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Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age, Lezetta was warned by her parents not to speak up. Thankfully, she did not listen.

Now, Lezetta advocates for herself and others with developmental disabilities.

Three years ago, she made a trip to a nearby bakery and noticed the ramp was not marked, causing cars to block the ramp and prevent wheelchair accessibility. Working with her CLASP Independent Living instructor, she advocated for this to be fixed, and it was. Now she is working with a new, local store to install an accessible door on a restroom after finding herself trapped one day, and she continues to follow up on the progress.

CLASP renews the independent spirit of people with developmental disabilities. By helping people with developmental disabilities live independently, CLASP also reduces state costs by up to two-thirds.

CLASP students receive individualized instruction in their home and community, tailored to each person’s specific goals. Areas of instruction include personal/social development, financial management, health, navigating the health care system, safety, household management and self-advocacy. The program also teaches meal planning, nutrition, cooking, public transportation to grocery stores and how to shop.

Lezetta now has advice for children with disabilities: “People will tell you that you can’t do this. You’ve got to tell yourself you can. You’ve got to be stubborn. If someone tells me no, I sit and think for hours on how to fix it and then I do it. With a strong will, you can do anything you put your mind to. I am trying to make a difference in the world.”

UCP’s CLASP focuses on renewing the independent spirit of people with developmental disabilities.