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(9.1) What does the Lanterman Act say about things like community participation, work, day activities, and leisure time?

(9.1) What does the Lanterman Act say about things like community participation, work, day activities, and leisure time?

The Lanterman Act:

  • supports the integration of people with developmental disabilities,
  • regardless of age or degree of disability,
  • into the mainstream life of their community,
  • to prevent their dislocation from those communities,
  • and to enable them to live the most independent, productive, and normal lives as possible.[1]Sections 4501 and 4502. 

Services must protect the personal liberty of people with developmental disabilities. They must be provided with the least restrictive conditions necessary.[2]Section 4502(b)(1). Least restrictive means getting services and supports close to your home community, in natural settings where people without disabilities get services.[3]Section 4502(b)(2). 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives you similar rights, sometimes called the “integration mandate.” Public entities must provide services, programs, and activities in the “most integrated setting” to meet the needs of people with disabilities.[4]Title 28, Code Fed. Regs. section 35.130(d). The most integrated setting allows a person with a disability to interact as much as possible with people without disabilities.[5]Title 28, Code Fed. Regs. Part 35, Appendix B. Services that are segregated and isolated, with no to be, violate the Lanterman Act and the ADA. 

The law says regional centers should make chances for people with developmental disabilities to integrate into their communities.[6]Section 4688. Being integrated into your community means you live, work, and play in the same places and in the same ways as people without disabilities. It means you shop at local stores, join local clubs or groups, volunteer, and go to local doctors and dentists. It means you are physically in the community, have relationships with friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and belong to community organizations. 

You may need extra help to fully participate in your community, live in a house or apartment, have a job and join groups, make choices about your life, and build relationships with people who are not paid to help or support you. This is where services from the regional center can help.

1 Sections 4501 and 4502.
2 Section 4502(b)(1).
3 Section 4502(b)(2).
4 Title 28, Code Fed. Regs. section 35.130(d).
5 Title 28, Code Fed. Regs. Part 35, Appendix B.
6 Section 4688.