Governor's Award, nominations must be postmarked by March 1, 2017. Nomination forms may be obtained by calling the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) at 515-281-7102 or downloaded from the Department's web site at http://dia.iowa.gov.

All nominations must state the reason the facility should be considered, such as any unique services provided by the facility to its residents, and any activities undertaken by the facility to enhance the quality of care or quality of life for its residents. A facility’s history of compliance and whether it accepts residents for whom costs are paid by the Medicaid program are also factors used in the determination of eligibility for a Governor’s Award. Upon receipt by DIA, the nominations will be evaluated and a list of finalists prepared. Under Iowa law, no more than two facilities from each Congressional District may be selected for a Governor's Award.


3 Horizons Employment Specialists Earn National Certification

January 6, 2017

Three employment specialists with Horizons Unlimited recently earned national certification through the Association of Persons Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE). Josiah Schmidt, Jennifer Kraus, and Betsy Elbert are now Certified Employment Support Professionals (CESP). Their certification follows a year of classes and trainings around the state, extensive field work and case studies, and exams in Des Moines and Minneapolis.

As CESP-certified professionals, Horizons Unlimited’s employment specialists are fully qualified to assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining employment, and to assist businesses with improving their bottom line using customized employment strategies.

Says Ron Askland, CEO of Horizons Unlimited: “I am very proud of these employees who have worked hard to earn their CESP certificates in order to provide quality employment services to our members.”


Sandra Erhardt (1953-2016)

January 6, 2017

Sandra Kay Erhardt, daughter of Carl and Patricia (Davis) Erhardt, was born on October 10, 1953 in Des Moines, Iowa. She lived at home for a year before moving into Woodward State Hospital from 1954 to 1980.

Sandy moved from Woodward to Kathleen's Residential Care in Emmetsburg where she lived until 1993, and she has since lived at Horizons' 19th Street Pleasant House.

Sandy worked at Horizons Unlimited for several years. One of her positions was working in the Horizons Can Redemption Center. She enjoyed playing cards, watching t.v., taking pictures of people and getting her nails done. She also liked to learn new words in sign language. She loved kittens, stuffed animals and collecting knickknacks. She could always be found wearing some of her favorite slipper socks.

Sandra found her family here in Emmetsburg at Kathleen's and Horizons Unlimited. The residents and staff and friends of Emmetsburg were her family.

On Tuesday, December 27, 2016, Sandy passed away at Lakeside Lutheran Home in Emmetsburg. She will be missed by all of those that were blessed to have known her.

To view Sandra's funeral pamphlet with photographs, click below:
Side 1
Side 2

It's Giving Tuesday!

November 29, 2016

You survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As an antidote to the post-Thanksgiving consumerism, take part in Giving Tuesday. Your tax deductible donations to Horizons Unlimited make an immediate difference in the life of an individual with a cognitive/developmental disability: click here to donate! Thank you!

Introducing "Job Connect"

November 22, 2016

"Job Connect" is a new and updated offering of Horizons Unlimited. It includes our traditional employment services offered to job seekers with intellectual disabilities, and now also job placement services for anyone who receives an SSI or SSDI check, is between the ages of 18-64, and lives anywhere in the state of Iowa.

The latter service is our Job Connect Employment Network ("EN"), which is offered at no cost to the job seeker, through the Ticket To Work Program provided by the Social Security Administration. We partner with the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) to provide this service.

To learn more about our Job Connect Employment Network, please click here to view a short slideshow!

Read the Fall 2016 Newsletter Here!

November 14, 2016

The Fall-Winter 2016-2017 edition of "Unlimited Possibilities," the official newsletter of Horizons Unlimited, is out! Be the first to read the new issue of the newsletter here online, before the hard copies hit the mailboxes.

Click the links below to read the full image versions:

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10


Text-only versions of the stories:

No More Walls: how Horizons revolutionized day habilitation

This year, Horizons Unlimited has been at the forefront in Iowa of pioneering the latest best practices in day habilitation. Day habilitation is a person-centered program that enables individuals to explore new interests, become more involved in their communities, develop skills, and achieve goals.

While many sheltered workshop day habilitation programs merely bring large groups of members into a segregated facility, where the members while away their time with busy work—doing arts and crafts, playing video games, or perusing magazines—Horizons Unlimited has taken day habilitation to a whole new level.

In 2016, a slew of new laws, regulations, and court rulings from the federal and state governments began making it clear that keeping people with disabilities segregated in a sheltered workshop outside the community would no longer be allowed. These new rules, designed to encourage compliance with the letter of the law in the Americans With Disabilities Act, alarmed many agencies. Horizons, however, benefited from close consultation with representatives of the federal Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), who guided Horizons on the best way forward within the new legal climate. 

In order to stay at the cutting edge of disability policy, Horizons closed down its workshop, sold its facilities, and moved to a smaller office in the heart of town, where it could run a leaner and more effective organization.

Part of the new requirements included making day habilitation as integrated into the community as possible. This meant picking members up directly from their homes, taking them out into the community for activities, and then dropping them back off at their homes at the end of the day, so that they never set foot in a segregated facility. Paige Metzger, Horizons day habilitation coordinator, rose to the challenge. “We heard that the rules were changing, and that the government wanted our members to be out in the community. This past spring, we started with a couple ‘No Walls’ pilot groups to work out the kinks,” says Paige.

“At first, I thought it would be difficult,” Paige admits. “When we got rid of our Day Hab building, we needed to figure out transportation and places for the members to go, especially in the winter when the weather worsens.”

Paige put her community connections to work and succeeded in developing a wide array of activity options for the members to participate in. “Our activities are now much more centered around finding opportunities for volunteer work. We volunteer at nursing homes, animal shelters, city parks, the Feed Our Kids program, and the UDMO food pantry. Our partnership with the Multi-Purpose Center has been a great thing for us, and for the Multi-Purpose Center as well.”

This is not to say that Day Hab members don't also do things that are purely for entertainment or education. Day Hab groups also frequent museums and historical sites, and take part in fun activities like fishing or bingo.

“We have a place for everyone,” says Paige.

Paige has witnessed a remarkable improvement in participants’ outlooks since switching to “No Walls” Day Hab. “We invested in several new vehicles so that we could take out smaller groups. Four is the largest group that we do. This allows members to go with friends who have similar interests. It also allows them to form relationships with people in the community, in addition to the relationships they’ve had with one another. We have seen a big decrease in behavioral incidents under the new Day Hab setup. Everyone just seems to be so much happier.”

Horizons’s program has been so successful that it was recently recognized by the Iowa Association of Community Providers at a meeting in Des Moines.

After six years of service, Paige will be leaving Horizons Unlimited: on December 31st of this year, Paige will be getting married and relocating to South Dakota to start a new chapter in her life. Horizons Unlimited is grateful to Paige for all of her ingenuity and hard work, and wishes her the best!


