Guide to the Patricia Clapp Papers, 1947-2015, MSS 1196

Heinz History Center

Summary Information

Repository
Heinz History Center
Title
Patricia Clapp Papers
Collection Number
MSS 1196
Date [inclusive]
1947-2015
Extent
1.25 linear feet
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
Patricia "Pat" Clapp is an advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a member of organizations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina, Clapp attended events, gave speeches, and received countless pieces of correspondence and news clippings regarding her work. The Patricia Clapp Papers contain correspondence, news clippings, award certificates, event programs, copies of speeches, and images throughout Clapp's life as an advocate. A portion of this collection has been digitized and can be found online.
Sponsor Note
The acquisition and processing of this collection has been made possible by the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium (https://www.wpdhac.org/).

Preferred Citation

Patricia Clapp Papers, 1947-2015, MSS 1196, Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center

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History

Patricia "Pat" Etta Clapp was born in 1928, to Adam and Inez Fornof in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Clapp graduated from Wilkinsburg High School in 1947. After graduation, she worked at Mayview State Hospital in the Occupational Therapy Department. In 1952, Pat married Harry Patterson Clapp, an engineer from Greensboro, North Carolina. Clapp's advocacy began in the early 1950s when she joined the Junior Section of the Wilkinsburg Women's Club of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC). This local club had learned through a guest speaker at their meeting that a child was being denied entry to public school because the child had Down syndrome. Galvanized to address this need for local children, Clapp and fellow Junior Section members raised funds to support the opening of a preschool for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Performing in a fund-raising revue, these young women raised $2,000 for this cause. They donated the funds to the Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (ACC-PARC, now Achieva), which in turn opened the Wilkinsburg Pre-School for Mentally Retarded Children at South Avenue Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg in 1953. It was the first of thirteen pre-schools for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities started by ACC-PARC in Allegheny County. Clapp worked at the pre-school as a volunteer. Together with Junior Section members, Clapp also launched a National Crusade for Change among Junior Section GFWCs to develop programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in every community.

Pat and Harry Clapp had three children together: Jeff, Jean, and David. With the arrival of David in 1955, the Clapps entered the world of having a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as David was born with Down syndrome. The Clapps refrained from telling others of David's condition until 1961 when Pat listened to Dr. Ted Johnson give a speech to the Junior Section of the GFWC regarding his life as a father of a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Around 1959, when David was ready to attend preschool, Clapp began volunteering with the statewide PARC (now the Arc of Pennsylvania and the ACC-PARC).

Clapp's involvement with ACC-PARC and PARC grew over time, Governor Scranton appointed her to the Board of Directors for the Western State School in 1963. Clapp served as president of ACC-PARC for the years 1964 through 1966. Clapp eventually became president of PARC from 1971 until 1973. During her tenure as president, PARC campaigned for the right to equal education for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During this time, public schools were entitled to deny children with intellectual disabilities the right to attend their schools and recommended parents institutionalize their children. The Clapps experienced this first-hand with their son, David. When they reached out to the American Medical Association for information about the best services for him, they received a letter telling them there was "no chance that the condition can be improved." Like most parents of children with Down syndrome in that era, Clapp and her husband Harry were advised to institutionalize their youngest son. The Clapps refused and chose to use Pat's position as president of PARC to fight for equal education for all children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania. The court case PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lasted between 1971 and 1972, and featured parents of children with intellectual disabilities denied free public education suing the state. The case settled in 1972 with a consent decree that stated that no child between the ages of 6 and 21 would be denied an education based on their intellectual or developmental disability. Due to the decree and PARC's efforts, it laid the foundation for Federal Public Law 94-142, Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, later renamed the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" (IDEA).

During Clapp's tenure as president of PARC, she also fought to eliminate the involuntary testing of vaccines on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in state-run institutions. Institutions across the state used people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as test subjects for vaccines, without their parents' knowledge or permission (sometimes parents received a permission form from the institution after the experiment). Vaccines tested for meningitis, pneumococcal pneumonia, and the flu were among those tested. Girls within the institutions were given a birth-control "shot" against their will. With pressure from PARC and public opinion, the practice of testing of vaccines on children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in state-run institutions ended in 1973. Throughout her career, Clapp was also known for creating opportunities for young people to build relationships with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Such initiatives include the HOPE Corps and the Youth PARC.

In her role as president of PARC, Clapp contributed to the Deinstitutionalization Movement, which transitioned people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from state-run institutions to community-based living arrangements. During this era, Clapp learned from ACC-PARC of horrid living conditions at Polk State School and Hospital in Venango County. Clapp ensured that Helene Wohlgemuth, the state public welfare secretary, visited Polk. Wohlgemuth witnessed the use of wooden cages and restraints that housed residents considered by staff to be "unruly." Thanks to the attention drawn by advocates, Wohlgemuth also noted that the overcrowded and understaffed institution used drugs to sedate patients. Three days after her visit, Wohlgemuth wrote a letter to James H. McClelland, director of the institution, informing him that he was dismissed from his role. PARC and ACC-PARC supported this decision. For those supportive of McClelland, Wohlgemuth's decision sparked outrage. Linking this action to ACC-PARC and PARC's unannounced site visits to Polk, people opposing McClelland's dismissal hanged Pat Clapp and fellow PARC advocate Eleanor Elkin in effigy.

