Print out the entire Supplements from here.Please Note:
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Printed on: 12/05/2023
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This document is only current up to the day it was printed.
Printed on: 12/05/2023
Please always refer to the online version for the most current up-to-date information.
You can find the online version at:
Supplement A: Common Terms and Abbreviations
The Developmental Disabilities system (called DD for short) uses many special terms and abbreviations. This supplement will help you, your family, and your advocates understand the lingo.
Adaptive skills help you adjust well to environments and situations. Examples are communication, self-care, home living, self-direction, work, health, social, and safety skills.
ADL (Activities of Daily Living)
ADL are routine daily activities, such as getting dressed, preparing meals, household chores, working at a job, going to school, and using transportation.
Advocacy is when you or someone else actively represents and supports your needs and interests so you can get the services and supports you need.
Aid Paid Pending
This is your right to keep getting services while you wait for an administrative fair hearing decision. To keep getting services, you must file for a hearing within 10 days of the regional center’s notice that said your services would end or be cut.
AM (Ambulatory) and Non-AM (Non-Ambulatory) Facilities
These terms describe the consumers a facility can serve. You are ambulatory if you can walk. According to fire regulations, if you can walk but have cognitive deficits, and cannot leave the facility without help in an emergency, you may be considered non-ambulatory.
An appeal is a legal process of challenging an official decision. In this manual, an appeal is the legal process of challenging a regional center or developmental center decision to deny or reduce your services. An appeal includes the informal meeting (optional), mediation (optional), and the state fair hearing.
For more information on appeals, see Chapter 10.
See State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). This is what the Area Boards are now called.
ARCA (Association of Regional Center Agencies)
ARCA is an association of the 21 regional centers. ARCA negotiates contracts with DDS for the regional centers. ARCA also takes policy and legislative positions on behalf of all the regional centers.
ARM (Alternative Residential Model)
ARM is a rate system for Community Care Facilities (CCFs) that serve people with developmental disabilities.
Assessment is a way to identify your unique strengths and needs, and the services to meet those needs.
It can include observations, reviewing your records, and formal testing. Regional center must assess you to decide if you are eligible for regional center services within 120 days of your initial intake. They must do it within 60 days if waiting longer would risk your health and safety.
Items or equipment that help you lead a more normal and productive life. They can range from simple to complex.
Your Authorized Representative can speak for you so your interests and needs can be met. This person can be your parent or guardian (if you are a minor), conservator (if you are an adult), someone you chose, or someone the State Council on Developmental Disabilities appoints for you.
Autism is a term in the Lanterman Act that most professionals now call Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). People with autism have problems with social interaction and communication in different settings. They also have repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities.
The severity of autism varies from one person to another, and diagnosing autism can be difficult for many reasons. This is partly because autism and other disabilities share some common features, such as impaired social interaction and social behaviors.
For more information on autism, see Chapter 2.
Behavior Modification Services
These services and techniques help you change or adapt your behavior to protect your safety, the safety of others, and to improve your skills.
Case Management or Service Coordination
These both mean planning, finding, and getting the services you need. The regional center must actively help you do this. Usually your service coordinator is a regional center employee. Your service coordinator may also be called a case manager, social worker, or Client Program Coordinator (CPC).
A catchment area is the geographic area that a regional center serves under its contract with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
CCF (Community Care Facility)
People with developmental disabilities may live or go to a CCF. A CCF can be residential (group home) or non-residential (day program). The Community Care Licensing Division of the Department of Social Services licenses CCFs. DDS usually sets the CCF rates for consumers, but sometimes the regional center negotiates rates.
For more information on CCFs, see Chapter 7.
CDER (Client Development Evaluation Report)
CDER is a tool regional centers use. CDER records information about your disability, level of functioning, and deficits (including behavior issues). Your CDER should be updated at your IPP meeting. The information collected using this tool may be combined (without listing consumer names) to summarize consumer characteristics under a particular service model or across the state.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects your control over your movements. It is caused by developmental problems or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement and posture. If you have cerebral palsy, you may have trouble with fine motor tasks (such as writing or using scissors), balance or walking, and involuntary movements. Symptoms differ from person to person and may change.
Cerebral palsy most often starts at birth or within the first few years of life. The early signs usually appear before age 3. Babies with cerebral palsy are often slow to reach developmental milestones, such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, smile, or walk.
For more information on cerebral palsy, see Chapter 2.
Circle of Support
This is an informal group of people who meet and talk with you regularly. Your circle of support can help you start and keep natural supports. They can help you with your IPP goals and objectives. People in your circle of support do not get paid.
CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services)
CMS is the federal agency that oversees Medicaid funding to the states. Medicaid pays the state back for many services and supports for people with developmental disabilities through Medi-Cal and Home- and Community-Based Services Waivers. For information on the DD Waiver, see Chapter 11.
Cognitive skills are defined in regulations as your ability to solve problems, adapt to new situations, think abstractly, and learn (or “profit”) from experience. See 17 CCR § 54002.
Inclusion means you are part of your community in at least these 4 areas:
- You live in a typical community setting, like a house or apartment (instead of an isolated setting, like an institution or a nursing home);
- You participate in local culture and lifestyle. Examples: being a farmhand in a rural community, owning your condominium or home, or belonging to a church or club;
- You have relationships with others who are not paid to help you, like friends, coworkers, neighbors, or a spouse; and
- You have a right to make choices about your own life.
Community integration means you live, work, and play in the same places and ways as people without disabilities. It means you are physically present in natural communities. And you have friends, neighbors, and coworkers, or belong to community associations and boards. Community integration is an important part of community inclusion, but sometimes you may need extra help to fully participate in your community.
Community participation means you participate in community life. For example, you may support local businesses, join local clubs or associations, volunteer for community projects or activities, or use community doctors and dentists for your health care.
CIE (Competitive Integrated Employment)
CIE means working for pay (at least minimum wage) in the community along with people without disabilities. Work can be full-time or part-time, with the same level of benefits as other employees where you work. Benefits could be paid vacation and sick time, health insurance, and retirement saving plans. You should also have chances to advance to other positions, just like other employees. Having your own business counts as working for pay.
If you are 18 or older and need help with decisions about daily living, the court can appoint a person or agency, called a conservator, to help you. A conservator of the person makes sure you have food, clothes, and housing. A conservator of the estate manages your money and other property. Sometimes the conservator of the person and the conservator of the estate are the same person.
If you are a regional center client (or could qualify as one) and you need some help (but not a lot), you may have a limited conservatorship. A limited conservatorship lets you be more self-reliant and independent. It is called limited because you could still take care of yourself and manage your money and property if the court decides you can. The court can give a conservator up to 7 powers. Powers are the ability to make decisions for you in those 7 areas.
