Rainbow Center for Communicative Disorders
900 NW Woods Chapel Road
Blue Springs MO 64015
Fishing is always fun during Day of Caring!
Technology in the Classroom
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 229-3869
Mission Statement
To provide a safe, nurturing and social environment in order to serve persons with special educational and developmental needs.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Marilu W Herrick
Board Chair Mr. Lyndon Davis
Board Chair Company Affiliation Webco Manufacturing
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1977
Former Names
Blue Springs Learning Center
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement To provide a safe, nurturing and social environment in order to serve persons with special educational and developmental needs.
Background Statement
For 40 years our goal at Rainbow Center has been to provide a positive, safe, gentle learning environment so children can develop self-esteem and improve their academic and coping skills when faced with daily challenges. Rainbow Center works with 20 metro, suburban and rural school districts with more than 60 placements in the day school program with varying diagnoses such as Autism, behavior disorders and other multi-categorical disabilities.
In 1996, Rainbow Options, the Adult Day Habilitation program, was initiated to meet the growing, local community needs of clients over the age of 21 who could not fit into the workshop or other supported employment. This exciting venture started with one client and now serves 60 adults with severe disabilities in two separate buildings--one that is owned by the Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County-Eitas and one owned by Rainbow Center at 900 NW Woods Chapel in Blue Springs. Rainbow Center Day School and Rainbow Options Adult Day Hab. both feature a very active Community Access Program. Meeting community expectations, actively connecting with the community and developing prevocational skills are valuable experiences for the students and adults in the Rainbow programs.
Impact Statement
  1. One of our employees in the Rainbow Options adult program was chosen as the Direct Care Professional of the Year by EITAS.
  2. We completed phase two of our playground renovation project, corrected drainage problems and replaced flooring in our school program.
2018 Goals: 
  1. Continue to seek additional funding for phase three of the playground repair and equipment replacement for our outdoor classroom. 
  2. Continue to seek funding to make renovations for the staff bathroom, kitchen classroom, elevator, staff break room and student bathrooms. 
  3. Continue to maintain a safety focus to enable us to reduce the operational expenses for Workman's Comp Insurance. 
Needs Statement


  1. Continue to seek additional funding for playground repair and equipment replacement for our outdoor classroom. 
  2. Continue to seek funding for needed Capital Improvements on our aging building that include student bathrooms, staff break room, kitchen classroom and elevator.
Service Categories
Special Education
Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
Areas of Service
The school program serves students from 20 local and surrounding school districts from seven counties. The adults program serves Individuals from the Eastern Jackson County area.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

The Rainbow Center’s solid record of success in helping persons with severe intellectual and behavioral challenges reach their highest functioning levels academically, behaviorally and socially is a direct reflection on the remarkable level of commitment, professionalism and passion shown by the Rainbow Center team.  Our curriculum is effective and makes an impact on the students, adult clients, their families and their communities. A caring team of professionals working in tandem with the Board of Directors promotes harmony for a well-managed and efficient organization.  

As with many other organizations providing developmental services, The Rainbow Center faces challenges stemming from increased community referrals while operating in an uncertain and unstable funding environment. Our organization is able to meet these challenges through effective resource management and broad support from our community. In addition to long-term relationships we enjoy with local corporate supporters, we continue to successfully introduce new Companies to the exciting and very rewarding work that Rainbow does. Volunteers also find us to be the kind of organization where they get involved and stay involved.
The Rainbow Center truly makes a difference. We see it in the smiles of our children and adults everyday.  We see it in the bond their families have with our team and our organization. We see it in our results.
Description Day school for children ages 3-21 from 20 area school districts over a 7 county region. Serving children with developmental disabilities including Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other intellectual and behavioral deficits. The program features a small staff to student ratio (1:1 to 1:3) and an emphasis on self-esteem development within a culture of gentleness. Community Access is a big part of the school experience. Programing is individualized and directed by an Individual Education Plan for each student attending.
Program Budget $1,483,990.00
Category Education, General/Other Special Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), , Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short-Term Success Each year it is our goal or outcome that 100% of the children we serve will make progress in at least one phase of their programming. This year, we exceeded our expectations with 98.5% for student IEP goals. Next year we will again strive toward the 95% level and anticipate that we will meet and surpass that goal again.
Long-Term Success Our long term outcome for this program is first to be able to get the child successfully back into the mainstream. In cases where that is not a reality, helping a child reach their highest functioning level both academically, behaviorally and socially is considered success.
Program Success Monitored By Success is measured in many ways in our world. Each child's Individual Educational Plan (IEP) reflects hard work by both the student, the family and our staff. Seeing continuing progress is satisfying and rewarding in children who are typically only placed in our center after they have failed in the public system. Our real reward, however, comes as it did recently from one of our newer parents who recently shared how pleased they are with their son's behavior and coping skills that have improved dramatically at home since he enrolled at Rainbow Center.
Examples of Program Success Helping our students be successful with daily programming is a high priority. Developing improved achievement and academic skills, enhancing social skills and improving self esteem culminates with students that are able to transition back to a mainstream school environments. 

