Giving a New Perception on Special Needs Services

Northern Kentucky’s New Perceptions Recognized as OMEGA MVPnew-perceptions-logo

When parents in Northern Kentucky began to look more closely at the care opportunities for their special needs children, they realized how few options they really had. Something needed to change. That’s why when a local radio station conducted a series of individual interviews with national and local leaders from Councils for Retarded Children, parents in the area had an overwhelming response when asked about their interests in organizing school. In 1952, a group of 50 parents met, established a Board of Directors, incorporated the Northern Kentucky Council for Retarded Children and began Riverside School.

As Riverside School began to grow and merge with likeminded schools in the area, they were able to expand the community they served. The 1960’s saw major growth in services for both children and adults. Riverside began offering classes for students K-12, had home-based services that include families in this developmental process, and continued to help adults grow within their employment programs. After two decades of growth, the organization’s name was changed to better reflect how far it had come, its expanded services, and overall mission: New Perceptions.

New Perceptions now assists more than 750 individuals in Northern Kentucky, providing children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities the services they need to reach their maximum potential.

“Every day New Perceptions is bustling with activity,” Emily Prabell, New Perceptions Director of Development & Community Relations said. “The atmosphere is jovial and contagious. With 150 smiling and motivated participants on-site each day, you cannot help being inspired by our participants’ happiness and energy.”

Whether the participants are in the Learning Center engaging in classroom-style courses, having therapists visit their homes to provide occupational, speech, and physical therapy services, or out in the community workforce experiencing work, social, and life skills, the participants of New Perceptions spend each day growing to meet their full potential.


At New Perceptions, it is not just the participants who get something out of it. For the caregivers, there is nothing better than working alongside of them. “Whether it’s an everyday interaction or witnessing an individual accomplishing something they didn’t think possible, they are our motivation and inspiration,” Emily said. “A young woman longing to live on her own entered our Learning Center program in 2015–her parents were concerned about her ability to do things on her own. In less than a year she was completing recipes on her own, was counting the value of money, and making a budget for shopping! She has progressed so much that she has a job in our Work Center and is working with our Supported Employment team toward getting a job in the community. We are so proud of her!”

Are you looking to get involved? New Perception offers multiple ways to volunteer, donate or become a sponsor. Whether it’s sending in clothes, baking goods, or any of the various household items on their wish list/needs, becoming a sponsor for their many fundraising events, or volunteering your talents to benefit the participants, New Perceptions will always be an inspiring organization worth every ounce of help given.

New Perceptions Mission: To promote the welfare of children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (and their families) by providing opportunities for education, growth and employment in a normalized setting, in order to facilitate each individual’s achievement to their maximum potential.

New Perceptions Vision: Set the standard as the preferred provider and premier information referral source for adult and infant/toddler services for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

New Perceptions encourages people to arrange a tour of their facility. Come see for yourself how happy and engaged their participants are in their work and activities. We guarantee that you will not leave without a smile!

For more information, stories, employment opportunities, and donations, visit their website or call 859.344.9322. They are located at 1 Sperti Drive, Edgewood, KY 41017.


The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the Merchants, Vendors and Partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. New Perceptions has been an OMEGA merchant since February 2009.

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