This is the word that the Lanterman Act uses for people who get regional center services.
CPC (Client Program Coordinator)
CPC is another name for a regional center service coordinator. A CPC may also be called a case manager or social worker.
CPP (Community Placement Plan)
The CPP helps you move out of or avoid being in a restrictive setting like a developmental center. Each regional center develops a CPP every year. The CPP is approved by DDS and is part of the annual budget.
CRA (Clients’ Rights Advocate)
A CRA makes sure your civil, legal, and service rights are protected if you get services from a regional center or live in Porterville Developmental Center or Canyon Springs. Your CRA provides a variety of advocacy services.
CRAs do not work for the regional center, Porterville Developmental Center, or Canyon Springs. The regional center CRAs and Assistant CRAs work for Disability Rights California’s Office of Clients Rights Advocacy (OCRA). The Porterville and Canyon Springs CRAs work for the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. See Chapter 5 about Advocacy.
Crisis Intervention Services
These services try to solve problems to help you stay in your living situation. Services include mental health and behavior modification, short-term residential services, or extra staff.
DC (Developmental Center)
A DC is a state institution for people with developmental disabilities. There used to be many DCs. Now there is only one – Porterville Developmental Center. There is also one “community facility” that is like a DC - Canyon Springs.
DD (Developmental Disability)
Under California law, a developmental disability (DD) is cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability, and other conditions closely related to intellectual disability or that require similar treatment. It does not include disabling conditions solely physical in nature. The condition must start before age 18, be likely to continue indefinitely, and be a “substantial disability.” The regional centers have to use this definition.
The federal definition of a DD is broader and does not require a specific diagnosis. The regional centers do not use this definition. Under federal law a DD must:
- start before age 22,
- be severe, chronic, and likely to continue indefinitely, and
- cause serious limitations in at least three areas of major life activity:
- Communication (receptive and expressive language),
- Independent living, and
- Economic self-sufficiency.
Under the federal definition, children age 0–9 are also considered to have a DD if they have a condition that will probably cause a DD if they do not get services.
DDS (Department of Developmental Services)
DDS is the state department responsible for implementing and administering the system of services under the Lanterman Act. DDS must make sure your living situation, services, and supports are in the least restrictive, most integrated setting.
DDS is in charge of California’s developmental disabilities services program, including California’s state-operated facilities and community-based services for Californians with developmental disabilities. DDS contracts with the regional centers to coordinate and make sure you get your services and supports.
DHCS (Department of Health Care Services)
DHCS is the state agency responsible for California’s Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal. DHCS works with DDS on the Developmental Disabilities Home- and Community-Based Services Developmental Disability Waiver and other waivers.
DHCS licenses all Intermediate Care facilities: ICF-DDs, ICF-DD/Hs, ICF-DD/Ns and ICF-DD/CNs. DHCS also licenses and monitors nursing facilities.
DHCS also has the Mental Health Services Division (MHSD). MHSD administers several mental health programs for Children and Youth, Adults and Older Adults. The Mental Health Licensing (MHL) Section of DHCS licenses and oversees mental health programs statewide.
Disability Rights California
Disability Rights California is California’s protection and advocacy system. It is a nonprofit agency that works with people with disabilities. Disability Rights California advocates, educates, investigates, and litigates to advance the rights, dignity, equal opportunities, and choices for all people with disabilities. Disability Rights California changed its name from Protection & Advocacy, Inc. in 2008.
Disability Rights California has been protecting the rights of Californians with disabilities since 1978. Disability Rights California operates under federal and state law to protect the rights of people with disabilities. The Office of Clients’ Advocacy (OCRA) is Disability Rights California’s office that hires and places advocates to serve regional center consumers around the state.
DOF (Department of Finance)
DOF is the state department in charge of all state agency budgets. DOF can approve, revise, or change any State agency budget before giving the agency their money. DOF also approves budget increases and is responsible for any regulation with a financial impact.
DOR (Department of Rehabilitation)
DOR is the state department responsible for vocational rehabilitation services. These services help you get and keep competitive employment. DOR also provides short-term supported work services and other supports.
DSM-5 (Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition)
This manual has descriptions and symptoms of “mental disorders,” including intellectual disability, autism, and psychiatric conditions.
DSS (Department of Social Services)
DSS is the state department responsible for California’s Child Welfare and Foster Care system, Welfare-to-Work programs, Disabled and Adult programs, licensed community care facilities, and other programs. The DSS Community Care Licensing (CCL) Division licenses and monitors residential and day programs that serve people with DD.
You have a dual diagnosis if you have a developmental disability and psychiatric disability.
Emergency and Crisis Services
Emergency and crisis services protect you from immediate danger to your physical or mental health or safety, to help you stay in your living situation. Your regional center provides or purchases these services. They must first provide crisis services without disrupting your living arrangement. If that doesn’t work, they must try emergency housing in your home community. If that doesn’t work, the regional center must help you get back to where you want to live, with all needed supports, as soon as possible. See WIC sec. 4648(a)(10).
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that makes people susceptible to seizures. A seizure is a change in sensation, awareness, or behavior brought about by a brief electrical disturbance in the brain. Seizures vary in intensity. Some cause moments of sensory disruption. Others cause short periods of unconsciousness, staring spells, and convulsions. For more information see Chapter 2.
Facilitation includes modified or adapted materials, special instructions, equipment, or personal assistance that lets you understand and help make decisions about your life.
This is an administrative hearing before a judge. At a fair hearing, you and the regional center each present evidence and tell your side of the disagreement. The judge will make a decision based on the Lanterman Act.
Family Support Services
Family Support Services are services to help a family live together and care for their child or children with DD.
FFA (Foster Family Agency)
FFA home placement is similar to traditional foster care. The difference is the FFA certifies, trains and supports a foster family. FFA helps a foster family take care of a child with special needs because of a DD. FFAs is licensed by DSS.
FHA (Family Home Agency)
A FHA is a private nonprofit agency and regional center vendor that:
- Recruits, approves, trains, and monitors family home providers;
- Provides services and supports to family home providers; and
- Helps you move into or out of a family home.
The fifth category is really two categories. It refers to a condition that (1) is closely related to intellectual disability or (2) needs similar treatment. To be eligible for regional center services under the fifth category, you must prove that either:
- You have a condition “closely related” to intellectual disability, or
- You require treatment “similar to” treatment for intellectual disability.
Forensic is when a person has had some involvement with the criminal justice system.
Foster Family Home
In the regional center system, a foster family home is a family that gets special training and ongoing help to provide a home and support for a child.