In 1976, Governor Shapp appointed Clapp to the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Following this appointment, Clapp remained active with PARC as the organization witnessed the closure of institutions like Pennhurst State School and Hospital across the state. In 1979, the Clapp family moved to Virginia. While in Virginia, Pat involved herself with the Northern Virginia Association for Retarded Children (No. Va. ARC), now known as The Arc of Northern Virginia. Clapp remained active with the organization until she moved with her family to North Carolina, following Harry's retirement. Clapp continued her work as an advocate with the Association for Retarded Citizens of Greensboro, Inc. (now known as The Arc of Greensboro) and The Arc of North Carolina following the move.

In compliance with its affiliation with the national organization, the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children changed its name to the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens between the years 1973 and 1981. In 1992, the organization changed its name to its current name of The Arc of Pennsylvania. The ACC-PARC followed similar name changes and became known as the Arc of Allegheny County. As of the writing of this finding aid, the Arc of Allegheny, Beaver, and Westmoreland Counties are child organizations of ACHIEVA.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Patricia Clapp Papers contain records collected and created by Clapp throughout her career as an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Western Pennsylvania. Records include newsletters from the organizations she was involved with or interacted with (PARC, ACC-PARC, etc.); newspaper clippings regarding her, her son David, and the work of the organizations she was involved with (including coverage on the Pennhurst State School and Polk State School and Hospital); correspondence from organizations and individuals involved with her campaigns for equal treatment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; awards and certificates received throughout her career; and photographs of individuals and events.

This collection contains one folder of materials related to Clapp's personal life: a newspaper announcement of her wedding, a Good Housekeeping article, and notes regarding the care for her mother.

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Arrangement

The Patricia Clapp Papers are arranged topically by organization or cause that Clapp was involved with in one box.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Heinz History Center

1212 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
library@heinzhistorycenter.org
URL: https://www.heinzhistorycenter.org

Conditions Governing Access

Materials with personally identifying information regarding minors with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their parents were redacted and separated from the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Custodial History

Gift from Patricia "Pat" Clapp

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Patricia "Pat" Clapp on April 23, 2019.

Archives accession # 2019.0060

Processing Information

This collection was rehoused and processed by Bryan Brown on April 25, 2019.

Existence and Location of Copies

A portion of this collection has been digitized and can be found online.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Papers maintained by Pat Clapp concerning the closing of Pennhurst State School and Hospital are in the custody of the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance. These papers also concern Clapp's involvement in creating and helping to lead a youth movement under the auspices of PARC.

Copies of legal filings and related reference materials maintained by Pat Clapp on PARC v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Right to Education case) and other Pennsylvania cases concerning disability rights have been transferred to the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILC). Selected records of PILC are maintained by Temple University's Special Collections Research Center.

Bob Nelkin Collections of Allegheny County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (ACC-PARC) Records, 1953-2000, MSS 1002, Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center

Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children, Allegheny County Chapter Records, 1952-1965, AIS.1966.01, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh.

Separated Materials

Disabled American Veterans Sterling Morelock Honorary Dinner, c. 1922-1930, OFF 121, Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center. (This photograph includes Pat Clapp's father, Adam Fornof, who was in attendance at the dinner.)

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Association for Retarded Citizens (U.S.)

Subject(s)

  • Children with disabilities--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.
  • Children with disabilities--Pennsylvania.
  • Children with disabilities--Virginia.
  • Children with disabilities--North Carolina.
  • State Hospitals--Pennsylvania.
  • Intellectual disability facilities--Pennsylvania.
  • Right to education--Pennsylvania.
  • People with mental disabilities--Pennsylvania.
  • People with mental disabilities--Virginia.
  • People with mental disabilities--North Carolina.

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Collection Inventory

  BoxFolder
Mayview Hospital Occupational Therapy 1947-2008 11
  BoxFolder
Mayview Occupational Therapy Department Photograph 1947 11
Online

An image of the Mayview Occupational Therapy Department, with Patricia "Pat" Clapp standing second from left. Clapp began working in the department after graduating from Wilkinsburg High School in 1947.