Message from the CEO, Ron Askland

Dear friend,

The year 2016 has proven momentous for Horizons Unlimited. We have undergone many changes and enjoyed many successes. Many of these changes challenged us, and yet at the end of this year, our members now enjoy a quality of life that has never been better.

This summer, our sheltered workshop was retired in order to comply with new rules and legislation from the federal and state governments. Horizons has been guided in this process by consultants from the Office of Disability Employment Policy in Washington, DC. In place of the sheltered workshop, we have revolutionized our Day Habilitation program, vastly expanded our community employment department, and hired new staff to deliver the highest quality 
residential and supported community living services.

While some of these changes have been significant, our members express more happiness now than ever before. Behavioral incidents, which a year ago hovered at over 30 per month, have now plummeted to a mere 2 per month.
Our “Day Hab” program breaks away from the isolated “busy work” format that many other Day Hab programs around the country adhere to. Now, Horizons Day Hab instructors pick up participants from their home, take them out into the community in small groups of 1-4 individuals, work with them on educating and enriching their minds, help them develop transferable and marketable skills through productive volunteer work, and then drop them back off at their home at the end of the day.

A year ago, the Horizons community employment department employed one job developer and three job coaches, who supported a fraction of our members in maintaining 14 paid jobs in the community. Today, the department has doubled in staff size: six job coaches, with three job developers recently earning certification as Certified Employment Support Professionals. Our staff now support our members in 41 paid jobs in the community, plus numerous other paid work experiences and job shadows. Nearly all of the members (below retirement age) who previously worked in recycling, can redemption, or our thrift store, have successfully secured paid employment or are working with job development staff to seek employment.

Our community employment department has also launched Job Connect, an employment network that can help find jobs for anyone aged 18-64 who receives a check from SSI or SSDI, regardless of whether their disability is intellectual or purely physical.

Horizons Unlimited is well positioned to provide higher quality services and more diverse 
opportunities to our members in a positive atmosphere. I personally thank you for your support and look forward to a successful 2017.
         
Ron Askland
CEO, Horizons Unlimited


Employee of the Month: Jason's success story
 
Jason Loss has an infection smile and an exuberant attitude. He is friends with just about everyone in the town of Emmetsburg thanks to his extroverted personality. For Jason, being able to interact with the public and enhance the customer relationship for a business was an important consideration when he was job hunting.

Jason was hired at Pizza Ranch in Emmetsburg in December of 2013. He prepares food, busses tables, and cleans the dining area. Jason loved his job so much that he wanted another one. Jason worked with Horizons Unlimited employment services and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) to find more work. With IVRS funding, Horizons engaged in a discovery process with Jason that included paid temporary work experiences at businesses as varied as the Lost Island Nature Center in Ruthven, the Wild Rose Casino & Resort in Emmetsburg, and KLGA Radio in Algona.

With the information learned from these assessments, Horizons was able to help Jason secure a job at one of his favorite restaurants in July of 2016—McDonalds. With Jason’s social nature, he did not want to just be stuck back in the kitchen at a fryer. So, Horizons worked with Jason and his new employer to customize a job for Jason where he is in charge of keeping the dining area in order. Jason keeps the tables clean during the lunch rush, restocks condiments, cleans the windows, sweeps and mops the floors, and keeps the trash bins from overflowing. Jason continues to work at Pizza Ranch in addition to his new McDonalds job.

“What I love about this job are my coworkers, the managers, and being able to see people and say hi,” says Jason. “It’s a pretty enjoyable job.”

In September of 2016, Jason’s supervisors honored him with “Employee of the Month.” Jason’s work philosophy? “Showing up on time, being courteous and polite—that’s important. With me, the customers always come first.” He also credits Horizons Unlimited job coaches with helping him to get to the successful point he is at now. “It was very helpful to work with job coaches. They suggest ideas for what can be done and how to do it.”

When asked about his advice for other job seekers, Jason responds: “Run, don’t trot. Work hard.”

Says Jason with a broad grin: “I’m very optimistic for the future.” 


Introducing Job Connect

Job Connect is a new employment network (“EN”) service offered by Horizons Unlimited, serving anyone who is aged 18-64 and who receives an SSI or SSDI check, regardless of whether your disability is intellectual or purely physical.

Job Connect’s employment services are offered at no cost to the client, as we partner with the American Dream Employment Network through the Ticket To Work program (an agency of the Social Security Administration).

If you used to lead a normal life, something happened (injury, disease, etc.) that caused you to go on to SSI/SSDI benefits, and you now want to go back to work, Job Connect is able and willing to help. Whether you want to know how to work part-time and stay on benefits, or you want to go back to work full-time and graduate off of benefits, our network of professionals can assist you in navigating that process safely and successfully.

For more information, visit our website at www.JobConnectIowa.com, call our hotline at 712-852-2925, or visit us at the Horizons Unlimited office building (2107 Main St., Emmetsburg) and ask for Jen Kraus, Betsy Elbert, or Josiah Schmidt.

We look forward to helping you return to work and to financial independence!

 
Horizons Thanks You
Thank you to the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation for their extremely generous $10,463 grant, which helped us install all new windows at our 21st Street Group Home! These windows are energy-efficient, cost-saving, and much easier for the residents to use.

We honor the memory of Verona Stillman, who bequeathed $10,000 to Horizons Unlimited in her will. Horizons and our members are so grateful for Verona’s incredible generosity.

Thank you to Lee Frederick and family, who contributed an amazing $5,000 toward the project to replace the windows at the 21st Street Group Home!

Thank you to Luther & Paula Thoresen for contributing $1,500 to Horizons that helped pay for new kitchen flooring at the Monroe Street Duplex!

Thank you to the Knights of Columbus Council #3032 for their very generous $1,000 gift, which will fund efforts by the Horizons job development department to find good paying jobs for our members in the community.

Thank you to Phil & Ann Stillman for a very generous $1,000 gift, which helped to pay for needed repairs and updates at Horizons living facilities!

Thank you to the Iowa State Council of the Knights of Columbus for donating $933.30 from their Tootsie Roll Drive on September 23rd!

Thank you to Liz Mammen and her Hometown Thrift Store for her significant gift of $500, which will help Horizons to provide even higher quality day habilitation services to our members.

Thank you to Mike & Lynn Brennan for contributing $500 for fresh landscaping at the 21st St Group Home!

Thank you to the West Bend Community Drive for including Horizons in their drive, with a $480 gift on October 31st.

Thank you to the West Palo Alto Community Fund Drive for their inclusion of Horizons Unlimited in their drive, with a $355 gift on January 31st.

Horizons Thanks Knights of Columbus for Generous Donation!

November 14, 2016

Thank you to the West Bend Knights of Columbus for their extremely generous donation to Horizons Unlimited! The KoC's generosity makes possible the high quality job development, day habilitation, and residential services that we provide to individuals with disabilities in Palo Alto County.