A generic service is a service from an agency that serves the general public and gets public funds. A regional center must try to get the services you need from a generic agency before purchasing them. But, your regional center can purchase services while helping you get generic services.
A group home usually means any small group living facility for people of any age with DD. Legally, a “group home” is a community care licensed home with up to 6 adults. Other small group living arrangements have other legal names.
HCBS (Home- and Community-Based Services) Waiver
The HCBS waiver is federal Medicaid funding to help states pay for community- based services, like supported living and supported employment. California has a specific waiver for people with developmental disabilities (the DD Waiver) and some other waivers that people with DD may be eligible for. In California, if you are eligible, you have the right to be told about HCBS Waivers and the services covered.
Some consumers are on the waiver and some are not. It should not affect your services. If you are on the waiver, you must have an IPP meeting every year. DHCS may review and change a fair hearing decision that affects your waiver services.
ICFs (Intermediate Care Facilities)
These are residential health facilities for people with DDs. There are different kinds and different sized facilities, including: ICF-DD, ICF-DD-H, ICF-DD/Ns and ICF-DD/CN. They are all licensed and monitored by DHCS.
The term ICF-MR (Intermediate Care Facility-Mentally Retarded) is used by federal agencies to refer to all ICFs.
See Chapter 7 for more details.
IDT (Interdisciplinary Team)
Your IDT is the group of people who meet to prepare your IPP. The term is used mostly in restrictive settings where many professionals attend meetings. In the law, the term “IDT” has been replaced by the term “planning team.” See WIC sec. 4512(j). Some regional centers use IDTs for special meetings with you when different types of professionals come together.
IEP (Individual Education Plan)
An IEP is a written plan for your education. Your IEP is developed at an IEP meeting by your planning team. Your team must include: you, your parent(s), a special education teacher, a regular education teacher (if appropriate), and a district representative or school administrator.
Learn more about IEPs from Disability Rights California’s Special Education Rights and Responsibilities at: https://serr.disabilityrightsca.org/
IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan)
An IFSP is a written plan about early intervention services for eligible babies or toddlers and their families.
Learn more about IFSPs from Chapter 12 of Disability Rights California’s Special Education Rights and Responsibilities at: https://serr.disabilityrightsca.org/
IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services)
IHSS is a community-based program that pays providers to support and care for people with disabilities so they can live independently in their communities.
For more on IHSS, see Disability Rights California’s IHSS publications: https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/resources/in-home-supportive-services-ihss
ILS (Independent Living Services)
ILS provides two types of services. ILS training helps you learn the skills you need to live independently, such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, and money management. You can also get ongoing ILS services if you have basic self-help skills but need ongoing help to keep your living arrangement.
See Community Integration above.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, says a person with an intellectual disability has both:
- Problems with intellectual functioning (reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, and learning from experience). Intellectual functioning is often measured by IQ tests which give scores. Intellectual disability is usually no higher than the range of 65 to 75 points.
- Problems with adaptive functioning that cause a failure to meet developmental and socio-cultural standards for personal independence and social responsibility. Without support, problems will limit functioning in one or more activities of daily life (communication, social participation, and independent living, in many settings, such as home, work, school, and community).
These problems with functioning must exist during the developmental period of life, which means during childhood or teenage years. Under the Lanterman Act, a person must have these problems before age 18. For more information on Intellectual Disability, see Chapter 2.
IPC (Individual Program Coordinator)
An IPC is the person who works at the Developmental Center and coordinates your IPP.
IPP (Individual Program Plan)
An IPP is a written plan developed by your planning team at a meeting. Your IPP reflects the agreed-upon goals and objectives and identifies the services and supports you want and need to achieve your goals. The regional center must make sure you receive the services listed in your IPP.
For more information on IPPs, see Chapter 4.
Lanterman Act (Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act)
The Lanterman Act is the name of the law in California that gives people with developmental disabilities the right to get necessary services and supports in the least restrictive, most integrated setting. This law established the regional center system and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Lanterman Act is found at Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code sections 4500 and following.
Learning disabilities are a group of disabilities that make it hard to learn new academic skills. A person with a learning disability may not perform some skills as well as would be expected give his or her intelligence. For example, dyslexia makes reading difficult, which in turn makes it hard to learn from reading.
A legal guardian is an adult who is given the legal authority by a court to take care of a child under 18 and/or the child’s property.
A guardian of the person is legally responsible for the child’s physical, medical, and educational needs.
A guardian of the estate is legally responsible for the child’s property.
LRE (Least Restrictive Environment)
LRE is a federal and state legal requirement that says you have the right to get services in the most integrated and inclusive setting, no matter the level of your disability. This is so you can have the most independent, productive, and normal life possible.
If you and another person (or organization) do not agree about your services and supports, you can meet with them and a mediator to try and find a solution. This meeting is called mediation. The mediator is the person who helps you and the other side agree. Mediation is optional in the regional center appeal process, but can be useful and faster than going to a hearing.
Medi-Cal provides health care services for people who are low-income or who have disabilities. The federal government and the state pay for Medi-Cal.
Medicare is a health insurance program for people who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Retirement payments and their dependents.
Mobility training helps you use the most independent transportation possible.
Natural supports are family and community connections and relationships that help you enhance or keep your quality and security of life.
OAH (Office of Administrative Hearings)
OAH performs the hearing when you have a disagreement with the regional center and you appeal. OAH has Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who hear the cases and make decisions based on the Lanterman Act.
OCRA (Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy)
OCRA is the DRC office that hires Clients’ Rights Advocates (CRA for short) for the consumers of all 21 regional centers.
People First is a self-advocacy organization of people with developmental disabilities. In California, there is a statewide People First organization and local chapters most areas.
Your IPP process must be person-centered, which means it must focus on you and your choices, preferences, and needs. Person-centered planning is a way to work toward the future you want for yourself.
Your planning team is the group that helps you develop your IPP. Your planning team includes: you, your parents or legally appointed guardian (if you are a minor), your legally appointed conservator (if you are an adult and have a conservatorship), one or more regional center representative (including the designated regional center service coordinator), and anyone you invite (including a service provider).
POS (Purchase of Service) Funds
Regional centers use POS funds to purchase services for consumers from vendors. Each regional center has a contract with DDS that includes POS funds.
POS (Purchase of Service) Policies
POS policies are guidelines created by a regional center about the kinds and amounts of services it will approve at your IPP meeting. POS policies often set eligibility requirements and amounts for certain supports and services. POS policies with firm limits that violate your legal right to services are illegal. You have a right to services that are planned to meet your needs. All POS policies must have an exception clause so your services can be decided at your IPP meeting to fit your needs.
