Independent Living Services hosts open house

ILS will open its doors to the public at 10 a.m., after a ribbon-cutting ceremony which will include remarks from ILS Board President Cindy Ludford, Executive Director Jackie Fliss and local lawmakers.

The 32,000 square foot facility marks a new chapter for ILS. The nonprofit, which helps individuals with developmental disabilities live independently in the community, has operated at many different locations in Conway since its creation in 1970. Now, administrative offices, therapists, the adult day program and the organization’s work program, a shredding and recycling business called Profiles Productions, will all be housed under one roof. A few administrative offices will remain at ILS’s former headquarters on Independence Street.

“It’s really great to have everyone under one roof,” said Fliss. “We’ll be able to do a lot of things in this new building that will improve the services we offer. There is plenty of room for our classes at our adult day program, the Profiles Enrichment Center. We have a brand new kitchen where we’ll be able to provide healthier meals. And our work program, Profiles Productions, has room to grow.”

ILS offers a curriculum of classes to people with developmental disabilities including health and wellness, arts and crafts, music, values, and life skills. The new building also has a “sensory room” for ILS consumers who are particularly sensitive to noise, light and other stimuli.

“One of the things we’re most proud of is the new kitchen,” said Fliss. “Our goal is to provide our own home-cooked meals for our consumers. People with developmental disabilities are more at-risk for obesity and diabetes. The more healthy meals we can provide for them, the better.”

Fliss also touts the organization’s paper recycling and shredding program. Profiles Productions has been providing jobs to people with developmental disabilities since 1970. In addition to recycling unwanted office paper, Productions works with many local businesses to handle their shredding needs.

“This is a great way for us to contribute, not only to our consumers’ sense of well-being and self worth by providing them with meaningful work, but to make a positive impact on the environment as well,” she said.

Members of the public are invited to attend the open house ceremony, which will showcase the services provided by ILS and the impact the organization makes on the community.