Welcome to Nishna Notes, a blog written to introduce you to - and inform you of - our mission, vision and the issues facing our organization and the people we serve. My name is Emily; I started at Nishna Productions, Inc. as Development Specialist in January 2019, focusing on marketing, public relations and fundraising. This is a new industry for me to work in and I’m learning as I go. I invite you to come along with me as I discover the world of community services. Here's what I've learned in my roughly five months at Nishna:
Nishna Productions, Inc. (NPI) was founded in 1974 by a group of concerned parents in order to provide services to their adult special needs children. It was a time of de-institutionalization, when individuals with disabilities were leaving institutions and moving out into their communities, group homes and day programs. These parents wanted meaningful activities for their children once they graduated from special education programs.
So, we started as an activity program, serving seven individuals with disabilities. Now we provide employment opportunities, daily living skills, socialization, community involvement and supports to be as independent as possible in all areas of life to more than 200 individuals. Obviously, we are so much more than just the can redemption center in Red Oak.
Our clients present a wide array of diagnoses. These include intellectual deficits, behavioral health, autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, substance abuse, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and more. We’ll dive more into what each of those mean on a later blog. Needless to say, NPI has been an advocate for all our individuals with disabilities.
This year, we celebrate our 45th anniversary. We currently employ more than 190 staff members in four counties in southwest Iowa (Mills, Montgomery, Page and Fremont). We maintain a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). We are a certified provider of Home and Community-Based services by the Iowa Department of Human Services; and we have a licensed Residential Care Facility (RCF) by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals. We strive to overcome any challenges that may come our way as we continue to provide support and opportunity for people to accomplish their goals, just as we have for the past 45 years.
It is my hope that you will not only join me in these blogs as we explore all that NPI does for its clients, staff and communities, but also that these blog entries will encourage dialog about how we as a community can best support and value individuals with disabilities.