It also guarantees other rights, including the right to:
- make choices in your own life,Section 4502.1.
- have information you can understand to help you make decisions,Section 4502.1.
- receive services and supports in the least restrictive way to help you make the most of your potential.Section 4502(b)(1).
In the Act, the Legislature decided services people with developmental disabilities need are special and unique. It says they cannot be provided well by state government agencies, so private, nonprofit community agencies should provide these services.Section 4620(b). The Act created a system of 21 private, nonprofit regional centers throughout California. Each regional center is the local agency that makes sure people with developmental disabilities living in that regional center’s area of responsibility get the services and supports they need. The Act also requires the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to monitor the regional centers to make sure they are carrying out the Act in each area of California.Section 4620 and 4434(a) to (c).
The Act requires the regional center to develop an Individual Program Plan (IPP) based on your needs.Section 4646. The IPP lists the services and supports you and the regional center agree you need and choose. The regional center pays for some IPP services. The regional center will assign you a service coordinator. This person will help you get the services listed on your IPP. The law gives you ways to enforce your rights, including your right to the services and supports you need and choose. When you ask the regional center to pay for something, such as more respite hours, you are actually asking the regional center to change your IPP to include the new hours. If the regional center denies your request and you think the regional center is wrong, you can appeal that decision. The appeal process starts when you ask for a fair hearing.Section 4710 and following.
Another way to enforce your rights is through the complaint process. This is sometimes called a Section 4731 Complaint.A “Section 4731 Complaint” is named after the section in the Lanterman Act where information regarding the complaint process is located. You can file a complaint if you think the regional center or an agency paid by the regional center violated your rights. For example, if you ask for an IPP meeting and the regional center refuses to schedule one, you can file a complaint.
You can use independent advocacy services for advice or help. These agencies can help you understand and enforce your rights:
- Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy (OCRA):
- Northern California 1-800-390-7032 (TTY 877-669-6023)
- Southern California 1-866-833-6712 (TTY 877-669-6023)
- Disability Rights California:
|↑6||Section 4620 and 4434(a) to (c).|
|↑8||Section 4710 and following.|
|↑9||A “Section 4731 Complaint” is named after the section in the Lanterman Act where information regarding the complaint process is located.|