Liz Mammen of Hometown Thrift Makes Generous Donation to Horizons

November 11, 2016

Horizons Unlimited is very grateful to Liz Mammen, owner and manager of Hometown Thrift Store (formerly Second Hand Thrift Store) for her extremely generous financial donation to Horizons Unlimited. Liz previously managed the Second Hand Thrift Store at the time that it was a Horizons-owned business. Earlier this year, Horizons transferred ownership of the business to Liz, who still works for Horizons as a group home site coordinator (in addition to running the thrift store), and still employs many Horizons members. We are so fortunate to have Liz Mammen both as an advocate for our agency's mission, and as an important member of our community. Thanks, Liz!

Recycling Equipment Auction on April 20

March 9, 2016

As Horizons Unlimited transitions out of the recycling business, we will be holding an auction of much of our equipment which will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016. The auction will be held at the Horizons Unlimited complex on Highway 4 on the south side of Emmetsburg, address 3826 460th Avenue, Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Click on the flyer for more information about the items up for auction.

The auction will be facilitated by Winegarden Auctioneering. For further questions, contact auctioneer Rick Winegarden (712.358.0974) or Horizons Associate Director Deb Davis (712.852.2211). See you there!

Plan on Tablescapes - April 28th, 2016

February 19, 2016

Horizons Unlimited is excited to announce our 6th Annual Tablescapes theme table decoration gala from 5-8 pm on Thursday, April 28th, 2016! The event will be held at the Wild Rose Ballroom in the Wild Rose Casino & Resort. Proceeds benefit individuals with disabilities in our area.

Attendees will enjoy a delicious dinner of:
Pork loin with raspberry glaze
Mashed garlic potatoes
Capri vegetables
Greek salad
Cheese cake for dessert
& a cash bar!

Attendees will also enjoy the live piano music of Glenn Henriksen, as well as a silent auction featuring goodies from area businesses as well as items autographed by major celebrities!

If you would like to be a volunteer table decorator (which gets you 2 free tickets), or if your business or organization would like to sponsor a table at this year's Tablescapes, please contact Josiah Schmidt at (712) 852-2211 ex.106 or JosiahSchmidt@horizons-unlimited.net.

$250 Gold Sponsors receive:
  • A reserved table at the event (with up to 8 tickets) that your business may decorate in a creative theme or request a volunteer to decorate.
  • Feature and link on www.horizons-unlimited.net for one full year.
  • Acknowledgement in the Horizons newsletter, mailed to nearly 600 homes.
  • Acknowledgement on Horizons social media (Facebook, Twitter).
  • Opportunity to display your marketing material on a table at the event.
$500 Platinum Sponsors receive:
  • All benefits from Gold Sponsorship level, plus:
  • Newspaper, radio, and TV advertising
  • Inclusion on program insert.
  • Your logo on a banner at the event.



Platinum Sponsors:

Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Emmetsburg, Estherville, Algona & Spencer

Wild Rose Casino & Resort
Wild Rose Casino & Resort
Emmetsburg
 
Gold Sponsors:

A&W
A&W Restaurant
Emmetsburg

Aureon HR
Aureon HR
Des Moines

Caseys
Casey's General Store
Emmetsburg

Dan Cooper Builders
Dan & Mary Cooper (Dan Cooper Builders)
Emmetsburg

Davis Brown Law Firm
Atty. Sean Solberg (Davis Brown Law)
Emmetsburg

Dyno Oil Company
Dyno Oil Company
Spencer

Emmetsburg Catholic School
Emmetsburg Catholic School
Emmetsburg

Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities
Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities
Emmetsburg

Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat
Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat
Emmetsburg

Farm Credit Services of America
Farm Credit Services of America
Emmetsburg

Hughes Pharmacy
Hughes Pharmacy
Emmetsburg

Iowa Trust & Savings Bank
Iowa Trust & Savings Bank
Emmetsburg

Joyce Funeral Home
Joyce Funeral Home
Emmetsburg

K&W Electric
K&W Electric
Emmetsburg

Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus
West Bend & Emmetsburg

Louscher Family Dentistry
Louscher Family Dentistry
Emmetsburg & Algona

Manwarren Excavating
Manwarren Excavating
Emmetsburg

Midwestern Mechanical and Copper Cottaeg
Midwestern Mechanical/Copper Cottage
Spencer

Molyneaux Insurance
Molyneaux Insurance
Davenport

Northland Auto & Marine
Northland Auto & Marine
Emmetsburg

PACHS
Palo Alto County Health System
Emmetsburg

Pharmacists Mutual Co
Pharmacists Mutual
Algona

Rotary Club
Rotary Club
Emmetsburg


Ruthven United Methodist Church
Ruthven United Methodist Church
Ruthven

Slash Point Sales & Services
Slash Point Sales & Service
Ememtsburg

Wentzel Family
Emmetsburg, Iowa

West Bend Red Power
West Bend Red Power
West Bend

Thrivent Financial
Thrivent Financial
Emmetsburg

Business & Individual Contributors:
Atty. Sean Solberg
Barefoot Bar/Parks Marina (Okoboji)
Blossoming Creations
Clay County Fair Association
Country Maid
Dairy Queen
Del's Garden Center
Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic
Evelyn Schneider (Avon sales)
Financial Center
Glamorous Paws
Hardware Hank
House of Dolls
Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz, Inc.
Iowa Lakes Community College Bookstore
Josiah Schmidt, Professional Genealogist
Kampen Foods
Kirby's Cafe
Laurie Schneider (Pampered Chef sales)
Mansmith Pharmacy & Northwest Iowa Compounding
Mary Steffen
Petersen Furniture & Carpet
Pizza Hut
Pizza Ranch
QS Lawn & Pest Control
Riviera Theater
Sand Soleil Serenity Spa
Silpada Jewelry (Cindy Magee)
Second Hand Thrift Store
Wentzel's True Value
Young's Custom Computers

Super Pancake Breakfast a Super Success!

February 19, 2016

Horizons Unlimited and Kiwanis put on the annual Super Pancake Breakfast at the Emmetsburg VFW Hall on the morning of Sunday, February 7th, 2016. This year's fundraiser was a super success! We served a record 385 attendees and raised thousands of dollars for individuals with disabilities in our area.

Thank you to all who helped make the event a success, whether you volunteered your time, helped to sell tickets, helped get the word out, or attended the event to show your support! Horizons is grateful for all of our volunteers, especially the Iowa Lakes Swim Team led by Coach Sam Mashburn, who came to help us set up in the beginning and stayed until the very end to help with clean up!

Can Redemption Center Closing March 1st

January 27, 2016

The Horizons Unlimited Can & Bottle Redemption Center in Emmetsburg will be closing, effective March 1st, 2016. Many recent government laws and court rulings mandate that individuals with disabilities may no longer work in segregated facilities, but must have jobs in regular business environments alongside workers who do not have disabilities.

On December 29, 2015, a U.S. District Court ruled against the State of Oregon for keeping thousands of individuals with disabilities in sheltered workshops, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The state of Oregon is required to move many of these individuals out of workshops and into legitimate jobs in the community at competitive wages. This trend is a necessary one that the entire country must soon abide by. Horizons seeks to stay on the cutting edge of this movement by transitioning away from having a sheltered workshop to being fully integrated into the community.

