Park Lawn serves thousands with disabilities

Nearly 60 years ago a group of south suburban parents did what they could to help disabled children in the community and now the organization has a dozen locations with many new and exciting programs.
April 5, 2014 6:42:21 AM PDT
Nearly 60 years ago a group of south suburban parents did what they could to help disabled children in the community and now the organization has a dozen locations with many new and exciting programs.

Park Lawn Services has served thousands of people with developmental disabilities in 20 south suburbs and metro Chicago communities, from children to seniors.

Yoga, cooking, arts, music, dancing.

These are some of the activities offered at Park Lawn Services.

Jim Wise is the executive director.

"We provide both traditional programs, but then we also look for the opportunities that we have to partner with organizations in the community, so the enrichment program allows us to outreach to many community services that will come in and assist our folks," he said.

Currently 460 individuals are served at one of Park Lawn's location.

"We do have a waiting list of 85 individuals at this point in time," Wise said.

The population of people with developmental disabilities is growing and aging, which creates a new challenge for many disabled organizations.

"Oftentimes many of the folks with Down syndrome that we serve, Alzheimer's and dementia has even earlier onset," said Wise. "It has been a challenge for us because the better our programs have been serving our individuals throughout their lifetime, they longer they live with that come the aging problems that we have."

Park Lawn Services started out without any public funds and as the years gone by they have plugged into whatever public funds they can get.

But for how long?

"One of the changes that we've seen over the years is that rather than viewing ourselves in competition with our sister agencies we are now collaborators in a changing time we need to change," said Wise.

For more information: http://www.parklawn.com/


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