How Four Area People with Disabilities Work and Live on Their Own, with Help

Inclusion, Independence and Individualization create ideal residential options for many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Three local non-profit agencies, ARI, CLASP Homes, and STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way, share a common mission in their desire to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) the same opportunities as their typical peers. Individuals with unique abilities are able to live lives with independence, freedom and choice thanks to the supports provided by these three Fairfield County agencies.

There is hardly a customer at Whole Foods in Darien who is an unfamiliar face to Charlie who has worked there for over six years. Charlie lives in his hometown of Norwalk and commutes, via train and foot, to work where he saves his paycheck to pay for rent, phone and shopping.

Elected President of STAR’s Self Advocacy Group by his peers, and appointed as a Director on STAR’s Board of Directors, Charlie is a well-spoken advocate for people with unique abilities. His work with STAR staff twice a week for two to three hours helps him with budgeting, medical appointments, grocery shopping, banking and sometimes just to have a friendly ear to listen and offer candid advice.

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