Rainbow Options I and II are the two Day Habilitation programs for adults over age 21 from the Eastern Jackson County area. Serving adults with developmental disabilities including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other intellectual and behavioral disabilities has been provided since 1996. The program features a small staff to client ratio (1:1 to 1:3) and an emphasis on self esteem and skill development. Community Access is an important part of each week's activities. Programming is individualized and directed by an Individual Service Plan for each Individual served. Successful integration of the Gentle Teaching techniques and strategies has been a wonderful benefit to all participating in programming. With the entire agency staff trained using the Gentle Teaching methods, a total environment representing a gentle culture is observed.

Category Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Adults, ,
Short-Term Success Short term success is measured in very small steps for persons with severe to profound disabilities. We have a goal of seeing each of our Individuals achieve success in at least one of their Individual Service Plan outcomes each year. 
Long-Term Success Long term success for this program is to provide quality of life through purposeful daytime activities for adults over age 21 who do not qualify for any kind of supported employment (such as a sheltered workshop).
Program Success Monitored By Progress is monitored through monthly progress reports to our funding agents, Kansas City Regional Office (Department of Mental Health MRDD) and Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County--Eitas. We also develop outcomes each year to measure our success in programming for our Individuals with severe disabilities. 
Examples of Program Success

Achieving outcome goals is one way of measuring success. We also work very closely with parents and/or caregivers (group homes). They are a very good barometer of our success. Whether the adult enjoys his day program, is it meeting his/her needs and is it helping the family unit to maintain normalcy in their life is noted. We do an annual survey to document the opinions of the families, caregivers, service coordinators and/or advocates to help us monitor the success and feelings of satisfaction for the program. Very often, having a Day Hab program option for persons with severe disabilities allows the severely disabled adult to remain in a home living situation rather than in an institution or other more costly or extreme measures. An enewsletter was initiated and our social media presence has increased remarkably. 

CEO Comments

Professionals and paraprofessionals work in tandem with parents to make remarkable changes in the lives of the special children in our Rainbow Center school program. Initially, children referred with varying disabilities such as Autism and Behavior Disorders exhibit frustration by acting-out to avoid academic and therapy tasks as a result of repeated school failure. Innovative and creative teaching techniques and strategies "break through" the child's resistance to learning with great success. Families report noticeable changes in their child's behavior and self esteem within weeks of beginning their placement in the Rainbow program. Adult Day Hab programming encourages volunteerism in the community, maintaining basic quality of life skills, learning independent functioning skills, developing and nurturing relationships and friendships for Individuals with severe physical, intellectual and behavioral needs.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Marilu W Herrick
Term Start Aug 1982
Experience Marilu W. Herrick is co-founder of the Rainbow Center for Communicative Disorders. Prior to starting the then Blue Springs Learning Center in 1977, Marilu worked as a speech pathologist in the public school arena and in private practice. She and another speech therapist, Elaine Cavin, saw a need for an academic environment where speech and language could be the focus throughout the day and thereby enable children with non verbal or limited speech skills to develop communication skills more successfully. With just three children, the Blue Springs Learning Center opened its doors and now serves 59 children as Rainbow Center for Communicative Disorders. The day school program focus has changed over the years and now serves children with Autism and other more severe mental and/or behavior challenges who are unable to function within the mainstream. Rainbow Options, the Adult Day Hab program serves 59 Individuals. Marilu attended UCM for her BSED and MS degrees in Speech Pathology and Audiology. After completing her Certificate of Clinical Competency through ASHA, she also finished additional post graduate work  to obtain Special Education Teaching Certifications in multiple areas. Under Marilu's philosophy, the Rainbow Center has been successful for hundreds of children over the years providing a positive, self esteem building environment for a creative learning experience.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Mrs. Elaine Cavin Sept 1977 - Aug 1981
Senior Staff
Title Director of Development
Experience/Biography Over 28 years of experience in nonprofit development, Jill has worked for Rainbow Center for over 14 years and has great expertise in special events, grant writing and fund development. She currently manages two annual large fundraising events along with various social events, grant writing and reporting, public relations and marketing, and works with the development committee to recruit and train prospective board members.
Title Program Coordinator, Rainbow Center Day School
Title Rainbow Options Program Coordinator
Paid Full-Time Staff 85
Paid Part-Time Staff 9
Volunteers 235
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 77%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 15
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 75
Hispanic/Latino 3
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 82
Male 14
Not Specified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Harvester's Food Bank, Goodwill, Local Churches, Aquatic Centers, Meals on Wheels, Recycling Centers, Gymnastics at Gage, Natural Resource Locations.
External Assessment and Accreditations
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) - Adult Day Services - 3 year2016
Accreditation in Child and YouthCARF2016
Respite CareCARF2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments
Rainbow Center consists of nearly 100 dedicated staff including teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals and a small administrative team, working in two buildings in Blue Springs, MO.
We are proud to serve the students from a seven county region of Metro KC representing 20 school districts that contract for services.  Our adult day hab clients are funded through the Developmentally Disabled Services of Jackson County-Eitas and Medicaid Waiver funds through the KC Regional Office. 
Our Board of Directors work hard to increase visibility, to support fundraisers and to provide positive leadership, guidance, feedback and encouragement.
We are pleased that significant progress has been made with repairing and upgrading the second stage of our playground that we use many months of the year as an outdoor classroom. We continue to solicit volunteer and financial support for the renovation for our employee break room. Significant progress has been made with capital renovations this year! 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Lyndon Davis
Company Affiliation Webco Manufacturing
Term Aug 2016 to July 2018
Email lyndond@webcomfg.com
Board Members
Mrs. Brenda Alfred McDonald's Heartland Region
Dr. Hilary Boorstein Children's Mercy Hospital
Mrs. Pam Carpenter Retired Educator
Mr. Lyndon Davis Data Systems International
Mr. Ron Eiman Community Volunteer
Mrs. J'Nan Erker Humphrey, Farrington & McClain
Mr. David Ferdig Saladino Mechanical Company
Mr. Greg Grounds Grounds & Emke
Mr. Jon Hall DSI
Mr. Joe Haney Community Volunteer
Ms. Trisha Kennedy Kennedy's Custom Jewelers
Mr. Mike Minea Maxus Properties
Mr. Jim Morgan Fike Corporation
Mr. Ryan Snyder Maxus Properties
Mrs. Brianne Thomas Boyd, Kinter, Thomas & Parrish, LLC
Mr. Mike Trollinger Jack Cooper Transport
Mrs. Andrea Turner KPMG
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
CEO Comments

