Activities and Purpose
The Activities and Purposes of RISE, Inc. are to:
- To promote the welfare of adult persons with developmental, physical and other disabilities.
- To foster the development of community-based programs in their behalf.
- To develop better public awareness of the challenges and abilities of persons with disabilities.
- To engage in processing, manufacturing, subcontracting and product development with the goal of training and movement into community based employment.
RISE, Inc. was founded in the fall of 1965 as the Community Sheltered Workshop of Steuben County, a non-profit rehabilitation facility to serve post-school age individuals with disabilities. Enrollment the first year was six mentally retarded adults. The workshop was located in one room in the basement of Pleasant Lake School.
In 1967, a building on the main street in Pleasant Lake was purchased to house the workshop. Jobs from area industries provided some individuals with their first ever paycheck. Over the next 6 years, the population of the workshop increased to 40 adults and included those with handicapping conditions other than mental retardation. A preschool was started in 1970 and served children ages 2 through 6.
By 1973, the workshop had outgrown the Pleasant Lake building and moved to a new home in the Angola industrial area. This larger facility provided room for more individuals and more contract work. Ancillary services of Activities of Daily Living and speech therapy were added along with recreation and Special Olympics. Evaluation and adjustment services were also offered. In 1974, the catchment area was expanded to include DeKalb county residents and with the addition of several buses, routes throughout Steuben and DeKalb counties were created.
In 1977, the workshop built on an addition through a grant from Indiana Rehabilitation Services and the total facility was increased by 10,500 square feet. This expansion housed an ever increasing population. A Job Placement program was added in 1981 and resulted in job training and placement of individuals in community employment.
In 1984, an agreement was reached with the DeKalb Preschool for the Handicapped (now known as Children First Center), that the children in our preschool would be incorporated into their program.
In 1985, the Board of Directors and Administration realized that we were running out of room in our present building. Through a grant from the Indiana Department of Mental Health, a new building was planned.
December 5, 1988 the workshop moved into its new home on Wohlert Street in Angola. The new 29,000 square foot facility was designed especially for the adults with disabilities it would serve. Some features included push button faucets, infra-red hand dryers and emergency pull cords in the restrooms, a one level accessible shower, a room for teaching daily living activities including a full bath and kitchen. Automatic doors at several locations provided easy access into the building.
In 1990, a new name for the facility was adopted. In an effort to better describe services offered, the name RISE, Inc. was chosen. RISE stands for Rehabilitation and Industrial Enterprise.
In 1993, RISE, Inc. underwent their first survey by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and received the highest award, which was a three-year accreditation. RISE, Inc. has gone on to receive 6 more three-year accreditations in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011.
Since the inception of the program in 1965 many changes have taken place. One thing has not changed, however, and this is the basic philosophy upon which the agency was founded. This philosophy is to rehabilitate the individual to their fullest potential.