Recent News


Making a Difference
Making a Difference

October 7, 2019

Horizons Unlimited would like to thank the Knights of Columbus Council 936 for their generous contribution of $936.83 from their Tootsie Roll Drive. Pictured here: (Front Row) Lori Morey, Fundraising Specialist, Knights of Columbus member John Murphy, Ron Askland, CEO, and member Jim Drown. (Back Row) Knights of Columbus members Chuck Roberts, Ned Munn, and Mike Kehr. Thank you again to the Knights of Columbus Council 936 for your donation! If you would like to donate and make a difference in the lives of person with disabilities served by Horizons Unlimited, please visit our website home screen to find the donate button and make a difference today!

Grease Sing-a-long Event a Success!
Grease Sing-a-long Event a Success!

September 24, 2019

The Grease Sing-a-long event was a success! Everyone danced, sang, and dressed up in 50's attire. The winners for the best dressed male and female costumes were Peggy Stolley and Evangeline Kaneer. Tim and Connie Sidles brought their three vehicles from that decade for people to look at also. The members also enjoyed the day of dressing up, singing, and dancing along to the movie.
Joe Veltri, the host for the afternoon, got everyone ready for the movie by showing everyone what to do with their prop bags and how to do the hand jive.
Horizons Unlimited wants to thank everyone again for their participation and support in making the afternoon a very fun and memorable event for everyone who attended.

Grease Sing-a-long Sponsors
Grease Sing-a-long Sponsors

September 9, 2019

Thank you to our sponsors for your donations for Horizons Unlimited upcoming Grease Sing-a-long event. This was a very fun and entertaining fundraising event and we thank all of those who helped support this event. If you would like to make a donation by mail, please send your donation to Horizons Unlimited, 2017 Main St,, PO Box 567, Emmetsburg, IA 50536 or on-line at http://horizons-unlimited.net/donatenow.php. Thank you again for your support! If you would like to 

21st Group Home received Governor's Award
21st Group Home received Governor's Award

August 12, 2019

On Wednesday, August 7th, Governor Kim Reynolds presented the 21st Group Home the Governor's Award for Quality of Care in Health Care Facilities at the Shores in Emmetsburg. Mayor Myrna Heddinger nominated 21st Group Home for this award. The Governor's Award recognizes Iowa Health Care Facilities that offer unique and innovative activities to enhance the quality of care or quality of life for their residents. Holly Carter, Manager, staff and members were present to receive the award. Lieutenant Governor Adam Greg, Ron Askland, CEO, along with other community members, families, and board members were present to take part in this honor. Congratulations again to 21st Group Home!

New van purchased with donations
New van purchased with donations

May 23, 2019

Thank you to all who have donated to Horizons Unlimited!!! With your donations we were able to purchase a newer van for our members and as you can see they love it!!!!


HCBS Audit results

May 21, 2019


The One Gift Program
The One Gift Program

March 14, 2019

The One Gift Program gives the State of Iowa employees the opportunity to contribute to participating charitable agencies through payroll deduction. Over 400 charitable agencies offer much needed assistance to Iowans throughout the state by providing a variety of services. When you contribute to the One Gift Program, your donation stays in Iowa, where it helps your neighbors, friends, and family. Horizons Unlimited participates in the One Gift Program.

Participation in the One Gift Program is very easy. You will need to fill out a pledge form with the amount you want to contribute and it is deducted directly from your paycheck, and you can choose how often your deductions are taken out. 

The One Gift Program is a completely voluntary program. You may pledge from $1.00 per pay check to as much as your heart and wallet will allow. All of the money raised goes directly to participating organizations and it is tax deductible. The total amount you contributed for the entire calendar year will be found on your last pay stub of the year. This is your receipt for tax purposes.

You may also make a one-time lump sum donation. Please consider visiting the Iowa Department of Adminstrative Services website https://das.iowa.gov/human-resources/one-gift  if you would like to make a donation to Horizons Unlimited or if you have any other questions about this program.


