Rutgers Film Highlights the Importance of Community Living for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD)

The short film follows three individuals providing a glimpse into their everyday lives, living in their chosen communities.


Newswise — The Rutgers Community Living Education Project (CLEP) premiered A Day in the Life of… Burton, Neva, and John at Rutgers Cinema on Monday, June 17.

The short film, which was created in partnership with the Rutgers iTV Studio, The Arc of Somerset, Quality Management Associates, Inc., and The Open Door of New Jersey, follows the lives of Burton, Neva, and John, providing a glimpse into their everyday lives. At the core, the film highlights the importance and value of community living for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD).

The event began with a red carpet for the film’s stars, their families, and other attendees. CLEP director, Colleen McKay Wharton, MA, MCHES, welcomed the audience, thanked the many partners who helped create the film, and shared the importance of individuals with I/DD living in communities.

“We believe living in the community opens the door to engaging with a wide variety of people and activities – creating a more connected life,” said Wharton. “CLEP helps families understand what questions to ask provider agencies (the agencies that manage the varied types of homes), what to look for in a community living space, and how to navigate what can be a very overwhelming and emotional process.” 

The film was produced by award-winning producer, Hébert Peck.

Peck spoke about the personal significance this film has had for him, “As the parent of an adult child with Down syndrome, I found, what is emotionally difficult for me, like separation and delayed independence, can have an adverse impact on my son’s future, as is the case for many children of families, with aging parents. It gives us hope and comfort, to know that our children can continue to live their best lives, because you, CLEP, exists.”

Wharton then introduced a video from Rutgers School of Public Health dean, Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, welcoming the audience. Halkitis expanded on Wharton’s remarks highlighting how the Rutgers School of Public Health believes in equity for all people, equity in health, equity in access to health resources, and the equity in the right to a fulfilling, community life, where individuals can choose where and how to live.

When stars, Burton and John were asked what they thought of the film, Burton said he loved it. John expressed his hopes for TV news coverage stating, “I hope it helps to have people see this video.”

You can watch A Day in the Life of… Burton, Neva, and John here.

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The Community Living Education Project (CLEP), which is part of the Rutgers School of Public Health Center for Public Health Workforce Development, was founded in 1991 and is committed to providing information and education regarding community living resources for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in New Jersey. CLEP is committed to working with local communities to bring equity to the I/DD community. They use a multi-faceted approach to providing information and education regarding community living resources for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), that includes hosting learning events, outreach and on-going support, visits to community settings, and publications and media services. CLEP offers these services free to individuals, their families, staff and other stakeholders, and is supported by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). To learn more about CLEP and its services, visit CLEP’s website at: Community Living Education Project (CLEP)

The Rutgers School of Public Health is New Jersey’s only accredited school of public health that seeks to improve health and prevent disease in diverse populations in New Jersey and around the world through educating students to become well-qualified and effective public health leaders, researchers, and practitioners; conducting research to advance public health science and policies; and providing service programs that promote population and individual health. Visit us at https://sph.rutgers.edu and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn to learn how we're "keeping the ‘public’ in public health.”

 


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