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Section: PARC 

  BoxFolder
Governor Appointments 1963-1976 12
  BoxFolder
L. Steuart Brown Correspondence 2011-2012 13
  BoxFolder
L. Steuart Brown Correspondence 2012-2015 14
  BoxFolder
Correspondence, News Relases, and Organization Records 1949-2013 15
  BoxFolder
Bridge of Understanding Sheet undated 15
Online

A copy of a document that describes PARC's objectives and information regarding intellectual disabilities. As a member of PARC, Pat Clapp fought for the rights of people, children especially, with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the state.

  BoxFolder
Pennsylvania Federation of Womens Clubs Letter August 3, 1965 15
Online

A scan of a letter from a member of the Pennsylvania Federation of Womens Clubs thanking Clapp for participating in the Federation's summer conference and talking about her work with PARC and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  BoxFolder
Pat Clapp Speech to Pennsylvania Federation of Womens Club 1965 15
Online

Handwritten notes from a speech Clapp gave to junior members of the Pennsylvania Federation of Womens Clubs regarding the work of PARC, the welfare of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Pennsylvania, and the role that the Federation and junior members played in the progress made in recent years. Clapp also presented awards to members at this event.

  Boxfolder
Fred Henry Letter to Pat Clapp October 9, 1967 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Fred Henry of PARC to Clapp regarding her work with the Interfaith Seminar and the need for a place for worship for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  Boxfolder
Horizon Home Letter December 2, 1971 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Horizon Home to Clapp acknowledging her resignation due to a possible conflict of interest in her new role. Following Clapp's election to the President of PARC, she resigned as Vice-Chairman of Horizon Home, a center that gave people with intellectual and developmental disabilities training and skills to live independently.

  Boxfolder
Reverend W. Lee Hicks Letter March 9, 1971 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Reverend W. Lee Hicks, Executive Director of the Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, to Clapp regarding a news article in the Pittsburgh Press that discussed Clapp's son David, who has Downs Syndrome.

  Boxfolder
Letter from a Mother March 15, 1972 15
Online

A scan of a letter from a parent who wished to share their perspective on raising a child with Downs Syndrome with Clapp. Clapp received numerous letters from parents and individuals following the publication of a Pittsburgh Press article featuring her and her son David.

  Boxfolder
Letter from Shirley Bugos April 19, 1973 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Mrs. Shirley Bugos expressing her support for the dismissal of Dr. James McClelland as director of Polk State School and Hospital. Following a surprise visit to Polk State School and Hospital, state welfare secretary Helene Wohlgemuth removed Dr. James McClelland as director. PARC supported this decision. As president of PARC, Clapp received numerous letters that criticized and praised the organization's stance on the matter.

  BoxFolder
Peter Polloni Letter June 13, 1973 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Peter Polloni to Clapp expressing his appreciation and gratitude for her and her work as president of PARC following the conclusion of her tenure as president in 1973.

  BoxFolder
James McClelland Letter February 25, 1978 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Dr. James McClelland, former director of Polk State School and Hospital who was removed from office during Clapp's tenure as President of PARC, wrote to Clapp to inform her that he had no intention to attend a luncheon honoring her work at PARC. PARC hosted this luncheon due to Clapp and her family moving to Virginia.

  BoxFolder
Right to Live in the Community History 1978 15
Online

A scan of a document highlighting key moments in PARC's fight for the deinstitutionalization of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The right to live within the community was one of PARC's goals as an organization.

  Boxfolder
Dehumanization Vs Dignity Packet c. 1970 15
Online

A scan of a guide created by the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare that demonstrates practices that dehumanizes people compared to practices that treated people with dignity. PARC distributed this pamphlet to demonstrate the preferred method of treating individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities within state institutions.

  Boxfolder
Today's Health Letter October 4, 1955 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Today's Health that advocates for the institutionalization of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After the birth of their son David, the Clapp's reached out for opinions regarding the options for raising a child with Downs Syndrome. The Clapp's refused to institutionalize their son.

  Boxfolder
George Soloyanis Letter May 7, 1970 15
Online

A scan of a letter from Dr. George Soloyanis to Clapp discussing an upcoming conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Clapp, as a member of PARC, attended many events regarding people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including conferences that Dr. Soloyanis spoke at.

  Boxfolder
Boy Scouts of America Flyer c. 1970-1979 15
Online

A scan of a letter distributed by the Allegheny County Chapter of the PARC (ACC-PARC) informing parents that the Boy Scouts of America was open to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  BoxFolder
Newsletters and News Clippings 1963-1999 16
  BoxFolder
PARC News  December 1963 16
Online

A copy of the December 1963 PARC News newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message  1970 16
Online

A copy of the 1970 Autumn issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  BoxFolder
Pennsylvania Message (2) 1970-1971 16
Online

A copy of the 1970-1971 Winter issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (3) 1971 16
Online

A copy of the 1971 Special Summer issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (4) March 1971 16
Online

A copy of the March 1971 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (5) June 1972 16
Online

A copy of the June 1972 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (6) August 1972 16
Online

A copy of the August 1972 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (7) November 1972 16
Online

A copy of the November 1972 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (8) March 1973 16
Online

A copy of the March 1973 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (9) May 1973 16
Online

A copy of the May 1973 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  Boxfolder
Pennsylvania Message (10) September 1973 16
Online

A copy of the September 1973 issue of the Pennsylvania Message newsletter sent out to PARC members.