Horizons Unlimited will hone our focus to the Day Habilitation program and the Job Development program. The Horizons Unlimited building complex on Highway 4 has been sold, and Horizons will be moving to a new location in town by July 1st or earlier.

Horizons Job Development staff are in the process of finding jobs in the community for members. Members also have the option of participating in the Day Habilitation program. Horizons will continue to do our best to provide quality services to individuals with disabilities, while complying with all state and federal regulations and rulings.

The Horizons Can & Bottle Redemption Center will continue to accept cans and bottles until 7 pm on Monday, February 29th. The Horizons Can Redemption Center thanks Emmetsburg and the surrounding communities for their many years of patronage!


Nominations Sought for 2016 Governor's Award for Quality Care

January 7, 2016

DES MOINES, IOWA (January 7, 2016) – Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Governor’s Award for Quality Care in Health Care Facilities. The Governor's Award recognizes Iowa health care facilities that offer unique or innovative activities to enhance the quality of care or quality of life for their residents.  Nominations are open to all health care facilities licensed under Iowa Code chapter 135C, which include nursing facilities, residential care facilities, and intermediate care facilities, including those facilities specializing in the care of persons with mental illness or intellectual disabilities.  (Not eligible for nomination are assisted living programs, elder group homes, or hospital-based nursing facilities as these facilities are not licensed under the Iowa Code chapter establishing the Award program.)

Last year, Crestview Specialty Care in West Branch was selected to receive the 2015 Governor’s Award.  The 65-bed long-term care facility was nominated for the Award by the family member of a former resident who cited the outstanding care and services provided by Crestview to its residents.  Since the first awards were presented in 2001, a total of 51 awards have been presented to 44 individual facilities.

Residents and family members may nominate an Iowa-licensed long-term care facility for the award. Facilities may not nominate themselves for this recognition. In order to be considered for a 2016 Governor's Award, nominations must be postmarked by March 1, 2016.  Nomination forms may be obtained by calling the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) at 515-281-7102 or downloaded from the Department's web site at http://dia.iowa.gov.

All nominations must state the reason the facility should be considered, such as any unique services provided by the facility to its residents, and any activities undertaken by the facility to enhance the quality of care or quality of life for its residents. A facility’s history of compliance and whether it accepts residents for whom costs are paid by the Medicaid program are also factors used in the determination of eligibility for a Governor’s Award.  Upon receipt by DIA, the nominations will be evaluated and a list of finalists prepared. Under Iowa law, no more than two facilities from each Congressional District may be selected for a Governor's Award.


Recycling Center Closed

December 31, 2015

The Horizons Unlimited Recycling Center closed permanently on December 31st, 2015. Horizons thanks Emmetsburg and the surrounding communities for their many years of faithful patronage. Although our center is closed, curbside recycling will still continue.

Recycling represented just one arm of the Horizons Unlimited organization, whose core mission is to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities in a positive atmosphere. While the recycling center is closing down, Horizons Unlimited is not going away. As Palo Alto County takes over recycling responsibilities, Horizons will grow and expand our focus on helping our clients find work out in the community alongside people with and without disabilities.

Thank you for all of your support and understanding as we enter 2016!

Super Pancake Breakfast - Feb 7, 2016

December 29, 2015

Don't miss our Super Pancake Breakfast at the VFW Hall (3205 Main St.) in Emmetsburg, from 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM on Sunday February 7th, 2016

Advance tickets cost $6.50 and are available at the Horizons Unlimited offices (2107 Main Street, Emmetsburg) or at Second Hand Thrift Store (corner of Broadway & Main, Emmetsburg). Tickets at the door will cost $7.50.

Before you watch the big game on February 7th, come to the Super Pancake Breakfast and enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes and syrup, omelettes, and sausage, all cooked fresh right in front of you to your liking. Unlimited orange juice, milk, and coffee are also included.

The event will be catered by Kiwanis, and proceeds will benefit individuals with disabilities served by Horizons Unlimited. Get your tickets today!

Can Redemption Temporarily Closing, Will Pay in Checks Rather Than Cash

October 8, 2015

Due to an influx of inventory, the can redemption center at Horizons Unlimited will be closed to the public October 19th - November 15th. This will allow our employees to process the growing surplus of cans. The redemption center will be open again for business on Monday, November 16th, 2015. Horizons thanks our customers for their patience and understanding, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Please note that when the can redemption center reopens, payment will no longer be given in the form of cash. Checks will be sent the following week after the cans have been received. Customers will be provided with a form to fill out, which will need to be legible, so that checks can be sent to them.

If you have further questions, you may contact Associate Director Deb Davis at (712) 852-2211 ext.102.


See the 2015 Horizons Program Evaluation Report

September 24, 2015

Read our 2015 Horizons Program Evaluation report here! It includes current progress at Horizons Unlimited, general statistics about the members we serve, and employee satisfaction survey results. Horizons thanks the community for their support and we are very optimistic about the expansion and continuous improvement of our services in the coming year.

UnWined Fundraiser a Big Success!

September 24, 2015

Thank you to all of our sponsors, supporters, volunteers, attendees, and especially the wineries who helped make our UnWined wine tasting fundraiser on Sunday, September 13th a great success! The fundraiser raised $5000 to benefit the group homes and services we provide for the individuals with disabilities that we serve, and over 100 tickets were sold, both measurable improvements above the same event last year.

Click here to view a slideshow of the event!

Thank you to the following wineries for setting up booths at UnWined to allow attendees to sample and purchase a total of 28 wines:
Algona's Train Wreck Winery
Estherville's Little Swan Lake Winery
Indianola's La Vida Loca Winery
St. Charles's Madison County Winery

Thank you to the following store for providing hors d'oeuvres:
Emmetsburg's Fareway
Spencer's HyVee

Thank you to Emmetsburg's own Emily Schmidt for providing the live music!

Thank you to the following $250 Event Sponsors:
Buchanan, Bibler, Gabor & Meis: Casey's General Store; Dan Cooper Builders Inc.; Dr. Bob & Nancy Cozine; Emmetsburg Eye Clinic; Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat; Dr. Bill & Marcie Frevert; Hughes Healthmart Pharmacy; Iowa Trust & Savings Bank; Dr. David & Judy Nixon; Atty. Sean Solberg (Davis Brown Law)

Thank you to the following $100 Event Patrons:
A Heavenly Celebration; Ron Askland; Cindy & Tom Chapman; Elbert Chevrolet Inc.; Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic; Fareway Food Stores; Farmers State Bank; Roger & Sue Faulstick; Hardware Hank; Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz Insurance; Jack & Kay Kibbie; Kiesling Associates; K&W Electric; Louscher Family Dentistry; Christine & Mike Louscher; Cindy & Tom Magee; Mansmith Pharmacy & NWIC; Petersen Furniture & Carpeting; Phil & Ann Stillman; Wild Rose Casino & Resort.

