Our Mission

People with disabilities providing supports and training for the disability and elder communities to live well in southwest Colorado.


We envision a world where people with disabilities and elders are respected and included members of their communities, making their own decisions, directing the supports and services they need to live well in the community, and giving back to the community from their strengths.


Your staff person is so professional and yet so kind and caring.


You have given hope to a soul that needed it to make a life worth living.  My daughters thank you for that I am able to see the light again!


You know, I have given up hope many times…thinking it was just the way it was gonna be and you just kept me looking under every rock.   I just can’t thank you enough!  “Welcome to your own life!”  Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!  I’m bawling with gratitude to have had someone stick in my corner through thick, through thin.


SWCI is a genuine asset to our community.  Please take time to savor that your work is appreciated, valued and tremendously needed in this community.



Thank you for the emails that bring great awareness on the needs of people who have disabilities.  I feel as if I haven’t paid close enough attention to many of these issues and you have given me pause to read and re-read on how I might provide assistance.


SWCI has restored my CONFIDENCE!!!  And that makes Living SO Much Easier!!   SWCI gives me the tools I need, and reminds me of the tools I already have, to help me Live Life!!!  Thank YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have found the Be Fit Be Able exercise class to be very effective.  I am a wheelchair user, but I can do the exercises that he does in the class.  I look forward to every Thursday!  It is so much fun and a good workout!


During my first visit with staff in Cortez, we spent three hours brainstorming and getting me signed up for various programs to help me find my way through that dark time.  Staff also helped me apply for a cell phone I could use for texting in emergencies (I’m hearing-impaired and can’t understand on the phone). The staff at SWCI treated me with respect and dignity even as I was going through a very bad period in my life, always encouraging me, always providing support and offering many ideas and suggestions to help me get to a better place in my life.


Thank you for your words of encouragement.  It came from your heart, so drew the fear from my mind and made me feel all right.


My Independent Living Specialist from SWCI has believed in me from the moment she and I started working together.  She supports me in achieving my goals.

Janelle Bilyou

I like SWCI.  They are supporting me in my goals to be independent and to see my full potential in reaching the goals and dreams I have for me and my family.  For the first time, I see my dreams as a possible reality.  I wish I had known about them and had had their support when I was younger.  I never knew I had this in me.


Your Cortez staff does a phenomenally awesome job!


The way Southwest Rides treats people is exceptional.  Truly thankful for meeting such down to earth people who understand people.


The folks at Southwest Rides all and all are very enjoyable.  I actually look forward to going to my doctors’ appointments because I get to get out of the house and enjoy visiting with the professional yet friendly drivers.  You folks rock!  Your company is awesome!


Our family member’s newly acquired independence has had a noticeable positive effect on his entire life and that of our family.  We are grateful.


Southwest Rides staff treat us all with respect, drive good, and make sure we are OK.  Because they have disabilities they are understanding.


Find out what’s happening at SWCI!

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Our Services

Independent Living


Nursing Home Transitions


Youth Services



Low Vision


Service Area

We serve the 5 counties of Southwest Colorado.

Our History

Southwest Center for Independence, Inc. (SWCI) was established as a Center for Independent Living (CIL) in 1990 by the Independent Living Coordinator for the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and a small group of La Plata County residents with disabilities who were interested in the independent living movement. Southwest Center for Independence is a Colorado Nonprofit agency (501(c)3), which means it is a tax-exempt organization for both Federal and State taxes. We serve people with disabilities residing in La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan Counties in Southwest Colorado.