Who We Are

About Us

The Rutgers School of Public Health Community Living Education Project (CLEP) is committed to providing education to individuals, families, and staff about the full range of resources that are available in community living for people with developmental disabilities in New Jersey. CLEP is supported by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). We serve as the liaison between individuals, families, DDD, developmental center staff and other agencies in the developmental disabilities community.


What is Community Living?

Community living is just what it sounds like! It is about being fully included in the same New Jersey communities as other people. It is about having people who love and care for you be able to spend time with you. It is about doing the things that you like to do and living in ordinary environments such as a house or apartment. It is about experiencing the same human rights, responsibilities and opportunities as others in society.

There are over 100 qualified community provider agencies in New Jersey offering a broad range of services and supports, assisting individuals with developmental disabilities so that are able to live a safe, healthy, fully engaged and meaningful life in their communities. There are many housing and living arrangements available to someone moving from home or developmental center into community living. The list of options continues to grow as community provider agencies and DDD collaborate to provide creative solutions to meet individual needs.

Studies and testimonials continue to support that community living increases the quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities. Check out our featured stories in My Life Now magazine to see for yourself, the positive outcomes for individuals who have successfully transitioned from a developmental center to a community setting!

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What is a Developmental Disability?

Over six million individuals in the United States have developmental disabilities. "Developmental Disabilities" is the umbrella term used to describe cognitive or intellectual and/or physical support needs as well as genetic and chromosomal disorders such as:

Autism
Brain Injury
Cerebral Palsy
Down Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Intellectual disabilities
Spina Bifida

The causes of developmental disabilities are varied, thus, the nature and extent vary greatly between individuals and may or may not be accompanied by other physical conditions. However, there is one common thread that binds all individuals living with developmental disabilities -- the desire to live a full stable life, fully engaged in their family and community. It's a desire that we all share, and a right that CLEP believes everyone deserves.