Horizons Unlimited is 3rd in the Nation to offer the NADSP E-Badge Academy
Horizons Unlimited is 3rd in the Nation to offer the NADSP E-Badge Academy

March 7, 2019

Horizons Unlimited is continuing its commitment to their Direct Support Professionals in providing the NADSP E-Badge Academy. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) has launched the NADSP E-Badge Academy, which offers Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) the ability to earn electronic badges as a way to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and values on the job.
These electronic badges recognize and celebrate the professional development that might otherwise go unacknowledged. For the Direct Support Professional, the E-Badge Academy will represent their accomplishments, demonstrate that they have an up-to-date and relevant skill set, highlight their professional achievements, and document the value that they bring to the employer and the people that the DSP supports.
With E-Badges through the online platform Web Course works, professionals can submit specific examples, experience, and education that highlights their achievements and contributions to NADSP, and then share the resulting E-Badge results with others.
For agencies, this is the way to support the employee's professional development, and to show the impact that they have on the people that they support, not only in principle, but also in practice. Agencies also benefit because they can prominently display the competencies of their staff and the impact they are having.
The Direct Support Professional will first make an acquisition of the Code of Ethics Commitment E-Badge. The NADSP E-Badge Academy currently is divided into two main categories of E-Badges. These two categories are focused on the CMS Core Competency Areas and hours of NADSP Accredited Education. In both types, there needs to be specific evidence and examples of how the DSP met the requirements for the badge. When the DSP demonstrates that their professional skill and value meet the specified set of criteria, they can earn an electronic badge to display that accomplishment. From there, there are dozens of different E-Badges that can be earned through the Web Coursework Catalog.
"NADSP E-Badge Academy will provide Horizons' Direct Support Professional employees training and educational opportunities," says Ron Askland, CEO, Horizons Unlimited, "that can lead to a credentialing process and a career ladder."
The E-Badge Academy through the NADSP means that Horizons Unlimited is making an investment in staff development and devoting organizational resources to equipping Direct Support Professionals with the tools needed for on-the-job success.
The vision of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is world-wide with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills, values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services. The website for NADSP is www.nadsp.org.

Horizons Unlimited Supports Employees through NADSP Membership
Horizons Unlimited Supports Employees through NADSP Membership

January 7, 2019

Horizons Unlimited is demonstrating its commitment to Direct Support Professionals (DSP's) and other employees by becoming a member of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). Membership through NADSP means that Horizons Unlimited is making an investment in staff development and devoting organizational resources to equipping Direct Support Professionals with the tools needed for on-the-job success.

NADSP will provide Horizons Direct Support Professionals training and educational opportunities, says Ron Askland, CEO, Horizons Unlimited, "that can lead to a credentialing process and a career ladder".

Horizons Unlimited is initiating its membership with NADSP in 2019, which will continue throughout the calendar year. NADSP Membership will help strengthen the mission of Horizons Unlimited which is "Providing opportunities for our Horizons family to develop their full potential in a positive atmosphere."

"All of our members are sending a clear message to their staff which is that they truly matter," says Joseph Macbeth, Executive Director of NADSP. "Beyond just the symbolic gesture, organizations are also receiving exclusive access to resources and information that will improve supports and services."

In maintaining their membership status with NADSP, the employees of Horizons Unlimited will be able to attend private webinars, receive e-newsletters, utilize discounted conference registration rates, and apply a 10% discount for NADSP offerings. Along with these membership benefits, Horizons Unlimited will be featured on NADSP's website, highlighting their dedication to the people they employ, and in turn, the people they support.

The vision of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is world-wide with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills, and values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services. The website for NADSP is www.nadsp.org.

