No Bounds program helps those with disabilities practice life skills

ROANOKE, Va. – In Southwest Virginia, several organizations are helping to ensure those with disabilities can become productive citizens.

Students like Corey Hairston perform best in environments like the classroom.

“I do the computers and the wires,” Hairston said.

Hairston is among 25 students with Down syndrome or autism in the No Bounds program.

It’s a program that helps students with disabilities get the skills necessary to become independent; but before they can learn in the classroom, leaders motivate them with the gym first, either with group classes or playing basketball.

“The gym is for everybody; doesn’t matter your skill level your ability for working out, what you like to do, don’t like to do. We have something for everybody,” J. Boudreaux, Gold’s Gym manager said.

It’s two hours of learning life skills to ensure students are independent.

“Going to the gym has been the best thing that has ever happened. They play and do things and are independent in what they want to choose and do, and when I come to class I get a full two hours,” Dr. Tina Bhandari, organizer of No Bounds said.

Bhandari said she created the program after noticing there’s a need for students who graduate high school.

After attending several high education institutions, she credits having facilities at ECPI University in Roanoke with allowing those with disabilities to feel included.

“Everybody deserves an opportunity at increased education, growth opportunities, potential employment so that should be open to everybody,” Kevin Newby, ECPI university campus president said.

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.