A psychiatrist is a licensed medical doctor with special training and experience in ongoing mental health disorders.
A psychologist is a licensed doctoral-level professional with mental health training and experience.
RCs (Regional Centers)
RCs are private nonprofit community agencies that provide evaluations, coordinate services, and purchase services for you and your family. A California law, called the Lanterman Act, requires that regional centers be set up across the state. Regional centers are under contract with DDS.
There are 21 RCs in California:
ACRC Alta California Regional Center
CVRC Central Valley Regional Center
ELARC Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center
FNRC Far Northern Regional Center
FDLRC Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center
GGRC Golden Gate Regional Center
HRC Harbor Regional Center
IRC Inland Regional Center
KRC Kern Regional Center
NBRC North Bay Regional Center
NLACRC North Los Angeles County Regional Center
RCRC Redwood Coast Regional Center
RCEB Regional Center of the East Bay
RCOC Regional Center of Orange County
SARC San Andreas Regional Center
SDRC San Diego Regional Center
SGPRC San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center
SCLARC South Central Los Angeles Regional Center
TCRC Tri-Counties Regional Center
VMRC Valley Mountain Regional Center
WRC Westside Regional Center
Regulations are a set of rules and guidelines set up and enforced by a government agency to carry out the meaning and definition of certain laws.
A release gives permission to see and copy documents and records. The RC needs to see certain documents and medical, psychological, and academic records when they assess you. These records are confidential. You (or your parent, conservator, or legal guardian) must sign a release to give the regional center permission to see and copy your records.
Respite care is when someone provides you with occasional or regularly scheduled temporary non-medical care and supervision to:
- Help family members keep you at home;
- Provide you with care and supervision when your family is not there;
- Give family members a break from taking care you; and
- Provide your basic self-help needs and other daily activities, including interaction, socialization, and daily routines usually done by your family.
RRDP (Regional Resource Development Project)
Regional Resource Development Projects are part of the Department of Developmental Services. RRDPs:
- Help you move from a restrictive setting like a DC to the community.
- Assess you for more supports that can help you keep living in the community.
- Arrange for and assess you if you need acute crisis services.
- Give training to consumers, families, service providers, and regional center staff.
- Communicate with the regional centers about developing the annual Community Placement Plan.
See Chapter 8 for more information.
SCDD (State Council on Developmental Disabilities)
The SCDD is an independent state agency that helps plan, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate services for you and your family. Federal law says SCDD must suggest ways to improve and increase services. SCDD puts their suggestions into a State Plan and submits the Plan to the federal government.
Under state law, SCDD must study how people with developmental disabilities get their services. If there are gaps in service, SCDD will recommend to DDS how to get the needed services. SCDD also uses federal money to make grants for developing new services or for self- advocacy projects. SCDD offices used to be called Area Boards. The staff in SCDD offices can give help and trainings to you.
Self-advocacy means representing and communicating your own interests, making your own choices, and controlling your environment.
This refers to losing one or more of your 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell).
Service Coordination or Case Management
This refers to the regional center’s responsibility to actively assist you in program planning and finding and getting necessary services. Your service coordinator is the person responsible for service coordination or case management. Usually, your service coordinator is a regional center employee. A service coordinator could also be called a case manager, social worker, or CPC.
Self-determination means you have a right to make choices about your own life, to have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else, and to speak and advocate for yourself.
Self-Determination Program (SDP)
California’s Self-Determination Program (SDP) is a way to get regional center services. In the SDP, consumers and their families have more freedom, control, and responsibility in choosing services and supports to help them meet objectives in their Individual Program Plan (IPP). It gives you a budget to buy your services in the way you want. Self-Determination is now available to all eligible regional center consumers. See Chapter 3 for more information.
SLA (Supported Living Arrangement)
SLA refers to your supported living services plus any other supports, such as a day program.
SLS (Supported Living Services)
SLS helps you live in a house or apartment you own or rent. SLS can be available as often and for as long as you need it. You can get a variety of services and supports to help you live in your own home, including social, behavioral, and daily living skills training and support, assistance in finding, modifying and maintaining a home, paid neighbors and paid roommates. SLS is aimed at helping you live a normal life, and be included in your community. SLS addresses the “big picture” of your life.
SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility)
A skilled nursing facility provides extended skilled nursing care.
Social Security is a federal program started in 1935. It includes disability insurance programs, retirement, and SSI.
SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)
SSI is a Social Security Administration program that provides a monthly money benefit to people (or their children, disabled adult children, or spouses) who have worked and paid into the Social Security fund and become disabled. It also comes with Medicare once you have been on this benefit for 24 months in a row.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
SSI is a Social Security Administration program for low-income people who have disabilities or are over 65. SSI provides cash for basic food and shelter.
These statewide organizations represent the interests of consumers, family members, service providers, and statewide advocacy organizations.
A statute is a law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. The Lanterman Act is a set of statutes about the services and rights guaranteed to people with developmental disabilities.
Department of Developmental Services regulations define a substantial disability as “a major impairment of cognitive and/or social functioning.” This means you are substantially disabled by a major impairment of either:
- Your cognitive functioning (your thinking, your intellect), or
- Your social functioning (how you relate to others).
You do not have to prove both. But, you have to show major problems in at least three of these areas:
- Communication skills (receptive and expressive language)
- Independent living
- Economic self-sufficiency
According to the law, substantially disabling conditions require “interdisciplinary planning” and the “coordination of services” to help you “reach your maximum potential.”
To be eligible for regional center services, not only must you have a diagnosis or condition that fits one of the five categories of eligibility, but that diagnosis or condition must constitute a “substantial disability” for you.
For more information, see Chapter 2.
A vendor is a person or agency approved and paid by a regional center to provide services.
This means the regional center has made sure a vendor meets all of the requirements to provide services. The regional center gives each vendor an ID number, service code, and subcode so the vendor can get paid for the services provided.
A voucher is a coupon or other written authorization for a service, such as respite or day care. The regional center can give a voucher to you or your family. You choose your own service provider and pay with the voucher.
WIC (Welfare and Institutions Code)
WIC is the area of California law that includes the Lanterman Act.
Supplement B: The Law Gives You Rights
The Law Gives You Rights. This Supplement tells you which parts of the Lanterman Act give you the right to get the services and supports you need. These parts are called sections (or §), and these sections are from the Welfare & Institution Code. To learn more about which section affects you, read below.
Important! This list is not complete. We cannot list all services you have the right to get, but we list the most common ones. For more information about your rights, please see the complete manual, Rights Under the Lanterman Act.
Basic Rights and Integration - § 4502
If you have a developmental disability, you have the right to:
- Treatment, services, and supports to help you live the most independent, productive, and “normal” life possible.
- Services that protect your freedom in the least restrictive way.
- Dignity, privacy, and humane care.
- Treatment, services and supports in natural, community settings, as much as possible.
- Participate in an appropriate public education program, regardless of your disability.
- Prompt medical care and treatment.
- Freedom of religion, conscience, and freedom to practice your religion.
- Participate in community activities, and be social with peers.
- Physical exercise and recreation.
- Be free from harm, including unnecessary physical restraints, isolation, excessive medication, abuse, or neglect.
- Say “no” to unsafe procedures.
- Make choices in your own life. This includes where you want to live, who you want to live with, your relationships, how you spend your free time, your education, and work, your personal goals, and making a plan that fits your needs, and wants.
- A prompt investigation of possible abuse against you.
Choices and Decision-Making - § 4502.1
You have the right to:
- Have DDS, regional centers, service providers, and others give you information you can understand to help you make choices.
- Have DDS, regional centers, service providers, and others give you the chance to make decisions.
- Have DDS, regional centers, service providers, and others respect your choices.
- Have regional centers give you information that is in keeping with your culture and in a language you or your parent, guardian, or authorized representative understand. This includes other forms of communication.
Rights in State-Operated, Community Care, and Health Facilities - § 4503
If you live in a state-operated facility, a community care facility, or a health facility (ex. hospital, skilled nursing facility, or intermediate care facility), you have the right to:
- Wear your own clothes.
- Have and use your own personal items without sharing them with other residents. For example, your own shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant.
- Have and spend your own personal money, including at the canteen.
- Have your own personal place to store your belongings.
- See visitors every day.
- Make or get calls with no one listening in or hearing what you say.
- Have paper, envelopes, stamps or other things you need to write a letter.
- Send and get mail without someone else reading what you write or opening or reading letters sent to you.
- Say no to “shock” treatment (electroconvulsive therapy or ECT treatment).
- Say no to psychosurgery. Psychosurgery means brain operations like lobotomy, psychiatric surgery, and behavioral surgery that affect how you think, feel, or act.
- Say no to treatment that causes pain or trauma.
- Make choices in all of your daily routines (what time you get up or go to bed), about your friends, free time, and social activities.
- Make choices about what should be in your IPP.
Advocacy - § 4648(b) and 17 California Code of Regulations § 50510(a)(12)
You have the right to:
- Get advocacy services
- Go to court to enforce your rights. This includes saying no to a conservatorship.
Relationships - § 4620.1
You may have relationships with your parents and family members. Regional centers and support providers must respect and encourage these relationships.
Community Living - § 4640.7(a)
Regional Centers must help clients, and their families get the services and supports that give them the most opportunities and choices for living, working, learning, and playing in the community.
Eligibility Assessments - § 4643(a)
You have the right to:
- Have a regional center decide if you are eligible for services in less than 120 days.
- Have a regional center decide if you are eligible for services in less than 60 days if:
- Waiting would put your health and safety at risk or lead to problems in mental or physical development, or
- There is an immediate risk you must move to a more restrictive environment (for example, a locked setting).
Regional center eligibility and services if you move - § 4643.5 (a-c)
You have these rights, even if you move to a new regional center:
- If one regional center decides you are eligible, you are eligible for services at all California regional centers.
- Your eligibility will not end unless the regional center proves the original decision was clearly wrong.
- If you move to an area served by a different regional center, your old and new regional center must make sure your services and supports are transferred smoothly.
- You will have the same IPP until you agree to a new IPP.
- If services or supports you had before you moved are not available at the new regional center, you must have an IPP meeting within 30 days.
- Until your IPP meeting, the new regional center has to give you other services and supports that best meet your IPP goals in the least restrictive setting possible.
Your Individual Program Plan (IPP) Rights - §§ 4646, 4646.5, and 4648(a)(1)
General IPP Rights
- After the regional center finds you eligible for services, they have 60 days to develop an IPP. §4646(c).
- Both your IPP and the services and supports you receive must be tailored to you and your family. Your IPP must consider your needs and preferences (and those of your family, if appropriate).
- The IPP services and supports must help you integrate into the community and lead an independent, productive, and normal life in a healthy and stable environment.
- The services you and your family get must: reflect your preferences and choices, help meet the goals of your IPP, and be cost-effective. §4646(a).
- Your IPP must include your goals, objectives, and services and supports that the regional center pays for, or that you get from other agencies §4646(d).
- Your IPP must say exactly how many and what type of services you will get, and when the services will start. §4646.5(a)(5).
- At the end of the IPP meeting, the regional center must give you a list of services and supports you both agreed to in the meeting. The list must say when services may start, how often you will have them and how long they will last, and the provider (if known). §4646(g)
- Whenever possible, the IPP team must chose services that allow:
- Children to live with their families.
- Adults to live in the community with as much independence as possible.
- Clients to interact with people without disabilities in positive and meaningful ways. § 4648(a)(1).
- You will have a planning meeting to agree on what will be in your IPP.
- The regional center must give you a list of agreed-upon services at the end of the meeting. The list must include when services may start, how often you will have them and how long they will last, and the provider (if known). §4646(g)
- If you (and the people representing you) cannot agree with the regional center on an IPP in the first meeting, you will have another one within 15 days, unless you ask for more time. §4646(h).
- There must be someone with the authority to say “yes” or “no” for the regional center at your IPP meeting. § 4646(d).
- You must be notified of every IPP meeting.
- You can require that someone else also receive notice of IPP meetings, and that they are sent a copy of any notice sent to you. § 4646(e).
- The regional center must document your native language (and/or the native language of your parent, guardian, or authorized representative) in your IPP. They must also hold the IPP meeting in that language and give you a copy of your IPP in that language. § 4646(j).
- You IPP must be reviewed and modified every 3 years.
- If you ask for an IPP review before then, you have the right to an IPP review within 30 days. If your health and safety are at risk, or you might have to move from where you live, you have the right to a review within 7 days (some people call this an emergency IPP meeting). §4646.5(b).
- If you get services under the HCBS waiver, your IPP will be reviewed every year.
- If you disagree with part of your IPP (for example, if the regional center refuses to include a service you think you need), the regional center must send you a notice that explains why they did not agree (§ 4701) and your right to appeal. §§ 4646(i) and 4701.
Coordination of Services - § 4647
You have a right to:
- Have the regional center coordinate your services and make sure you get the services in your IPP.
- Have a service coordinator assigned to you.
- Be told within 10 days if the regional center changes your service coordinator permanently.
- Say you want someone else to be your service coordinator.