  BoxFolder
Notes and Speeches c. 1960-1980 17
  Boxfolder
Clapp's Speech at PARC Convention c. 1972-1973 17
Online

A copy of Clapp's presidential speech at PARC's twenty-third annual convention. In this speech, Clapp spoke about the fight for equal education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, PARC's role in the matter, and other projects PARC and its members supported throughout the year.

  Boxfolder
PARC Board of Directors Meeting Minutes June 7, 1973 17
Online

A handwritten copy of minutes for PARC's board of directors. Among the topics discussed include the use of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities being used to test vaccines without parental consent, the aftermath of the firing of the director of Polk State School James McClelland, and the vote by the Venango County ARC to withdrawal from PARC.

  Boxfolder
President Report at Meeting June 8, 1973 17
Online

A handwritten copy of President Pat Clapp's remarks at the June 8, 1973 PARC meeting. Clapp discussed PARC's role as an advocate, the projects the organization and its members organized and supported in the past year, and issues the organization should devote their efforts toward.

  Boxfolder
Pat Clapp Speech c. 1971-1973 17
Online

A handwritten copy of one of Clapp's speeches as President of PARC. Clapp discussed the recent court decision that guaranteed the equal right to education for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the organizational structure of PARC.

  Boxfolder
Clapp Speech Regarding Ruth Kennedy and Ralph Randolph 1974 17
Online

A handwritten draft of one of Clapp's speeches regarding a young couple with intellectual disabilities and their fight for the right to marry one another. After attending the Western State School in Canonsburg, Pa., Ralph Randolph and Ruth Kennedy obtained jobs, reintegrated into the community, and applied for marriage.

  Boxfolder
PARC Award Speech Draft c. 1968-1975 17
Online

A handwritten draft of Clapp's speech to honor a local chapter of the United States Junior Chamber, also known as Jaycees, set to receive an award for their efforts to advocate and improve the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  BoxFolder
Legal Papers and Reports 1966-1993 18
  BoxFolder
Right to Education 1971-2009 19
  Boxfolder
"A Time for Change" Speech c. 2009 19
A Time for Change Speech

A copy of a speech delivered by Clapp to explain what kind of work she and PARC did for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the 1970s PARC fought for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend public school and to end the experimentation of vaccines on children within state schools without parental consent.

  Boxfolder
Right to Education Pamphlet c. 1972-1973 19
Online

A scan of a pamphlet distributed by PARC to inform citizens and parents of the new ruling and policies regarding their children's education rights following the settlement of the case PARC v the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The case guaranteed the right to equal public education for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21.

  Boxfolder
Right to Education Fact Sheet c. 1972-1973 19
Online

A scan of a fact sheet distributed by distributed by PARC to inform citizens and parents of the new ruling and policies regarding their children's education rights following the settlement of the case PARC v the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The case guaranteed the right to equal public education for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21.

  Boxfolder
Right to Education Pamphlet (2) October 8, 1971 19
Online

A scan of a pamphlet distributed by PARC to inform citizens and parents of the new ruling and policies regarding their children's education rights following the settlement of the case PARC v the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The case guaranteed the right to equal public education for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21.

  Boxfolder
Ben Schoenfeld Memo Regarding Meeting with the Masters November 4, 1971 19
Online

A copy of a memo sent by Ben Schoenfeld, Executive Director of PARC, recapped a meeting regarding the right to equal public education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and what actions are needed going forward.

  Boxfolder
William Beach Letter April 5, 1972 19
Online

A copy of a letter from Dr. William Beach, Deputy Secretary for Mental Health and Mental Retardation office, to Clapp responding to her inquiry regarding the possibility of demolishing a number of facilities at state institutions. During Clapp's tenure, PARC fought to deinstitutionalize the state and provide better living conditions for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities than what the state institutions offered.

  Boxfolder
Letter to Thomas Gilhool May 5, 1972 19
Online

A copy of a letter from Clapp to Thomas Gilhool, thanking him for his services during the case of PARC v the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Gilhool was the attorney that worked for PARC. The case guaranteed free public education for individuals between the ages of 5 and 21.

  Boxfolder
Peter Polloni Memo May 10, 1972 19
Online

A copy of a memo from Peter Polloni, Executive Director of PARC, is a collection of quotes by Governor Milton Shapp and Pat Clapp regarding the Federal Court's opinion on the right to education. The court's decision guaranteed that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21 received free public education.

