Community Integration Services Society: Living the life you choose

Community Integration Services Society (CISS) is committed to enabling individuals with developmental disabilities to become active members of their own community through community inclusion programs.

“People who work with us realize they’re here for the cause,” says Shari Mahar, Executive Director of CISS. “If I were working in a private sector or the government, I would be making a different wage—but next weekend I’m booked for all three days because the cause doesn’t end at 4pm.”

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Opening its doors in 1990, CISS has helped many people with disabilities learn invaluable life skills while helping them take advantage of educational, recreational and employment opportunities along the way.

“We all want the same thing—disability or not—and that is to choose the life you seek,” says Mahar. “We’re here to remove all barriers and to support people to live the fullest life they possibly can.”

CISS has offered a diverse assortment of community workshops over the years including workshops on food preparation, banking, job readiness and computers skills. And with October serving as ‘inclusion month’ in B.C., Mahar sees this as the perfect time to raise awareness for CISS’s programs and the different ways people in the community can help.

“There are many ways people can help this organization—through volunteering, donating, applying for a job or hiring an individual who is here and ready for employment,” Mahar says.

“For many people, living life to the fullest is about connecting to their community, and that can take place in many different ways: recreation and leisure activities, employment, volunteer work, toastmasters, artistic endeavours–whatever the method, we’re here to help make it happen.”

To find out more about CISS, drop by their location at 2175 Mary Hill Road, Port Coquitlam or, call directly at 604-461-2131, or email You can also find CISS on Twitter.

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