Thank you for contributing the wine glasses:
Mike & Chris Louscher and Dan & Mary Cooper

Thank you to our volunteers:
Ron Askland, Pam Beschorner, Deb Davis, Cherie Flynn, Kathy Jackson, Liz Mammen, and Laurie & Dave Schneider


Thank you to The Shores At Five Island for providing much assistance & accommodation.

Thank you also to the Horizons Unlimited Board of Directors!


DSP Recognition Week!

September 15, 2015

The week of September 13 – 19, 2015 is a time of celebration at Horizons Unlimited: it is Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week to recognize our amazing working staff.

Direct Support Professionals work to support people with differing abilities in a way that is person-centered. They empower individuals to make their own decisions, and collaborate with the person they’re supporting. It is a rewarding career requiring a skilled professional with a caring heart.

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is part of the American Network of Community Options and Resources’ (ANCOR) National Advocacy Campaign, whose mission it is to enhance the lives of all people with disabilities who rely on long-term supports and services by obtaining the resources to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified and sustainable workforce. This is the eighth consecutive year the U.S. Senate has approved a resolution designating the week, which begins this year on September 13, as National Direct Support Recognition Week.

Thank you to our wonderful Direct Support Professionals. Horizons is truly privileged to have you on the team.

Supported Employment Changes Proposed

September 8, 2015

The Iowa Department of Human Services filed administrative rules to implement the Employment Services Redesign Plan on August 19.  This plan was developed by a workgroup in 2013, and implementation of that plan is just now starting to move forward.  These rules are not yet final - this is the first step in the rulemaking process (the "notice" of rules). 

  • Review the proposed rule changes here,
  • Read the 2013 Plan here.
  • Find out more about how DHS is increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities here.

 The proposed rule changes noticed on August 19 change employment service definitions as required by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). The rules also change provider qualifications, scope of services, duration, limitation and reimbursement methodologies for the Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) prevocational and supported employment services within the Habilitation services program and the Intellectual Disability (ID) and Brain Injury (BI) waivers.

The rules also:

  • Increase Individual Supported Employment rates by 20% and establish rates for Career Exploration (which is a new activity under Prevocational).  

  • Decrease Enclave/Group Supported Employment and Prevocational rates to offset the increase listed above (thus making this rule change cost-neutral).  Enclave goes down from an average of $6.66/person (groups of 6 or 8 typically) to $5.32/person.  Prevocational goes down from an average of $12/hour to $9.91/hour (about a 20% cut).
The public may submit written comments on these changes until September 8, 2015.  Comments should be sent to: Harry Rossander, Bureau of Policy Coordination, Department of Human Services, Hoover State Office Building, Fifth Floor, 1305 East Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0114. Comments can also be faxed to (515)281-4980 or e-mailed to policyanalysis@dhs.state.ia.us.

If you have concerns about these changes or would like to voice your support for them, you have several ways to take action:

  1. Email, fax, or mail your comments to DHS.

  2. Ask DHS to hold a public hearing on the rules. You can do that by sending DHS a request signed by 25 people (or an organization representing 25 people).  If you make this request, you will want to be prepared to have people attend the public hearing and speak.  DHS must then hold a hearing no less than 20 days before the final rules are adopted.

  3. Contact the legislators on the Administrative Rules Review Committee.  It does not matter if these legislators represent your district - they know that their role on this committee is to make sure rules are lawful and the people that have a stake in the rules are heard.  You can find a list of these people here and you can contact them here.

  4. Contact your State Representative and State Senator and let them know what you think.  You can ask them to contact their colleagues on the Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) - you are basically asking your legislators to lobby the ARRC on your behalf.  You can contact your legislators here.

  5. Contact the Governor and ask his Administrative Rules Coordinator to take action on the proposed rules.  You can contact the Governor here..

______________________________________________________________________________

ABOUT THE RULEMAKING PROCESS

Administrative rules are written to explain how legislation will be implemented and enforced. The Legislature will pass a bill telling a state agency to do something, and the state agency must write rules saying how they will do it.  The rulemaking process requires agencies to give the public notice of the rules they are proposing, and legislators sitting on the Administrative Rules Review Committee have a chance to stop rules they feel went too far or didn't meet the intent of the law.  It's a last check and balance, to make sure agencies aren't ignoring the law or going beyond what the law allows. 
 
The entire rulemaking process takes a minimum of 108 days - and usually takes six months.  Legislators can allow for quicker rulemaking action if they give a state agency "emergency rulemaking authority" (and there are a few other situations where emergency rulemaking is allowed).  Here is a quick review of the administrative rulemaking process:
  • Step OneNotice of Rules - State agencies give the public notice of new rules or changes to existing rules.  Notices are found in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin, which comes out every two weeks. By law, agencies must give the notice at least 35 days before the rule is finalized, and the public must be given at least 20 days to submit written comments. While agencies frequently schedule public hearings on rules to give people a chance to speak, it is not required.   If requested by 25 people or more, or a group representing 25 or more people, the agency must hold a public hearing on a proposed rule. It is important to note that ANYONE can comment on rules that have been noticed.   Iowa law actually requires that an agency "“consider fully all written and oral submissions.”   While agencies are to give public comments full and fair consideration, it does not mean they have to make changes to the rules.  A state agency does not have to tell you why they did or did not make changes, but anyone can request that the state agency provide “a concise statement of the principal reasons for and against the rule it adopted, incorporating therein the reasons for overruling considerations urged against the rule."

  • Step Two: Adoption of Rules. The state agency must adopt the rules in their final format within 180 days, or withdraw the rules and start over.  A proposed rule is not effective until three things occur: 1) the agency adopts the rule in final form; 2) the adopted rule is filed with the Administrative Rules Coordinator; and 3) the adopted rule is published again in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin at least 35 days before it becomes effective.  The Administrative Rules Review Committee
Both the Governor and the Legislature review agency rulemaking on an ongoing basis. The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) meets monthly to review all proposed and “final” rules that are currently in process (including both steps 1 & 2). The public is welcome to attend these meetings and may make presentations or provide comment on noticed or final rules. The Governor’s Administrative Rules Coordinator also sits on the committee as an ex-officio non voting member.
 
Both the Governor and the Administrative Rules Review Committee can “object” to any rule. In effect an “objection” is a written opinion that either the Governor or the Committee finds a rule to be unlawful. If the rule is later challenged in court, the objection requires the agency to come forward an d to prove the validity of its rule. The Governor can stop any proposed rule up to 70 days after it has become effective. The committee can also choose to delay the effective date of a proposed rule pending additional  review by the Legislature itself.  This is called a "session delay."   When the Legislature comes back into session, it may take action to stop an administrative rule (through a joint resolution passed by both the House and Senate).  For more information:
  • Click here for information on the Administrative Rules Review Committee.
  • Click here for more on the rulemaking process.
  • Click here for the Iowa Administrative Bulletin.

