Sunday, June 17, 2018

What is the "Self Determination Program" (SDP)?
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!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Voting testers needed!

This just in from SCDD:

Apologies for the short notice...Please call Todd (see contact below) asap if you are interested in participating.

The California Secretary of State, Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment (OVSTA) is seeking approximately twelve (12) volunteers to test the accessible components of Hart’s Verity 3.0 Voting System.  Testers will be given test ballots to mark using Hart’s Verity 3.0 accessible ballot marking devices (Verity Touch Writer with Access and Voting Booth and Verity Reader with Access and Booth), for use in polling places and/or vote centers.  Testers will be asked to take a pre and post test survey. Testers may also be video recorded, upon written consent.

The testing will be conducted at the California Secretary of State’s Building located at:

Capital Plaza Ballroom
1025 9th Street #201
Sacramento, CA 94814

There are two (2) testing dates and four (4) available time slots to choose from:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

8:30 a.m.

10:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m.

Friday, June 15, 2018

8:30 a.m.

10:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding testing or would like to sign up, please contact us at (916) 695-1680 or  Please provide your name, email address and telephone number.

Thank you.

Todd Ross
Election Technology Analyst
Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment
1500 11th Street, 6th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 695-1658

Sent by: SCDD, Sacramento Office serving Sacramento, Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Yolo, El Dorado, and Alpine Counties

The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is established by state and federal law as an independent state agency to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families receive the services and supports they need.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A warning for my middle class and "wealthy" friends about the SLS-Section 8 "Vicious Cycle"

Okay, here we go with the next big challenge--  post-college housing!!  Once again, my own childhood and adolescence in the environment of "the 1% world", followed by my early adult years spent in the "middle class" has worked against me in my role as David's primary resource net-worker. I assumed that my son's college education would be enough to assure him a prosperous, secure future. As David has explained in his posts at  Aide Dependent Autistic Professional   , having a college degree does not guarantee the ability to earn a surviving wage. (See also "Autism Job Club" by Michael Bernick and Richard Holden for an explanation of this phenomenon). Therefore, even college-educated adults with autism often need SSI to pay rent and food.

So, here's the warning to my middle class and wealthy friends-- To help your child with autism prepare for the future, you need to study SSI and Section 8 before he, she or she/he reaches adulthood. Then, no matter how wealthy you are, on your child's 18th birthday, get him onto the Section 8 wait-list in your own county, and in nearby counties. I wish I'd learned about the Section 8/SLS "vicious cycle" way back when David first started college so that I could have gotten him onto the waiting lists back then. Oooooooooooooooops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First, some vocabulary--
  • SLS (Supported Living Services)-- provides Regional Center-funded staff to allow adults with intellectual disabilities and with developmental disabilities (such as autism) to live in apartments or houses rather than institutional settings such as CCF's and HCF's.
  •  Section 8--
For those lucky enough to get a Section 8 Voucher, this subsidy supplements the autistic adult's SSI well enough so that these two resources allow adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities to be able to afford a one-bedroom, "affordable housing" apartment.

Second, a big warning for parents who think they can avoid these concerns by forcing their son or daughter into a CCF, HCF or any other housing against their will--

God bless America and California, because each adult privileged to hold U.S. citizenship and California residence has the right to strive to afford the living situation that best serves the objectives of one's community integrated life. If the autistic adult is not mute, and can speak for himself,  (AND is a client of the Regional Center), then IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE PARENT WANTS AS THE HOUSING OPTION.

Gone are the days of "placing" adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into housing that parents and case workers decide is best. The IPP is now designed according to the "Person Centered Plan", and the IPP reflects THE DECISION OF THE ADULT WITH AUTISM whether to live in a CCF, HCF, shared house or apartment, or in one's own apartment with staff to help. (Reminder:  There are no more Developmental Centers (DC's).

Finally, a statement of David's problem (and possibly your own adult child's future problem?)--

David's IPP and ISP state that he chooses to live in Davis, California because it is close to his Vocational Rehabilitation program called "Community and Employment Services" (a division of "Progressive Employment Concepts"). He would also like to live in his own apartment with the help of Supported Living Services staff. However, it will be a long, long time (if ever) before David can earn enough to pay market prices for rent in Davis. (See "Autism Job Club" by Michael Bernick and Richard Holden to understand why college educated adults with autism end up on SSI).

Because he can't handle a long workday, SSI pays David's rent and food, but because I failed to get David onto Section 8 wait-lists early enough, he cannot afford his own home.

No problem? Just share an apartment?
That's what I thought!

Not "no problem", though. Here is where the "Vicious Cycle" really, really kicks in. And, unfortunately, my hour per day dedicated to online typing is up, and I must get back to my overly full to-do list....    so, stay tuned for my explanation of the "Section 8- SLS Vicious Cycle"...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

News from David's blog: Yolo County resources

News from David's blog: Yolo County and California Resources:                                                           My autistic son, David, posted a list of the specific resources he's accessing (or soon to access) in his home county of Yolo, as well as those available statewide in California for people with autism or another type of intellectual or developmental disability. If you know someone in our county or state with a developmental disability, please share this information with them. If you are the family member, teacher, coworker, employer, fellow worshiper, or neighbor of an autistic person, or who has another type of intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD), please follow these links and study some of the information there. To be included in the community safely and healthfully, people with I/DD need others to understand their needs. Thanks!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Self Determination Program! Watch this great video for information!

From the awesome consumers of California's Central Valley Regional Center is this great information video for anyone interested in the "Self Determination Program":

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act-- Here is the text to read for yourselves...

Just click here, and you can read it. It doesn't take many paragraphs to see that, although there are a few benefits to the middle class, this law primarily reduces the tax "burden"*** to the wealthy, and transfers that burden to the poor--   especially the disabled poor, who will die without health insurance. I still have an old dusty copy of of the Disney classic "Peter Pan". Perhaps I'll watch it on Thanksgiving, and name this new law: "the Bad Prince John law".

Please click this link to see if you agree or disagree:

God bless America.
***I think that this law reminds our nation's poor elderly, and younger people with disabilities, that those wealthy who are without disabilities see them as a "burden", rather than as our "fellow Americans".

Sunday, October 22, 2017

College and Career Autism Dream

Hi All,

Once again, it's nearly bedtime, and I never got time for a proper blog today. I have big plans to write about the why's, wherefore's and origins of our new support group, "College and Career Autism Dream" (CCAD).

In the meantime, please join our group by "friending" me at Facebook:

Also, please "like" our Facebook page: