Wondering about the upcoming "Self Determination Program" (SDP) for clients ("consumers") of California's Regional Centers? Here's what I've learned so far:
- Background: The Lanterman Act of 1977 made life much better for adults with intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), and for their families planning attempting to plan school programs that would be most appropriate for helping their children reach future potential in adulthood.
- Currently: Despite the creation of this new system, most developmentally disabled adults grow up to be employed in a limited range of jobs, and remain excluded from trade schools, colleges and other preparation for those with unusual employment dreams. Also, many children and adults remain excluded from other non-employment-related social, religious and other community experiences, because inter-agency collaboration to provide staffing and accommodations is too limited due to budgetary constraints. It is wrong to exclude people based solely on disability, gender, race, nation of origin, language, or for any other reason.
- Therefore: the Self Determination Program (SDP) is being designed as a legal means to offer "funding options" to help those with developmental disabilities who have potential to attend schools currently denied to them; to engage in exercise programs, social programs, and other activities currently denied to them; to do jobs currently denied to them. (Increased "Funding options" does not mean that the clients receive more money. "Funding options" means using the existing money in the Regional Center budget in ways that are not allowed under the current laws).
- The SDP will start up in only three years!!! This new program will allow the Regional Centers to offer clients and their teams the legals means to think "outside the box" on how to use their budget so their dreams can come true. The Regional Centers are overseen by DDS. DDS calls this program the "Self Determination Program" (SDP).
- For more information, Regional Center consumers can contact their service coordinator. Step 1 is to attend an official informational meeting in their area. Best wishes!