4 Managed Care Companies Announced

August 18, 2015

Iowa Governor Brandstad's decision to move Iowa's Medicaid system to a "managed care" system, administrated by four private companies, is proceeding forward. Today, the four companies who will administrate this new managed care system in Iowa were announced. Those companies are:
More information about the selection process are available at the Bidder Resource Library: http://dhs.iowa.gov/MED-16-009_Bidders-Library

Horizons Hurricanes Play Ball!

August 17, 2015

On Friday, August 14th, the Horizons Hurricanes played a rousing game of softball at the Field of Dreams in Emmetsburg. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees, with a sunny sky and a slight breeze. Every player got a good hit, and many spectators were there to cheer the players on.

To view a slideshow with photos of some of the most exciting moments of the game, click here!

Support Horizons While Shopping Amazon

July 14, 2015

Did you know you can make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities served by Horizons Unlimited -- and you can do it while you shop at Amazon.com?

AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of your purchase total to Horizons Unlimited (it may not seem like much, but with many people participating over time, it adds up!). The donation is not an extra cost added to your purchase. Amazon donates the money to Horizons Unlimited out of the profit that Amazon would have normally taken from your payment.

Easy 2-Click Sign Up

Step 1
Go to smile.amazon.com. Go down to "Or pick your own charitable organization" and type in "Horizons Unlimited of Palo Alto County". Click the "Search" button to the right.

Type in Horizons Unlimited of Palo Alto County

Click image to enlarge

Step 2
Click the yellow "Select" button to the right of "Emmetsburg, IA," and start shopping!

Click the Select button

Click the image to enlarge


Remember: Horizons Unlimited only benefits when you start at http://smile.amazon.com


Horizons Handing Over Recycling Operations to County

July 2, 2015

The employment setting for individuals with disabilities is going through a transformation. Over the past several years, the federal government has issued laws, court decisions, and rules that require states to administer work and day habilitation services for individuals with disabilities in an integrated manner, i.e. in regular business environments alongside workers who do not have disabilities. In addition, the state government’s mental health redesign means that Horizons will no longer receive subsidies for employing workers with disabilities in its recycling center.

As a result, with the best interests of the organization and its members in mind, Horizons Unlimited will be closing its recycling program effective January 1, 2016. Horizons is coordinating with Palo Alto County officials to ensure that recycling in the county will continue. The Horizons can and bottle redemption center will remain open and will not be affected by the closing of the recycling program.

Horizons members who have been working in the recycling center will be assigned to other work areas in the Horizons facility. Horizons is also fulfilling its mission by finding many members jobs in the community. Members also have the option of participating in the Horizons Day Habilitation program. Horizons staff who work with members in the recycling center will have the option of being transferred to new positions. Horizons does not expect any layoffs as a result of this transformation.

This transformation will better position Horizons Unlimited financially to continue and expand its mission of providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities in northwest Iowa. By handing over recycling operations to the county, Horizons will be freed up to better provide services to members, and members will enjoy more integration into the community.

For more information, contact Ron Askland, CEO for Horizons Unlimited, at 712.852.2211 extension 104 or at RonAskland@horizons-unlimited.net.




16th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision

June 26, 2015

Today is the anniversary of a watershed moment in disability rights history − the “Olmstead decision.” With this ruling, the nation’s highest court affirmed that those of us with disabilities, including the most significant disabilities, have the right to live and receive services in our communities. It was a major victory for Americans with disabilities − and all Americans who believe in equality and inclusion.

The plaintiffs were two women with mental illness and developmental disabilities who were confined to a state-run psychiatric unit for several years despite wanting, and having been deemed ready, to participate in a community-based program. They filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and in 1999 the Supreme Court agreed that such unjustified segregation constitutes discrimination. It also said that publicly funded services must be provided in the most integrated settings possible.

This includes, of course, employment services. Because for so many of us, whether we have a disability or not, a key part of living in the community is working in the community.

Click here to read more.


Keeping Lost Island Clean

June 11, 2015

Ever notice how there are no weeds on the beach at the Lost Island Nature Center in Ruthven? Or how the walking trails are so free of branches and litter? Or even how the restrooms at the nature center are so clean? A lot of this is thanks to the hard work of Horizons members like Lauren Ketelsen (pictured) and Susan Wentzel.

Each Wednesday, a couple Horizons members and area high school students meet early in the morning at the Nature Center. "They begin by walking the three trails, sometimes up to five miles, removing tree branches from the path, picking up litter, and notifying park rangers of any fallen trees or hazards," explains Horizons job coach Carnie Fitzgerald. "It's a beautiful place to work, and you will usually see animals like deer while you're out on the trail."

Next, the workers clear fallen tree branches and sticks from the common area between the Nature Center and the lakefront. They then move on to the beach, which they keep clean and scenic by pulling weeds and disposing of trash. Vacationers especially appreciate our members' hard work.

After breaking for lunch, the workers tidy up inside the Nature Center facilities and clean the bathrooms. "It's fun," says Lauren. who considers this good practice for her next job that she is eager to start. "I'm going to be working in hospitality at the casino hotel in Emmetsburg. That's what I really want to do."

"Every few weeks, we rotate a new team of members out here to work at the Nature Center, so that everybody who wants to get work experience here has a chance to participate," says Carnie.

Lost Island Nature Center staff are grateful for the help that Horizons members offer in preserving our county's natural assets, and Horizons members enjoy the opportunity to use this work experience as a stepping stone to even greater things.

Please head out to the Lost Island Nature Center this summer, and when you do, take note of the great condition the park is in, thanks in large part to the diligent service of Horizons Unlimited members.

UnWined: A Wine Tasting Experience 2015

June 4, 2015

Horizons Unlimited will be holding the 3rd annual UnWined wine tasting event from 3-6 pm on Sunday, September 13th, 2015 at the new scenic Shores At Five Island community center in Emmetsburg. Along with tasty hors d'oeuvres and relaxing live ukelele music, UnWined will be the perfect way to start off your autumn. Funds raised will benefit adults with disabilities in Palo Alto County. 

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Second Hand Thrift Store in downtown Emmetsburg, or by credit/debit online, or by mailing a check to:
PO Box 567
2107 Main Street
Emmetsburg, Iowa 50536

Wineries/Vendors
La Vida Loca Winery - Indianola, IA
Little Swan Lake Winery - Estherville, IA
Madison County Winery - St. Charles, IA
Train Wreck Winery - Algona, IA

Become an UnWined Sponsor with a $250 donation.
Become an UnWined Patron with a $100 donation.

We afford many advertising and publicity benefits to our UnWined Sponsors and Hosts. If you are interested, send us an email and let us know.

Thank you to our 2015 UnWined Sponsors:

Buchanan Bibler Gabor and Meis
Buchanan, Bibler, Gabor & Meis


Caseys Logo
Casey's General Store

Dan Cooper Builders
Dan Cooper Builders Inc.