  Boxfolder
Governor Shapp Speech Draft May 1972 19
Online

A copy of Governor Shapp's speech draft announcing the launch of the Childhunt campaign. Following the ruling from the Federal Courts that guaranteed public education for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21, Governor Shapp created the campaign to locate all Pennsylvania citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities and enroll them in public schools. Clapp wrote notes on throughout this draft.

  Boxfolder
Right to Education News Release Draft September 30, 1971 19
Online

A copy of a draft for a press conference hosted by Governor Shapp, Pat Clapp, Helene Wohlgemuth, David Kurtzman, and J. Shane Creamer that announced the court decision that guaranteed the right to public education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Pennsylvania. Clapp made notes on this draft.

  Boxfolder
Suzanne Yenchko Memo December 2, 1971 19
Online

A copy of a memo from Suzanne Yenchko to fellow PARC leadership members describing the events of the meeting and the logistics of possible plans to locate and inform people of the court decision that guaranteed public education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  BoxFolder
Polk State School Publicity 1960-1973 110
  Boxfolder
Allegheny County Chapter News Release April 17, 1973 110
Online

A copy of a news release from the Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC) supporting Helene Wohlgemuth, Secretary of the Department of Public Warfare, and her decision to remove Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of the Polk State School and Hospital. Wohlgemuth removed McClelland from his position on April 16, 1973, after a site visit that discovered patients placed in cages and restrained in demeaning manners.

  BoxFolder
Polk State School Publicity 1973 111
  Boxfolder
PARC News Release April 25, 1973 111
Online

A copy of a news release from PARC supporting Helene Wohlgemuth, Secretary of the Department of Public Warfare, and her decision to remove Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of the Polk State School and Hospital. Wohlgemuth removed McClelland from his position on April 16, 1973, after a site visit that discovered patients placed in cages and restrained in demeaning manners.

  BoxFolder
Polk State School Publicity 1973-1999 112
  BoxFolder
Polk State School Correspondence and Meeting Materials 1971-1973 113
  Boxfolder
Correspondence with a Concerned Parent January 1, 1973 - January 24, 1973 113
Online

A copy of letters between Clapp and a parent regarding state institutions and alternative options for people with intellectual developmental disabilities. As President of PARC, Clapp received a plethora of letters from concerned parents regarding their children and their well-being within state institutions.

  Boxfolder
Meeting with Helene Wohlgemuth March 15, 1973 113
Online

A copy of notes and minutes for a meeting between PARC representatives and Public Welfare Secretary, Helene Wohlgemuth. Topics discussed include the status of state institutions like Polk State School and Hospital and Pennhurst, programs for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, community living, financial issues, new personnel, and upcoming events. This meeting took place before the surprise visit to Polk State School and Hospital that resulted in the firing of superintendent James McClelland.

  Boxfolder
James McClelland Termination Papers April 16, 1973 113
Online

A copy of papers related to the dismissal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital. Papers include a letter from Public Welfare Secretary Helene Wohlgemuth to Dr. James McClelland informing him of his removal, a news story following the decision, and a memo from Wohlgemuth to the superintendents of other state institutions informing them that the use of cages/pens and any de-humanizing methods used by employees will no longer be tolerated.

  Boxfolder
Father John Kirk Letter to Eleanor Elkin April 16, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from Father John Kirk to PARC member Eleanor Elkin voicing his displeasure of a memo written by Elkin regarding the conditions at Polk State School and Hospital.

  Boxfolder
Father John Kirk Telegram 1973-04-17 113
Online

A copy of a telegram from Father John Kirk to Clapp voicing his displeasure over the dismissal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital and calling for Clapp to resign. Clapp received a plethora of correspondence regarding her and PARC's role in the matter.

  Boxfolder
McClelland Support Letter to Governor Shapp April 18, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from a group of agencies within Venango County to Governor Milton Shapp voicing their displeasure with the dismissal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital and those who played a role in the decision.

  Boxfolder
Letter to Father John Kirk April 18, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from Clapp to Father John Kirk's responding to his telegram and his criticisms of her and PARC's role in the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital.

  Boxfolder
Telegram to Governor Shapp April 19, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a telegram to Governor Milton Shapp from the Westmoreland County ARC voiced their support for Helene Wohlgemuth and Clapp following the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital.

  Boxfolder
Telegrams to Clapp April 19, 1973 113
Online

A copy of two telegrams sent to Clapp as President of PARC after the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital. The top telegram supports Clapp and PARC while the bottom telegram voices their displeasure with her and PARC. The bottom telegram from the Venango County ARC even discusses the possibility of the organization leaving PARC.

  Boxfolder
Franklin Junior Woman's Club Letter to Governor Shapp April 19, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter to Governor Milton Shapp from the Franklin Junior Woman's Club voicing their displeasure with the dismissal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital and those who played a role in the decision.

  Boxfolder
Venango County Association Letter April 23, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from William Knox, President of the Venango County ARC, to Clapp, President of PARC, informing her that the Venango County chapter wished to end their affiliation with PARC following the removal of Dr. James McClelland as Polk State School and Hospital superintendent.

  Boxfolder
Erie County Chapter Letter April 24, 1973 113
Online

A letter from Mrs. Lubecki, President of the Erie ARC, to Clapp informing her of Erie ARC's position statement on the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital.

  Boxfolder
Cumberland County Association Letter April 27, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from John Williams, President of the Cumberland County ARC, to Clapp expressing the chapter's support for the dismissal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent at Polk State School and Hospital.

  Boxfolder
Region V Meeting 1973-04-28 113
Online

A copy of resolutions passed by Region V of PARC during a meeting. Members voted to support the actions of Clapp and PARC regarding the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital.

  Boxfolder
Correspondence with a Concerned Parent (2) April 29, 1973 - April 30, 1973 113
Online

A copy of correspondence between Peter Polloni and a parent whose child attends Polk State School and Hospital. The parent voices his support for Secretary of Public Welfare Helene Wohlgemuth and her decision to remove Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of the institution and provides a parent's perspective on the matter.

  Boxfolder
Father John Kirk Resignation Correspondence April 26, 1973 - May 1, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from Clapp to Father John Kirk acknowledging his resignation as State Chaplain for PARC and his continued criticism of PARC and her leadership. This letter is accompanied by a copy of Father Kirk's resignation letter. Kirk resigned following the removal of Dr. James McClelland as Polk State School and Hospital superintendent. Kirk asserted that PARC's leadership and their opinion regarding the dismissal resulted in his decision to resign.

  Boxfolder
Letter to Harriet Bleakley and Editorial April 1973 - May 2, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from Peter Polloni to Harriet Bleakley, editor and publisher for The News-Herald to explain the role PARC played in the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital and to respond to points Bleakley raised in her editorial. A copy of Bleakley's editorial, calling for small community-based residential facilities and better care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across Pennsylvania, accompanies this letter.

  Boxfolder
Eleanor Elkin Polk Memo March 27, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a memo from Eleanor Elkin, Chairwoman of the Residential Service Committee of PARC, documenting PARC's visit to Polk State School and Hospital. This visit led to Helene Wohlgemuth to make an unannounced visit the following month and resulted in the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent.

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Memo to PARC Chapter Presidents April 23, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a memo from Clapp to presidents of PARC chapters across the state after the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital. In the memo, Clapp described what she and other PARC representatives observed and why they called for an unannounced visit by Secretary of Public Welfare Helene Wohlgemuth.

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Letter to William Knox May 1, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter from Clapp to William Knox, President of the Venango County ARC, attempting to persuade the organization to reconsider their withdrawal from PARC. The Venango ARC voted to withdraw from PARC following the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital.

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William Knox Letter May 3, 1973 113
Online

A letter from William Knox, President of the Venango County ARC, to Peter Polloni coordinating a meeting with PARC officials to discuss the relationship between the two organizations after Venango County voted to leave PARC.

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Letter to William Knox (2) May 7, 1973 113
Online

A copy of a letter sent to William Knox, President of the Venango County ARC, from Peter Polloni to discuss the relationship between the Venango County ARC and PARC moving forward. Polloni wished to keep the relationship between the two organizations civil moving forward.

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Polk State School Correspondence and Meeting Materials 1973-1974 114
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Dr. James McClelland Appeal 1973 114
Online

A copy of Dr. James McClelland's appeal for reinstation as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital. This appeal failed, but McClelland eventually won in Commonwealth Court and then resigned at the end of the year.

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Letter to Marjorie Felder May 10, 1973 114
Online

A copy of a letter sent to Marjorie Felder, a concerned citizen, regarding her concerns and criticisms of PARC and the removal of Dr. James McClelland as superintendent of Polk State School and Hospital. PARC, specifically Pat Clapp as president, received numerous letters that voiced both support and criticism of PARC and their role in the matter.

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Helene Wohlgemuth Letter June 25, 1973 114
Online

A copy of a letter written by Secretary of Public Welfare, Helene Wohlgemuth, to newly-elected PARC President, Steuart Brown, regarding the ongoing fight to improve conditions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities within state institutions.

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Pennhurst Historical Marker 2009-2015 115
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Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation 2015 116
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Youth PARC/PARC Binder 1963-2015 117
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Hope Corps Pamphlet November 21, 1964 117
Online

A scan of a pamphlet for an event sponsored by the Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC) and KDKA for the Hope Corps at the Pitt Field House. The Hope Corps was a group affiliated with the ACC-PARC its members included young people who wished to volunteer their time to help and spend time with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Project "GO" Forms c. April 1976 117
Online

A copy of forms given to volunteers of the Youth PARC's Project "GO" program. This group of forms includes a frequently asked questions and rules document, registration form, and evaluation form. The program aimed to promote the inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by pairing Youth PARC members with children with special needs.