Regional Center Must Put Your IPP into Practice - § 4648
You have the right to:
- Have the regional center get the services and supports you need to meet your IPP goals. The regional center will try to get you the service from other public agencies before using regional center funds to pay it. § 4648(a)(8).
- Have the regional center consider supports in the natural community, home, and recreational settings first.
- Have services that are flexible and tailored to you. § 4648(a)(2).
- Service providers’ rates that make sure they can meet your special needs and provide quality supports in the least restrictive setting § 4648(a)(5).
- Have your choice of service provider considered. The planning team will also consider the provider’s ability to provide quality supports, their qualifications, and what it costs for providers of similar quality. § 4648(a)(6).
- Receive crisis and emergency services from the regional center to help you stay in the living arrangement you choose. § 4648(a)(10).
Right to Choose Where You Live - § 4641
If you are an adult:
- You have the right to decide where you live.
- You cannot be forced to move unless there is a danger to your health and well-being, there is a court order, or your conservator decides where you live.
Your Right to Move - § 4747
If you say you want to move out of a residential care facility (group home), the regional center must schedule an IPP meeting as soon as possible to help you find and move to another place.
Services and Support in Family Homes for Children with Developmental Disabilities - § 4685
If you are a child living with your family:
- Getting services you need to stay at home with your family and community life is a high priority. §4685(a)(b).
- Your IPP must include a family plan that describes the services and supports that will help you live in your family home. 4685(c)(2).
Children Living Out of the Family Home - § 4685.1
If you are a child living outside your home:
- The regional center must do everything possible to place you close to your family home.
- If the regional center cannot do that, they must put a written explanation in your IPP at least every 6 months that says everything they are doing for you to live closer to your family. They must send you a copy.
Services to Choose Relationships and To Be Parents - § 4687
You have the right:
- To have relationships
- To get married
- To be part of a family
- To have children
- To make informed choices in your personal life
- To get services from the regional center, like:
- sexuality training
- parenting skills training
- supported living arrangements for parents with developmental disabilities and their children
- advocacy help to deal with agencies like child welfare agencies
- family counseling services
Supports to Help Participate in Your Community - § 4688
- You have the right to get supports to help you participate in your community.
- Regional Centers must expand opportunities that give you full and equal protection and participation in community integration and options in work, play, social, community services, and education.
- If your IPP team decides you need community facilitation services to integrate or include you in the community, the regional center may get the service for you.
Supported Living Services for Adults - § 4689
If you are an adult, you have the right to get the type and amount of supports you need to live in a home you own or lease, no matter the degree of your disability.
Access to Mental Health Services - § 4696.1
You have the right to access mental health services when you need them, including emergency or crisis services. The regional center must work with the county mental health program to coordinate services. For example, if you are hospitalized, the regional center and the county mental health representatives must work together for your treatment plan and discharge planning.
Fair Hearing Process - §§ 4700-4716
- If you disagree with a regional center’s decision not to provide new services or to change or end a service, you have rights to a notice and to a fair hearing with an Administrative Law Judge.
- See Chapter 10 for more information about your rights in the fair hearing process.
Access to Records - §§ 4725-4730
- You have the right to see and copy the records in your file.
- You have the right to review your file at the regional center during business hours.
- Once you ask to see your files, verbally or in writing, you must be allowed to see them within 3 business days.
Compliance Complaints - § 4731
- If you think your rights were denied or abused, you have the right to file a complaint with the director of the regional center or developmental center.
- See Chapter 10 for more information about the complaint process, when to use the complaint process, and when to use the fair hearing process.
Regional Center Help with Other Services - §§ 4658, 4659, 4640.6(g)
The regional center must help you get cash benefits, health care, or other services you are eligible for. The regional center must have staff or a vendor with special skills in criminal justice, special education, family support, housing, and community integration. This means if you need help in one of these areas, the regional center should have someone or pay for someone to help you.
Supplement C: Services and Supports Provided by Regional Centers
The services and supports that regional centers provide include, but are not limited to, those listed below. This list is from section 4512(b) of the Lanterman Act. If you need a service not on this list, the IPP team may still authorize it.
- Adaptive equipment services
- Advocacy assistance or facilitation
- Assistance in finding, modifying and maintaining a home
- Behavior Modification
- Community integration services
- Community residential placement
- Community support facilitation
- Counseling for the consumer
- Counseling for the consumer’s family
- Daily living skills training
- Day care
- Development and provision of a 24-hour emergency response system
- Development of unpaid natural supports
- Domiciliary care
- Emergency and crisis intervention
- Emergency housing
- Emergency relief for personal care attendants
- Facilitated circles of support
- Facilitation, including outreach and education
- Facilitation with a facilitator of the consumer’s choosing.
- Financial assistance
- Follow-along services
- Foster family placement
- Home location assistance
- Homemaker services
- Identification of circles of support
- Infant stimulation programs
- Information and referral services
- Mental health services
- Occupational therapy
- Paid neighbors
- Paid roommates
- Parent training
- Peer advocates
- Personal care or assistance
- Physical therapy
- Protection of civil, service and legal rights
- Protective services
- Provision of circles of support
- Recruiting, hiring and training personal care attendants
- Respite for personal care attendants
- Self-advocacy training
- Sexuality training
- Sheltered employment
- Short term out-of-home care
- Social services
- Social skills training
- Sociolegal services
- Special living arrangements
- Specialized dental care
- Specialized medical care
- Speech therapy
- Support services for consumers in homes they own or lease
- Supported employment
- Supported living arrangements
- Technical assistance
- Transportation services
- Travel training
- Vouchered services
- Services and supports needed for families to maintain their children with developmental disabilities at home, when living at home is in the best interest of the child.
- Services and supports needed to maintain and strengthen the family unit, where one or both parents is a person with developmental disabilities.
- Other services and supports that would result in greater self-sufficiency for you and cost- effectiveness to the state.
- If you are on the HCBS Developmental Disability Waiver (DD Waiver), you may be able to get other services under that Waiver. See Chapter 11 for more information.
Supplement D: List of Records Regional Centers May Ask for When You Apply for Services
The regional center may ask you for the information below. If you gather this information ahead of time, you will be ready when you apply.
- Phone Number
- Parent’s or Guardian’s Name
Your Medical Records
Bring copies of your health benefits cards like private health insurance coverage, health service plans, Medi-Cal, Medicare, and TRICARE cards (for military families).
Find information on each doctor, psychologist, or other health care provider who has cared for you:
- Doctor’s Name
- Phone Number
Hospitals and Clinics
List each hospital or clinic where you got care, including where you were born:
- Name of Hospital or Clinic
- Phone Number
Many consumers take lots of medication.