We are all extremely proud that for the past forty years, The Rainbow Center has stood as a recognized example of how committed and passionate professionals can make a very real difference in the lives of children and adults with communicative disabilities.  Our team enjoys a solid record of success in helping our persons served reach their highest functioning levels academically, behaviorally and socially. 

Uncertain funding levels, increased need for services from our communities and a competitive market for the high-quality employee resources we require all represent significant challenges for Rainbow Center. Additionally, as time passes, the profile of our donors evolves and shifts. Rainbow Center successfully meets these challenges by providing outstanding program services, very sound internal administration and creative successful community involvement and outreach.

The Rainbow Center is a truly special organization. Our team makes a real difference in the lives of our persons served, their families and in those of us fortunate enough to be involved with it.

Fiscal Year Start Aug 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End July 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $3,444,000
Projected Expenses $3,465,900
Endowment Value $645,000
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 7/31/2016, 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$314,967$374,552$377,363
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$3,151$2,510$6,955
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$173,927$99,662$111,782
Revenue In-Kind$70,128$42,832$164,418
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,098,754$2,229,937$2,369,122
Administration Expense$400,782$433,647$522,001
Fundraising Expense$123,538$123,172$143,044
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.171.040.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%80%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue25%23%29%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$2,891,337$2,420,363$2,287,966
Current Assets$1,417,818$928,891$702,104
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$170,602$192,895$169,970
Total Net Assets$2,720,735$2,227,468$2,117,996
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.314.824.13
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $36,000 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Anonymous $24,800 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments
The majority of Rainbow Center's day school's programming funds come from State and Federal sources through 20 local school districts. The adult programming funds are generated through the Medicaid Waiver match with Department of Mental Health and the Developmentally Disabled Services of Jackson County-eitas. The economy continues to impact non-profits as the corporate/business world support slowly recovers. With excellent board engagement and conservative financial practices, we continue to experience financial stability with a detailed financial picture. Analyzing our budget on a quarterly basis allows us to anticipate and be proactive in working toward maintaining a positive cash flow during a year of slow economic growth. Our commitment to being excellent stewards of the dollars raised allows us to stretch the dollars much farther. Using donations and in-kind support continues to result in a conservative spending pattern. Developing a larger endowment fund continues to be an important priority for the board and this year we have successfully made the commitment to add to our account each month.
Organization Name Rainbow Center for Communicative Disorders
Address 900 NW Woods Chapel Road
Blue Springs, MO 64015
Primary Phone (816) 229-3869
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Marilu W Herrick
Board Chair Mr. Lyndon Davis
Board Chair Company Affiliation Webco Manufacturing
Year of Incorporation 1977
Former Names
Blue Springs Learning Center