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ACC-PARC Agendas, Minutes, and Reports 1963-1966 118
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ACC-PARC Board Meeting Minutes June 30, 1964 118
Online

A copy of the meeting minutes to Clapp's first meeting as President of Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC). Before becoming President of PARC, Clapp was a member and President of ACC-PARC.

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ACC-PARC 1965 Annual Report 1966 118
Online

A copy of a pamphlet from the Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC) informing members and interested parties of the work and services that ACC-PARC performed in 1965.

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ACC-PARC Correspondence and Publicity 1956-2013 119
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Letter to Maggie Patterson February 7, 1972 119
Online

A copy of a letter sent to Maggie Patterson, a reporter for the Pittsburgh Press, who wished to write an article about Clapp and her son David. The Clapps refused to send David, who has Downs Syndrome, to an institution (a rarity at the time).

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Bob Nelkin Letter June 15, 1972 119
Online

A scan of a letter from Bob Nelkin, President of the ACC-PARC, to Clapp informing her of ACC-PARC's field trip to McConnell's Mills and the impact it made on those who went.

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Louis Novak Memorial Card August 1972 119
Online

A scan of a memorial card for Louis Novak, a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities who died on August 20, 1972, at the age of 15 as a resident of Ridgeview. Novak drowned in an incident involving other residents of the institution. His death, along with other deaths and injuries to residents at institutions, heightened the call for better treatment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and deinstitutionalization.

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Bob Nelkin Response to Louis Novak's Death August 1972 119
Online

A copy of a statement by Bob Nelkin, Associate Executive Director of ACC-PARC, following the death of Louis Novak, a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities, while a resident of Ridgeview. Novak drowned in an incident involving other residents of the institution. Nelkin used Novak's death, along with other deaths and injuries to residents at institutions, to heighten the call for better treatment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Louis Novak Update c. 1974 119
Online

A copy of an update from Bob Nelkin, Associate Executive Director of ACC-PARC, regarding Louis Novak's death. Novak, a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities, drowned in an incident while a resident at Ridgeview.

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Special Sunday School Class Information c. 1956-1965 119
Online

A copy of an informational page for a Sunday School program for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Clapp, through her efforts with ACC-PARC, aimed to create a Sunday School for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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ACC-PARC Information Sheet c. 1964-1966 119
Online

A copy of a fact sheet mailed out by the Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC) to inform citizens of the campaign to create an Office of Mental Retardation to distinguish intellectual and developmental disabilities from mental health issues.

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"Cry Sorrow, Cry Hope" Flyer 1971 119
Online

A scan of a flyer for a dramatic telling produced by WQED-TV, Pittsburgh of a family learning that their son has intellectual and developmental disabilities. Pat Clapp, as a mother of a child who has special needs and President of ACC-PARC, spoke about the program and its positive message.

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Parent Study Group Information Sheet c. 1956-1965 119
Online

A copy of an information sheet created by ACC-PARC to assist parents who learned that their child has intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Pittsburgh Press Article March 6, 1972 119
Online

A copy of a Pittsburgh Press article regarding Clapp, her son David, and her work for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Clapp and her husband Harry refused to send David, who has Downs Syndrome, to an institution, opting to raise him at home with the same opportunities that their previous two children had.

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Hope Corps and ACC-PARC Youth Pamphlets 1964 120
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Hope Corps Pamphlet (2) c. 1965-1973 120
Online

A copy of an informational pamphlet regarding the Hope Corps with an application form. The Hope Corps was a group affiliated with the Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC), its members included young people who wished to volunteer their time to help and spend time with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Youth PARC and Youth NARC Correspondence and Newsletter 1975-1976 121

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ACC-PARC/NARC/PFP Pamphlets c. 1964-1994 122
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PARC Fact Sheet Pamphlet c. 1964-1975 122
Online

A copy of a fact sheet created by PARC to inform citizens of the difference between intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health issues. This sheet also includes information regarding the beliefs and accomplishments of PARC.

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ACC-PARC Informational Pamphlet May 1964 122
Online

A scan of a pamphlet mailed out by ACC-PARC to inform members and interested citizens of the services provided, events attended by members, and the organization's accomplishments between May 1963 and May 1964.

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PARC Informational Pamphlet c. 1972-1975 122
Online

A scan of a pamphlet mailed out by PARC to inform interested citizens of PARC's achievements, goals, and events hosted and supported by the association.

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ACC-PARC Education Pamphlet 1965 122
Online

A scan of a pamphlet mailed out by ACC-PARC to inform members and interested citizens of the educational services the chapter currently provided and a list of proposed locations for services for the Fall of 1965.