- List all medications you have taken
- List medications you take now
Early Start/Head Start Records?
Did you get services as a baby or toddler? If not, can you get baby books or videos that show your early years?
List each school you attended
- Name of School
- Type of school (elementary, middle, high)
- Grades you attended
- Phone Number
Supplement E: Cognitive DisabilitiesThe state law says “intellectual disability,” but we use “cognitive disability” here, to include similar conditions. Use this list to decide if a condition is “closely related to” intellectual disability and would be eligible for services under the fifth category. But you are not automatically eligible for services just because you have the problems on this list.
- Abstract reasoning
- Poor judgment
- Learning unless tasks are broken down into smaller parts and taught in steps
- Short and/or long-term planning
- Solving problems
- Managing money or a budget
- Using public transportation alone
- Logical analysis
- Transferring skills used in one context to another context
- Developmental milestones like sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, toilet training
- Passivity, for example they may not say what they want or feel
- Insight, like understanding why they and others behave the way they do.
- Controlling your own behavior
- Being easily manipulated by others
- Adapting to new situations
- Speaking and listening (called expressive and receptive language)
- Fine and gross motor control and movement
- Living in the community independently
- Daily tasks at home
- Remembering on their own about keeping appointments, following a schedule, taking medication
- Learning from experiences
- Being self-sufficient, for example finding a job or learning job skills
- Needing a structured and predictable environment
- Organizing, planning, or prioritizing tasks or activities
- Social skills and behaviors
- Leisure activities
- Personal hygiene
- Telling time
- Health and safety, for example -running into traffic or getting burned when cooking
- Lower cognitive function[[Lower cognitive function means at least one standard deviation below the mean of 100. That means a score of 85, or lower, as measured by standardized IQ tests. You do not need a score in the range of intellectual disability (70 or below) to show you have a condition closely related to intellectual disability.]]
- Lower adaptive function[[Lower adaptive function is measured by standardized tests of adaptive behavior, such as the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) (Vineland-3) or Street Skills Survival Questionnaire. You should usually look for scores in the 70s or lower, or behavior composites that are 3 or more years below your age.]]
Supplement F: Services and Supports for People with Cognitive Disabilities
The state law says “intellectual disability,” but we use “cognitive disability” here, to include similar conditions. See Supplement E for a list of common characteristics of people with similar conditions. You are not automatically eligible just because you need some or all of the services on this list.
People with cognitive disabilities often need these services and supports:
- Infant stimulation
- Counseling and emotional support for parents
- Child development training for parents
- Early intervention services
- Sensory stimulation
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapy (for cognitive disability)
- Training in self-help skills, such as feeding, cooking, cleaning, dressing, using the bathroom, personal hygiene, money management, using public transportation
- Training in social skills, such as how to make friends and schedule leisure activities
- Respite care
- Coordinating and managing services
- Advocacy services and training in self-advocacy
- Family counseling
- Information and referral, such as to medical, behavior, or parenting skills specialists
- Social and legal services, such as protection, advocacy, and representation
- Vocational training and paid work opportunities
- Help finding a place to live
- Public benefits like SSI, other Social Security benefits, and Medi-Cal
- Help learning a task by breaking it into smaller parts, and teaching each part, step-by-step
- Behavioral training and behavior modification programs
- Services and supports to help integrate into the community
- Emergency and crisis intervention services Parenting skills for people with disabilities who have children
Supplement G: Inter-Regional Center Transfer Guidelines
STATE OF CALIFORNIA-HEALTH AND WELFARE AGENCY
DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES
1600 NINTH STREET
SACRAMENTO, CA 95814
Fax (916) 654-1913
DATE: DECEMBER 8, 1998
TO: STAKEHOLDER ORGANIZATIONS
SUBJECT: INTER-REGIONAL CENTER TRANSFER GUIDELINES
Enclosed is the final version of the Inter-Regional Center Transfer Guidelines. Section 4643.5 (c) of the California Welfare and Institutions Code requires the development of such guidelines to help ensure " ... a smooth transition of services and supports from one regional center to another ... " We thank all of you who provided comments on the three earlier drafts of the document.
Please contact Dale Sorbello, of my staff, at 916/654-1954, if you have any questions.
EILEEN M. RICHEY
Community Services Division
INTER-REGIONAL CENTER CONSUMER TRANSFER GUIDELINES
(December 4, 1998)
Section 4643.5 (c) of the Welfare and Institutions Code (Chapter 294, Statutes of 1997, effective August 18, 1997) states that "The department shall develop guidelines that describe the responsibilities of regional centers in ensuring a smooth transition of services and supports from one regional center to another, including, but not limited to, pretransferring planning and a dispute resolution process to resolve disagreements between regional centers regarding their responsibilities related to the transfer of case management services. " The following guidelines represent the Department's response to this mandate.
- A well-planned and coordinated transition for consumers moving between regional center catchment areas helps minimize the trauma, frustration and disruption in services and supports that may occur without such planning and coordination. Therefore, it is incumbent on all those involved in the transition process (regional centers, consumers, families, vendors, etc.) to work in a coordinated and collaborative manner before, during, and after the transfer occurs.
- Advance or pretransfer planning, when possible, is the foundation for successfully transitioning consumers between regional center catchment areas. A consumer or, where appropriate, his or her parents, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative needs to communicate planned move activities to the sending regional center as soon as possible. Both the sending and receiving regional centers should communicate and coordinate, as appropriate, with vendors and the consumer/family about a pending move as soon as it is known.
- When the regional center becomes aware that a consumer/family is planning to move to another regional center, and if the family desires to meet, the sending regional center should contact the receiving regional center and a meeting or telephone conference should be convened to discuss transition services and supports during and after the move. Communication among all the involved parties should ensure there is clarity as to who is responsible for which transfer activity(ies), what the specifics of the responsibility are, and when the specified transfer activity(ies) will take place.
- Transfers between regional centers should be coordinated between the Chief Counselors, or at a similar level reflecting the importance of this responsibility.
- The provision of services and supports to a consumer or his/her family should not be delayed or withheld by either regional center pending the administrative transfer of a case.
- The sending regional center should retain case management and fiscal responsibility for a consumer until the receiving regional center has effectively assumed such responsibilities. The receiving regional center should be deemed to have "effectively assumed" responsibility when a new service coordinator has been identified, a new or revised individual program plan (IPP) or individual family service plan (IFSP) has been developed, and the consumer is receiving the services and supports listed in the new or revised IPP or IFSP.
- Consumers moving into a new regional center catchment area should have the same opportunity to receive services and supports as existing consumers. The sending and receiving regional centers should make best efforts to ensure that both regional center funded and generic services are provided with no gaps or delays.
