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Conway

150 East Siebenmorgen Road
Conway, AR 72032-4000

The Conway Human Development Center (CHDC) is of Arkansas' six state-managed residential training facilities for people with developmental disabilities. It is located on a 409-acre site in the city of Conway. Conway's population is approximately 50,000, and the city is located in central Arkansas, 32 miles northwest of the state capital of Little Rock.

Because of its central location, CHDC serves the entire state, providing comprehensive specialized services including medical, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, orthotic and special education. Domestic and personal skill development, habilitation training, workshop opportunities, employment training, and recreation are also provided. As of June 2005, of the 521 people receiving services, all have a primary disability of mental retardation (95% had profound or severe retardation). Also, of those persons receiving services, 116 are of fragile health. Residents at Conway range from 8 to 69 years of age, with 36 school-aged children receiving educational services.

The CHDC offers a Continuum of Services Program. The program's goal is to assist families by working with parents and children through individual therapy and a strong emphasis on family involvement and counseling. From July 2004 through June 2005, this program made 869 community contacts and provided services to 363 people.

Outstanding community support for the CHDC is regularly demonstrated by the Volunteer Council, which sponsors many fund raising activities throughout the year to support Center programs and services. Over the past five years, the council's activities have raised money to build a much needed indoor therapeutic swimming pool and fitness complex (over $427,000 raised). Other monies raised by the council have been spent on various CHDC improvement projects, including constructing awning covers over the sidewalks on campus, which help shield the residents from harsh weather conditions.

The CHDC is an active participant in the Faulkner County Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Council membership includes the special education supervisor for the Conway Public Schools, directors of two successful community service providers serving the Faulkner County area, a person from Conway, a person served in the community, and the CHDC Superintendent. The Council meets monthly to discuss issues and opportunities relating to services for people with disabilities. The Council is the recipient of a supported work grant to promote employment of people with disabilities, and operates a van funded by the Urban Mass Transit Authority (UMTA), which transports individuals to and from supported work in the community.

The CHDC is the sponsor of the highly successful Beyond the Borders conference. In its 13 years, conference has grown from a regional meeting of providers and other professionals in the field of services to people with disabilities to a nationally recognized and attended conference where real issues are presented and experiences and solutions are discussed.

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