Davis Brown Law Firm
Sean Solberg, Atty (Davis Brown Law Firm)

Emmetsburg Eye Clinic
Emmetsburg Eye Clinic (Drs. DJ & Ryan Reedy)

Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat
Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat

Hughes Healthmart Pharmacy
Hughes Health Mart Pharmacy

Iowa Trust and Savings Bank
Iowa Trust & Savings Bank

Dr. Bob & Nancy Cozine
Dr. Bill & Marcie Frevert
Dr. David & Judy Nixon


Thank you to our 2015 UnWined Patrons:

A Heavenly Celebration
A Heavenly Celebration

Elbert Chevrolet
Elbert Chevrolet, Inc.

Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic
Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic

Fareway
Fareway - Emmetsburg

Farmers State Bank
Farmers State Bank

Hardware Hank
Hardware Hank

Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz
Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz Insurance

Kiesling Associates
Kiesling Associates

K&W Electric
K&W Electric

Louscher Family Dentistry
Louscher Family Dentistry

Mansmith Pharmacy
Mansmith Pharmacy & Northwest Iowa Compounding

Petersen Furniture & Carpeting
Petersen Furniture & Carpeting

Wild Rose Casino and Resorts
Wild Rose Casino & Resort

Ron Askland
Tom & Cindy Chapman
Roger & Sue Faulstick
Jack & Kay Kibbie
Mike & Chris Louscher
Tom & Cindy Magee
Phil & Ann Stillman


Changes are Coming to Medicaid

June 2, 2015

Medicaid covers 546,000 people in Iowa, which is 18 percent of the population.

In Iowa, Medicaid expenditures by state and federal government top $4.2 billion annually, which includes $1.5 billion of state money. Horizons Unlimited receives over $170,000 per month in Medicaid reimbursement providing services to persons with disabilities.

Managed care is already in place in many states, and is expected to expand to even more states. This is in order to help cut Medicaid costs.

Managed care is described as a set of techniques to be used to for reducing unnecessary health costs while improving the quality of care.

Governor Terry Branstad has introduced plans to hire private managed care companies to help run Iowa’s Medicaid program. Managed care is expected to be implemented January 1, 2016.

Private companies are involved in managed care arrangements to help oversee health care programs and share the savings they obtain by making care more efficient.

Governor Branstad believes if the government is able to spend less on Medicaid, the quality of care should improve greatly by lowering medical costs and hospital visits. Branstad is projecting it would save $51.3 million during the first six months after implementation.

Legislators are being careful to make sure this shift won’t lead to cuts in services or payment rates to medical providers.

How Does This Impact Horizons?

Managed care is likely to present both challenges and opportunities for service providers. There will be an emphasis upon the development of natural supports, with the dual goal of integrating into the community and quality of life while managing costs. Managed care companies will look beyond just mental health, focusing also on physical health.  Preventable health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension are among the conditions that will be managed.

A focus will be on integrating into the community, and providing services in smaller groups. Horizons Unlimited’s Board of Directors and the Horizons management team are currently working on strategic planning that will help ease Horizons into this new world of managed care.


Holding Their Own

May 26, 2015

Horizons members working in the community

"We hired Travis last summer and Leonard last fall," says Don Joyce, manager of the Emmetsburg Dyno's station. "Kathy Jackson [job placement specialist] from Horizons wrote me a letter about supportive employment, and then we followed up with meetings. Dyno's decided that it was the right thing to do for the community, and a great decision for our company. All it took was a little open-mindedness."

Before working at Dyno's, Leonard Swalve and Travis Spoo worked at the Horizons recycling center. They enjoyed it, but when the opportunity arose to work in downtown Emmetsburg, they decided to take a chance.

"I always wanted to work at a gas station," says Leonard. "I like seeing new faces every day and getting to meet people." Leonard, pictured above, works alongside his coworker, Patty, to stock shelves and keep everything clean. He also works independently, and can always be seen with a smile on his face. "My favorite day is Wednesday--'truck day'. I like taking in the new inventory off the truck."

"The best thing about working at Dyno's is earning my own paycheck," says Travis. "A couple weeks ago, I used my money to buy a 2009 Chevy Trailblazer that I drive to work." Travis works at both the Emmetsburg and Pocahontas locations. "It feels good to earn a living, and I like the people I work with."

"Leonard and Travis's customized employment here has been a big success. It was pretty easy to train them. They work hard, show up on time every day, and are a great help to the rest of the staff," says Don Joyce. "Changing people's ideas about this is a gradual process. My advice to other employers in the area is to just be open-minded."


Horizons Revamps Board Room with PACGDC Grant

April 30, 2015

On April 16th, Horizons Unlimited completed significant updates to its board room, thanks to a $4,159 grant received from the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation on March 1st.

Horizons Unlimited’s board room has been set up with a new 55” Samsung smart television and a Lenovo desktop computer system. These updates enable the capability for better communication and presentation for Horizons Unlimited’s members, staff, and board of directors. Residential managers have helped members prepare Powerpoint presentations so that the members are able to express their wishes more clearly. The technology is regularly utilized in staff trainings, and monthly board meetings.

Says Horizons CEO Ron Askland: “Due to the generosity of the PACGDC, our board room has the capability to use current technology to make our meetings more efficient and to provide quality trainings to our employees and members.”


Tablescapes 2015

April 24, 2015

The 5th Annual Tablescapes Themed Table Dinner took place on April 23rd, 2015! Decorators showcased their themed table decoration skills and had a delicious chicken cordon bleu and cheese cake dinner, all while enjoying the talented piano music of Glenn Henriksen.

This year, there was a tie for winner of the Judge's Choice best table: the winners were "Anyone for a Game of Scrabble?" (sponsored by West Bend Red Power and decorated by Laurie Schneider) and "Life is Better at the Beach!" (sponsored by Kingston Life & Health and decorated by Lecia Berven and Tammy Christensen).

The table that won the People's Choice Award was "Nighttime at Collinwood" (the Dark Shadows themed table), sponsored by Davis Brown Law Firm and decorated by Josiah Schmidt.

Thank you to all who sponsored, volunteered, decorated, and came to the event. We hope to see everyone again next year!

