Focus On: CLASP

Since 1976, CLASP group homes, headquartered in Westport, creates and supports family environments for people with autism and intellectual disabilities. Latravia Cox and Tiffany Scott are the manager and assistant manager, respectively of the CLASP home at Kings Highway South, which has been in operation since 1983 and is home to five adults.  Providing meaningful and enriching lives to residents CLASP is a 501c3 nonprofit dependent on charitable donations. We hope you will support their work by clicking this link

 “The house is co-ed, with two women and three men. All are adults with intellectual disabilities.  Some may also have other physical and emotional conditions as well but their primary diagnosis is intellectual disability.  

Jeff age 63 wants to live the American dream with a house, fast car and a wife. 

MC age 42 is totally and completely into video games and rap music. 

Tom age 60 is a very nice guy who loves to help. 

Sheri age 47 works competitively and loves to follow popular culture and TV 

Martha age 44 is a homebody who loves hearing from and seeing her mom. 

The hardest thing for our residents about social distancing and the need for caregivers to wear Personal Protective gear is that long-standing practices and schedules have been broken. For example, every Tuesday was going to Dunkin Donuts. Some people were used to seeing family every weekend or on some other regular schedule and that’s not happening.  This was a very social bunch.  Also, everyone at the house had a day program or job.  This provided much of the routine human interaction with people from the cafeteria lady to the person in the seat next to them at work—the kind of interaction and routine we all need. 

The worst part for our residents is not seeing their families.  This is not only hard on the residents but hard on the families too.  It’s also hard trying to explain why all of these measures are necessary without going too far and terrifying people with the idea that they might die.  

A good thing is that some people are getting more personal attention at the home than they would at their usual day programs.  The staff to resident ratio is 1 to 5 at home.  It is usually a much higher resident to staff ratio at day programs. 

We like to stress inclusion in the community at CLASP so now we are like a turtle pulled inside our shell. Just like for everyone else this has been a very strange time. For the first few weeks it was exciting and different. Now, not so much. Our staff have been phenomenal by working long hours to minimize the number of people who have to come in to the home– thus minimizing the contact risk. 

What has been surprising is how we have been able to find ways to use technology in innovative ways to both conduct our business and keep our residents and clients connected. 

We’d really like followers of this project to know that we’re part of the neighborhood, part of the community as much as anyone else. In a civil society we all have a responsibility to one another we will all get through this together—and when we do, we need a BIG party!” 

we’re part of the neighborhood, part of the community

Explore More of “Westport In Focus”

To read more of the museums long lens oral histories please visit the Westport In Focus page.