Knowledge is Power: Living and Learning with a Disability

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research estimates that one in seven Americans live with some type of activity limitation which prevents them from fully participating in a major life activity, such as going to school, playing, working, or self care.

About one in five Americans has a disability, and roughly half of these people have what is considered a severe disability (Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.).

However, just because someone is living with a disability or an activity limitation, they are not prevented from being a completely happy, independent, and productive member of society. Methodist Mission Home works extensively to assist young people with disabilities. Their goal is to help them develop life skills, and training for future jobs. The branch of Methodist Mission Home that focuses on working with young adults with disabilities is the Southwest Center for Higher Independence. Here students can receive vocational training and a comprehensive assessment of academic function, work aptitude, and transferable skills.

Physical and sensory disabilities can be hindrances in a person’s progress within society. However people with these limitations, can become empowered, productive members of society. SCHI assists those with disabilities to perform everyday personal activities as well as sharpen skills that will carry over into the work place.

A disability is not an insurmountable challenge, but rather an opportunity for an individual to overcome an obstacle and become stronger in the long run. The services provided at the Southwest Center for Higher Independence will help those with disabilities to overcome those challenges, and adapt to society through interactions inside and out of the workplace.

SCHI allows students to become as independent as possible. Because SCHI works with a variety of disabilities, some more challenging than others, the essence of the program is teaching individuals with disabilities how to perform personal tasks and enhance skills that will make them more employable and more confident in their social interactions. The school provides comprehensive assessments and courses ranging from life skills to job etiquette and readiness.

The SCHI program is typically 18 months and offers a residential option with an on-campus dormitory and is also open to community based students. Students benefit from counseling, social skills development, and spiritual support in addition to scholastic and vocational skills. Over the past 30 years, SCHI has assisted hundreds of adults with disabilities. SCHI is licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. For more information on Providence Place’s Southwest Center for Higher Independence, visit


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