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PARC Action for Change Pamphlet May 1969 122
Online

A scan of a pamphlet handed out by PARC at their 19th annual convention. The pamphlet highlights the differences between the old method of handling individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and a proposed new method, a brief history of legislation in Pennsylvania, and PARC's plans for the future.

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Horizon Home Pamphlet c. 1970-1971 122
Online

A scan of a pamphlet for the Horizon Home. The Horizon Home was a non-profit organization that provided an alternative to state schools and hospitals for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Clapp served as the vice-chairwoman of the organization until her election to President of PARC in 1971.

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Interfaith Conference Pamphlet September 17, 1967 122
Online

A scan of a pamphlet for a conference concerning religious education for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. While a member of ACC-PARC, Clapp created programs and events that aimed to provide spiritual education to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This event, hosted by the Mt. Lebanon Methodist Church, was sponsored by ACC-PARC, Pittsburgh Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Council of Churches of the Pittsburgh Area, and Rodef Shalom for the Jewish Community.

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Pat Clapp NARC/Arc Resume 1968-1999 123

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NARC/Arc Correspondence, Newsletters, and Committee Minutes 1968-1999 124
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Peter Polloni Letter (2) February 24, 1978 124
Online

A scan of a letter sent to Clapp by Peter Polloni. In 1978 Clapp and her family moved to Virginia due to her husband getting a new job. Polloni worked with Clapp at PARC and wrote to Clapp wishing her luck in her future endeavors.

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NARC/PARC Binder 1963-2015 125

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Junior Section of the General Federation of Women's Clubs/NARC Binder 1964-2010 126
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Wilkinsburg Area Community Plan c. 1964 126
Online

A copy of a plan developed by the Junior Section of the General Federation of Women's Club for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Wilkinsburg community. As a member of the organization, Clapp supported this plan. The plan outlines the need, the goals, and the logistics of the program.

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Correspondence, Awards, and Publicity Binder 1963-2008 127
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Letter to Pat Clapp February 23, 1978 127
Online

A scan of a letter from a fellow PARC member, possibly Eleanor Elkin, to Clapp thanking her for her contributions and wishing her luck in her future endeavors. In 1978 Clapp left PARC due to her move to Virginia after her husband got a new job.

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Clapp at a Conference c. 1965-1978 127
Online

An image of Clapp (second row, second from the left) posing with an assembly of unidentified people during an unidentified conference.

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Pat Clapp Testimonial Luncheon Flyer February 25, 1978 127
Online

A scan of a flyer for a luncheon honoring Clapp and her achievements at PARC. In 1978 Clapp left PARC and moved to Virginia due to her husband getting a new job, PARC members organized a luncheon before her departure.

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Pittsburgh Press Article (2) April 24, 1966 127
Online

A copy of a Pittsburgh Press article about Clapp and her work for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Pittsburgh area. The article discusses Clapp's work organizing Sunday School classes for children with special needs, her role as a mother of a child with special needs, and her role as President of the Allegheny County Chapter of PARC (ACC-PARC).

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International Laws and Scientific Studies 2006-2014 128

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Western PA Disability History and Action Consortium and From Wrongs to Rights c. 2009-2013 129

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No. VA ARC/The Arc of Northern Virginia Correspondence and Organization Records 1980 130

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The Arc of North Carolina Correspondence, Conference Materials, Publicity, and Awards 1995-1999 131

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"Against Their Will" Book Correspondence, Notes, and Publicity 2011-2013 132

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Photographs 1964-2010 133
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Rainbow Gardens Field Trip c. 1964-1968 133
Online

An image of a group of children waiting to board a ride at Rainbow Gardens in White Oak. During Clapp's tenure as President of ACC-PARC, she arranged programs and events like this trip for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Rainbow Gardens Carousel c. 1964-1968 133
Online

An image of a group of children riding the carousel at Rainbow Gardens in White Oak. During Clapp's tenure as President of ACC-PARC, she arranged programs and events like this trip for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Easter Bunny Visit c. 1964-1975 133
Online

An image of the Easter Bunny giving an unidentified boy an Easter basket at an event hosted by ACC-PARC.

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Clapp Accepting a Check July 6, 1964 133
Online

An image of Clapp (right) accepting a check from the Development and Work Center for the Adult Trainables, Inc. to develop a workshop to teach individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities skills they need to live independently.

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Clapp at Podium April 26, 1971 133
Online

An image of Clapp standing next to an unidentified man at the podium for an unidentified event.

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Pat Clapp and Dale Metz c. 2000-2015 133
Online

An image of Clapp and Dale Metz, a loaned executive for United Way, at an unidentified event.

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News Clippings and Personal Notes 1952-1994 134

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PARC Correspondence - From Box 1, Folder 5 - Restricted 1972-2013 21

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Polk Correspondence - From Box 1, Folder 13 - Restricted 1973 22

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