New Perceptions Celebrates 65 Years on August 26, 2017

Summer 1952. A local radio station, WZIP, conducted a series of interviews with professionals from the Hamilton County, Louisville Kentucky, and National Councils for Mentally Retarded Children. Parents who were interested in organizing a school in Northern Kentucky for their special needs children were asked to respond. With an overwhelming reply, a meeting was held and a Board of Directors was developed. This was the beginning of a revolution to meet the needs of children and adults in Northern Kentucky with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

From that day forward, our mission has remained the same: to provide quality services and education for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities so they may reach the full extent of their capabilities. This doctrine  was formally recognized on August 26, 1952 with the approval of the Articles of Incorporation for the establishment of The Northern Kentucky Council for Retarded Children.

Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s two separate entities with the same mission formed new opportunities for Northern Kentuckians with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Riverside School, named for its location above the banks of the Licking River, began as a training center and school with classes for school-aged children. Good Counsel School, named for Our Lady of Good Counsel, offered classroom education for children through the Catholic School Board. Nearing the end of the sixties, what is now the United Way, encouraged the two groups to join together. On October 3, 1971, it became official at the new Riverside-Good Counsel Center dedication. The building, located on seven acres in Covington near Ft. Wright, offered services for children, classes, and extra-curricular activities.

The 1970’s ushered in a new and exciting era. In 1974, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law mandating that each school district provide special education for children in their district. Finally, an integrated school system to care for the educational needs of every child began! Riverside-Good Counsel now concentrated their efforts on home-based infant education, therapy, and parent support services. The Counsel’s programs for adults continued throughout Northern Kentucky counties.

By the mid-1980’s, it was time for Riverside-Good Counsel to change their name to better reflect how far it had come, its expanded services, and overall mission : New Perceptions. The revolution that began with a group of parents wanting more for their children had finally grown into a comprehensive set of programs that fulfilled those needs under one organization.

New programs were added over the next two decades as the needs of our participants changed: Adult Life Skills, Sensory Integration for children, Bridging the Gap for preschool-aged children, Adult Day Activity, Rising Star Studios, and most recently, The Learning Center’s Adult Learning classroom.

As we approach our 65th anniversary, we are humbled by the actions of our forefathers. We are excited to tackle challenges and implement growth opportunities that will make way for the participants in the decades to come.