The Gift of Giving
The Gift of Giving

December 5, 2018

Christmas time is a time for giving to those in need. Please keep Horizons Unlimited in mind during this holiday season by donating to Horizons Unlimited. Horizons Unlimited provides opportunities for adults with disabilities to develop their full potential in a positive atmosphere. There are different ways that you may donate this holiday season. You can mail your donation to 2107 Main Street, PO Box 567, Emmetsburg, Iowa 50536, or stop by the office in person. Horizons Unlimited also has a website "Horizons-Unlimited.net" where you may donate online. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Direct Support Professional Award
Direct Support Professional Award

September 18, 2018

Kate Simonson received the Direct Support Professional Award at the Iowa Association of Community Providers event held on September 12th, 2018 at Kimbucks in Emmetsburg. Kate is the Palmer Street Group Home Manager and is a Certified Direct Support Professional through the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals. Kate has been employed at Horizons Unlimited for 19 years and in the Manager's role for the past 17 years. Ben Haywood, Director of Training, from the Iowa Association of Community Providers was the presenter for the event. The Direct Support Professionals in attendance participated in both small and large group discussions, enjoyed meeting other Direct Support Professionals, and also enjoyed the food provided courtesy of the Board of Directors from Horizons Unlimited. Horizons Unlimited congratulates Kate Simonson on receiving this well deserved Award.
Direct Support Professionals work to support people with differing abilities in a way that is person-centered. They empower the individual to make their own decisions and collaborate with the person they are supporting. It is a rewarding career requiring a skilled professional with a caring heart. Horizons Unlimited is very proud to have these employees who work very hard and care deeply about those persons that they work with each and every day. 
The Iowa Association of Community Providers (IACP) has advocated for Iowa providers for more than 35 years. IACP is the statewide trade association representing 130 community-based organizations for more than 30,000 employees. Those organizations support over 140,000 Iowans in need of mental health and disability services. IACP members provide services in all 99 Iowa counties and annually contribute over $13 billion to Iowa's economy.

Smart Living Technology Program Launch by Able Link Technologies
Smart Living Technology Program Launch by Able Link Technologies

July 30, 2018

Pilot Project Launched at Horizons Unlimited

Horizons Unlimited is the first in the state to receive training on the Smart Living Technology Program provided by Able Link Technologies.

The Horizons Unlimited Board approved submitting a grant to the PACDGC for the Smart Living Technology Program provided by Able Link Technologies. The program uses cutting-edge software integrated with Android units (kiosks, tablets, and phones) to enable individuals with disabilities to lead lives that are as independent, community-integrated, and to be successful as possible. The Hardware and Software includes; three Windows All-in-One Desktop Computers with Smart Living Suite 3.0 software installed, eight Android Tablets with Endeavor Mobile Software (Endeavor 3 and Visual Impact 3) installed; one Android Kiosk/Tablet with ATLAS VantagePoint software installed; one copy of Smart Living Suite 3.0 software; two copies of the WayFinder 3 app; and one copy of ATLAS VantagePoint software.

On Tuesday, July 24, 2018, the initial Project launch took place at Horizons Unlimited. This orientation was provided by AbleLink Founder and President Daniel K. Davies and Rich Herold, Customer Experience Director. This on-site training for the leadership team, included a Project overview, orientation to all of the hardware and software, product demonstrations, hands-on training, and consultation.

Phase I Support will take place in the next one to six months. This will include six live trainings, question and answer webinars specific to Horizon’s staff, premium tech support, and initial consultation for implementation and problem-solving in real-life situations.

Phase II Support will be the next seven to twelve months and this will include access to specialized training webinars, ongoing research projects, and planning for future implementation and extensions.

Throughout the Project, AbleLink will provide access to a customized Learning Library and the VantagePoint Reports data management service.
Horizons serves 60 disabled members of our community, whom this project has the potential to benefit. Horizons has contributed up to $3.5 million/year in spending to the area economy. As government rules have mandated the closure of sheltered workshops, and Iowa Managed Care has placed financial burdens on service providers, it has become important to rely upon the latest technology to help disabled residents be as successful and independent as possible. Horizons Unlimited offers supported Community Living, Community Life Engagement and Job Development Services to individuals with disabilities. The Smart Living Technology Program provided by Able Link Technologies will provide the latest technology to benefit individuals with disability. Ron Askland, CEO, added, “We are very excited to have this opportunity to use technology to create greater independence for our members. Many thanks to the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation for their support.”