Chapel Haven West (CHW)

Chapel Haven West, Inc. in Tucson, AZ empowers adults of varying abilities to live independent and productive lives.

Building on Chapel Haven’s success of nearly 50 years as a leader in the field of teaching and supporting individuals with learning challenges, Chapel Haven West opened in 2008 and offers a range of services to adults, 18 years of age and older, who are motivated to begin learning independence. The program was designed with the help of international experts in autism and specializes in helping adults on the autism spectrum and those with related social disabilities gain confidence, social competency and an independent young adult life.

Chapel Haven West offers residential transition supports, day and community life programming and a la carte supports designed to help adults where they most need assistance. Chapel Haven West is an authorized DDD vendor and an approved school through the AZ Department of Education. Check out our latest expanded offerings for families living in the Tucson area: Chapel Haven West day program 2019

Students enrolled in our residential program live in our renovated apartment complex within walking distance to the University of Arizona (U of A). All residential participants are enrolled at the University of Arizona and begin accruing college credits by taking a class in social communicative competency at the UA's Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences program. The program’s proximity to the UA provides a rich array of benefits for Chapel Haven West students. The students attend classes and have access to university facilities including the Student Union, libraries, Campus Recreation Center and state-of-the-art Disability Resource Center (DRC). They also enjoy a rich array of classes, life skills training and social recreation opportunities at Chapel Haven West’s campus in the heart of Tucson.

Flexible tuition options allow our adults to build their perfect program.

We also offer a range of day and community life services for adults living in the Tucson area or moving here and seeking support.

Our innovative curriculum is grounded in the teaching of social communicative competency in all areas of adult life. Specifically, we focus in four key areas:


The SCC curriculum was designed by a team of experts and centers around a core component of social communicative competency (SCC). Living in an apartment with roommates, managing an academic schedule and transitioning into productive and meaningful work, all require that students compromise, solve problems, and advocate for their needs. This part of the curriculum addresses how to establish and maintain relationships, how to problem-solve social communication breakdowns, and how to consider the perspective of others.  Expressive and receptive language is targeted to improve conversational interactions

With two speech-language pathologists on staff, social communication is taught in classrooms on the Chapel Haven West campus and at the U of A and reinforced in all settings. A unique feature enrolls our students for two years in a college-level, credit-earning SCC class offered by the University of Arizona and held on its campus. The course is taught by clinicians in the University’s Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Department under the direction of Chapel Haven West speech-language pathologists.

The second component of the curriculum which is blended into all instruction is self-determination.

This is an individual’s awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, the ability to set achievable goals and make choices, to be assertive at appropriate times and to interact with others in a socially competent manner.

These skills are taught by aiding the individual to identify his own emotions, needs, interests, and values as well as to develop an understanding of his strengths and limitations.

Students move into apartments in the Chapel Haven West residential building It is our proven belief that the only way to teach independence is in a setting that imitates life.

Students are taught the day-to-day skills necessary for independent living.

Beginning with morning preparation for each student’s individualized schedule, to menu planning, grocery shopping, budgeting and banking, meal preparation and apartment maintenance, our staff teach and coach, watching for any areas that may need extra support

We coach students individually on nutritious meal planning, healthy eating habits, exercise routines and healthy lifestyles.  All students enjoy memberships to the U of A Campus Recreation Center, where they can also access personal training.

At the conclusion of the two year program, all the benchmarks for graduation have been achieved, and the big day arrives—transition into the community. At that time, students can enter the community in one of two ways—through the Bridge Program or the Supported Living Program.

The Bridge Program

If students need extra support after the two-year residential program, the team might recommend the Bridge Program. Participants in the Bridge Program live in the community, but receive extra support for one year before their transition to a more independent lifestyle. They continue learning about community resources, get more practice in mobility, receive additional money management instruction, and receive individualized additional support wherever it is needed.   The Bridge Program is a tuition based program.

The Supported Living Program

After the Bridge Program, students become part of the Supported Living Program, joining other community members who entered the program right after graduation. Graduates in the Supported Living Program access the level of support that they need in the areas of life skills, employment, education, and recreation. Supported Living is a fee for service program.