“Empowering individuals by creating meaningful opportunities in a changing environment” is the mission of New Horizons Rehabilitation, according to executive director Marie Dausch.
The organization, which was founded in 1968, serves individuals with disabilities in Ripley, Franklin, Dearborn and Ohio counties, as well as parts of the adjoining counties. “Currently, we work with 250 people. Most are adults, but some are younger and in school,” she says.
New Horizons is accredited internationally by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
“We have a day program, where interactive sensory activities are offered. With the shelter work program, individuals have work opportunities. They are engaged to work and get paid. Home- and community-based services provide in-home services, and respite care is a part of that.
“With community-based employment, we find them jobs in the community and support them. We have a state youth contract and provide janitorial services at the rest area on Interstate 74 and clean the license branch in Dearborn County. We also do services in Brookville and have a day site program there,” says the Batesville resident, who has worked at the nonprofit for 36 years.
State officials “have changed how they do services .... We went from institutions here and there to group homes and supportive living, which I’m a big advocate for.
“We also went to state-funded services, funded by the Medicaid program .... which took away a lot of the opportunities. You have to account for what you do through documentation. If it’s not in the plan, it can’t be done.
Her future goals include “managing change in a way that the individuals we serve benefit the most and have opportunities to volunteer and be part of a community.
“We have some great supporters, and fundraisers are great. Restrictions with Medicaid don’t allow us to do some of the things we want, the fun stuff.”