Click here to view a slideshow of the amazing tables from our Tablescapes 2015 event.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors

Wild Rose logo
Wild Rose Casino & Resort - Emmetsburg

Kingston Life and Health logo
Kingston Life & Health - West Des Moines

Davis Brown Law logo
Davis Brown Law - Emmetsburg, Des Moines

Event Sponsors
A&W logo
A&W - Emmetsburg


ASI Contracting (Agri Services of Northern Iowa) - Emmetsburg


Building Center - Emmetsburg

Dan Cooper Builders logo
Dan Cooper Builders - Emmetsburg


Emmetsburg Chiropractic Clinic - Emmetsburg


Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities - Emmetsburg

Emmetsburg Reporter Democrat logo
Emmetsburg Reporter/Democrat - Emmetsburg


Fareway Food Store - Emmetsburg


Farmers National Company - Emmetsburg


Farmers State Bank - West Bend, Algona, Whittemore


Hometown Electric - Emmetsburg


Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz Insurance - Emmetsburg

Hughes Pharmacy logo
Hughes Pharmacy - Emmetsburg


Iowa Lakes Community College - Emmetsburg/Estherville


Iowa Trust & Savings Bank - Emmetsburg


Johnson Realty - Emmetsburg


Kampen Foods & Catering - West Bend


Kiesling Associates - Emmetsburg

Knights of Columbus logo
Knights of Columbus - Emmetsburg / West Bend

K&W Electric
K&W Electric - Emmetsburg

Louscher Dentistry logo
Louscher Family Dentistry - Algona

Mansmith Pharmacy logo
Mansmith Pharmacy/NWIC - Emmetsburg

Manwarren Excavating logo
Manwarren Excavating - Emmetsburg

Midwestern Mechanical logo
Midwestern Mechanical - Emmetsburg


Molyneaux Risk Solutions - Davenport

Northland Auto & Marine logo
Northland Auto & Marine - Emmetsburg

PACHS logo
Palo Alto County Health System - Emmetsburg

Poet Biorefining logo
Poet Biorefining - Emmetsburg


QS Lawn & Pest Control - Emmetsburg


Barbara Workman, REMAX - Emmetsburg

Ruthven Methodist logo
Ruthven Methodist Church - Ruthven


Slash Point Sales - Emmetsburg

Thrivent Financial logo
Thrivent Financial - Emmetsburg


Wentzel's True Value Farm & Home Hardware - Emmetsburg

West Bend Red Power logo
West Bend Red Power - West Bend

Entertainment Sponsor:
Rotary Club (Emmetsburg) - Emmetsburg

Catering Sponsor:
Aluma Trailers - Emmetsburg

Business Contributors:
Dr. Dean Ver Mulm, OD
The Financial Center
Dyno's Oil Corporation
Iowa Trust & Savings Bank


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day from your friends at Horizons Unlimited. Our members celebrated this weekend by participating in Emmetsburg's famous St. Pat's Parade on Saturday the 14th. Members who were part of the parade included: Deb, Gary, Jack, Terry, Jason, Alice, Ed, Lynda, Orland, Greg, Jess, Wayne, Mark, Richard, and Bill. Thank you to all who came out to show your support and enjoy the fantastic weather.

Super Sunday Pancake Breakfast 2015

February 2, 2015

Thank you to all who came to the Super Sunday Pancake Breakfast this past Sunday, February 1st. We had over 200 courageous Iowans who braved the wintery weather to enjoy Kiwanis's delicious all-you-can-eat pancakes, omelets, and sausages. We hope to see everyone at our 2016 pancake breakfast next year, hopefully with a warmer temperature!

Thank you to all the volunteers who came to help serve the event-goers, many thanks to Kiwanis for providing their always-terrific service, and thanks to the VFW for allowing the use of their building for this fun event.

Horizons Awarded 3-Year CARF Accreditation

December 2, 2014

CARF recently announced that Horizons Unlimited of Palo Alto County, Inc. has been awarded a Three-Year Term of Accreditation for the following programs and services:  Community Employment Services: Employment Supports and Job Development; Community Integration; Employment Planning Services; Organizational Employment Services.

An organization receiving a Three-Year Term of Accreditation has voluntarily put itself through a rigorous peer review process and demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site survey that it is committed to conforming to CARF’s accreditation conditions and standards.  Furthermore, an organization that earns CARF accreditation is commended on its quest for quality programs and services.

A Successful UnWined 2014

December 2, 2014

Thank you to all who supported our second annual wine tasting fundraiser called UnWined: A Wine Experience held on Sunday, October 26th.

Over 100 tickets were sold for our 2014 UnWined wine tasting fundraiser, held on Sunday, October 26th.  We thank Dan and Mary Cooper, who graciously opened up their beautiful lakefront home in Rockport to host this event.

Check out our UnWined 2014 Slideshow of this event and slideshows for our other past events on the Past Events tab.

Attendees tasted a variety of reds, whites and sparkling wines with the Wilson Creek Almond Champagne being an overall favorite.  The Castle Rock Petite Syrah and the Drops of Jupiter were popular red wines during the tasting, and the Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling was favored among tasters in white wines.

We express our sincere thanks to Dan & Mary Cooper for providing their beautiful new home on the lake for our event.

We also thank our Wine Sponsors:
Buchanan, Bibler, Gabor & Meis
Dan & Mary Cooper
Bill & Marcie Frevert
Hughes Healthmart Pharmacy
Iowa Trust & Savings Bank
Louscher Family Dentistry
Mike & Chris Louscher
Sean & Stephanie Solberg

And we thank our Wine Hosts:
Ron Askland
Dan & Maureen Elbert-Elbert Chevrolet
Farmers State Bank
Andy & Kim Joyce
Jack & Kay Kibbie
Laurens State Bank
Tom & Cindy Magee
Mansmith Pharmacy & Northwest Iowa Compounding
Alan & Tracey Mattice
Jesse & Kelley Newgard
David & Julia Nixon
Chuck & Therese Schany
Aaron & Lindsay Steffen
Philip & Ann Stillman
Mike & Jane Wentzel-Farmers National Company

Thank yous go out to:
Celtics Beverage Company & Emmetsburg Food Pride for providing the wines at cost; 
Emmetsburg Food Pride and Fareway for donating food to create our delicious food pairings;

Casey’s General Store for donating the pizzas;  Your Family Bakery for the French bread;  Marvella Wickman for the angel food cake;  Linda Hood for the dips; as well as Cindy Magee, Mary Cooper and Chris Louscher for providing food items for the amazing appetizers.

Mike & Chris Louscher and Dan & Mary Cooper for the wine glasses;

Stephanie Solberg for her food & wine expertise;

Horizons Unlimited Fundraising Committee and our volunteers for their hard work to make UnWined a success.

And, THANK YOU for your support of Horizons Unlimited and our efforts to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to develop their full potential in a positive atmosphere.


Kathy Jackson Receives Donahue Award

November 17, 2014

Kathy Jackson, Job Placement Specialist at Horizons Unlimited, recently received the Bill Donahue Award for demonstrating the most outstanding efforts in placing Iowans with disabilities in integrated community employment.  The award was presented during the awards banquet at the National Conference for the National Rehabilitation Association held in Des Moines on Saturday, November 1.

“This award is possible through the collaborative efforts of everyone at Horizons Unlimited to help train and prepare our members for integrated work in our community.  We are grateful to all the businesses that work with us to develop suitable customized employment.  This team effort is a win-win for our members and our community,” commented Jackson.

Jackson has worked with over 80 businesses in Emmetsburg and the surrounding communities with the message of how working with individuals with disabilities can increase a business’ bottom line.  This endeavor has secured 25 individual employment placements for adults with disabilities in 13 different businesses.

In the photo:  Kathy Jackson, Horizons Unlimited Job Placement Specialist, receives the Bill Donahue Memorial Award from Ann Petersen, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Molly Giddings, Vocational Rehabilitation Assistant.