- When a disagreement exists between regional centers over case transfer, the sending regional center should maintain case management and fiscal responsibilities until such time as the issues are resolved. At no time should a consumer/family be without services due to disputes between regional centers.
- The regional center must ensure its policies and practices conform with statutory provisions that may relate to consumer transfer activities. Some of these provisions include, but are not limited to, the following: Welfare and Institutions Code § § 4418.3. 4519, 4643.5, 4646.5 (a)(4), 4648 (a)(I0), 4652, 4805, 5008 (d), 42 CFR §§ 482.61 (e), 482.62 (a)(4), and 482.62 (f)(2).
Dispute Resolution Process
The following procedures are recommended in the event there is a dispute regarding the transfer of a consumer or funding from one regional center to another.
- Regional centers should attempt to resolve all transfer disputes at the local level.
- If resolution cannot be attained, either regional center or the consumer or the consumer' s authorized representative may ask the Deputy Director of the Community Services Division, Department of Developmental Services, to review the case and to render a decision.
- The request to the Department for intervention should be submitted in writing. A copy of the letter should be provided to the other regional center, or to both regional centers when the case review request is initiated by a consumer or authorized representative, and to any other involved parties.
- The involved regional·centers should provide the Department a written explanation of their respective positions within five working days. The written explanation may be submitted electronically. The Department may request additional information as necessary. The Department may initiate a telephone conference call with the involved regional centers in lieu of, or in addition to, receiving the written information.
- The Deputy Director, or his or her designee, will provide a written opinion on the disputed transfer case and/or funding within 30 days after receiving all the information needed from the involved parties to render a decision. The Deputy Director's decision will be binding on the involved regional centers to the extent the disputed matter involves the enforcement of an existing law or a provision in the Department's contract with the regional center.
Nothing in this dispute resolution process replaces or substitutes for the complaint process contained in Welfare and Institutions Code§ 4731, to the consumer fair hearing process pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code§ 4700 et seq.
Supplement H: How to Get Regional Center Services through Your IPP
Decisions about what services you need and want, who will provide these services, and when are made at your Individual Program Plan (IPP) meeting. This Supplement explains:
- How often IPP meetings take place
- How to get an IPP meeting,
- How to prepare for your IPP meeting, and
- What to do if you cannot get the services you need.
When is my IPP meeting?
If you are a new regional center client, the regional center must develop your IPP within 60 days. If you have not heard from the regional center within 2 weeks, call them.
If you already have an IPP, but are moving to a new regional center area, ask for a transition meeting with both regional centers. Your new regional center must follow your current IPP until your next IPP meeting. If your current IPP lists services that are not available in your new area, your new regional center must have an IPP meeting within 30 days and provide alternative services until then.
You will have an IPP meeting every year if:
- You get services under the Medi-Cal Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver, or
- You live in a facility licensed as an “Intermediate Care Facility” (ICF-DD, ICF-DD/H, ICF-DD/N, ICF-DD/CN).
For everyone else, your IPP meeting will take place once every three years, unless your needs change or if you ask for a meeting.
When should I ask for an IPP meeting?
Ask for an IPP meeting whenever:
- Your needs change
- Your achievements make you ready for something new
- You need a new or different service
- You need help from the regional center to get cash or services from another agency
When you ask the regional center for a service or help, you are actually asking for your IPP to be changed to include the service or help you are asking for. If you ask for an IPP meeting, the meeting must happen within 30 days.
How do I ask for an IPP Meeting?
- Call or write your service coordinator and ask for a meeting or to change your IPP. If you want a service, say which service you want when you call or write. Sometimes regional centers agree to provide or pay for a service without having an IPP meeting. If this happens, ask the regional center to add it to your IPP and send you a copy.
- Ask family or friends to help you write a letter requesting an IPP meeting.
- Send the letter to the Regional Center or your Service Coordinator.
Here are examples:
Dear Regional Center:
I want to start working and earning money. I want an IPP meeting about the help I need to work.
Dear Regional Center:
I want to learn how to use the bus to get from my house to the bowling alley. I want this added to my IPP.
Dear Regional Center:
I need help because Social Security is looking at my SSI. I want my IPP to say that you will help me keep SSI.
What should I do before I go to my IPP Meeting?
- Know Your Goals. Use the IPP Planners in Supplements J and K or the publications in Chapter 4 to help you think about your goals. Goals can be where you want to live and what you want to do each day. The IPP Planners will help you figure out what services and supports you need to reach your goals.
- Review Your Current IPP. Think about the services and supports you get now. Talk to family, friends, and advocates to help you fill out the planner or make your own list. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you want to keep some or all of the services you are getting now?
- Do you no longer need some of the services you are getting now?
- Do you need different services?
- Do you want to change who provides your services?
- Do you want to change where you live?
- Are there services from other agencies you need help from the regional center to get or keep?
- Tell the regional center what services you want now.
Tell the regional center what you will ask for before the meeting. That way, the regional center can be ready to make decisions at your meeting. Ask the regional center to have a decision-maker at your meeting. A decision-maker is someone from the regional center who can speak for the regional center and say “yes” or “no” to decisions about your services and supports. The law says that a decision-maker from the regional center must be at the IPP meeting where final decisions are made on services and supports.
You can use the sample letter in Supplement N to write to the regional center. Your letter should include:
- Your completed IPP Planner
- A list of services you get now
- Your last IPP with the changes you want
- Your request for a decision maker
Here is a sample letter:
Dear Regional Center:
Here is my filled-in IPP Meeting Planner. I really want to learn to use a computer. Please ask Becky from the Day program to come to my IPP meeting.
Please have a decision maker at my IPP meeting.
Who should I ask to be part of my IPP Planning Team?
You can invite anyone you want to be part of your IPP planning team. Ask people who know you and who can help you to be part of your team at the meeting. You can invite your family, someone from where you live, from your day program, from your child’s school, or anyone else to be part of this team. Ask your regional center to invite them. The people you invite and the people from the regional center make up your IPP team.
Tip! Some people start “buddy” programs where they each go to the other’s IPP meeting for support and for ideas.
Can I ask for an interpreter to be at my IPP meeting?
Yes. Communication at your IPP meeting is very important. If you do not speak or understand English well, or if you feel more comfortable speaking a different language, ask for an interpreter. The regional center must provide an interpreter at your IPP meeting. They should also translate your IPP and other documents. Supplement T shows you how to ask the regional center for an interpreter.
What does it mean to do person-centered planning in an IPP meeting?
Your IPP is all about you and your choices. “Person-centered” means you are the most important person at the meeting. The meeting is about your hopes, your likes and dislikes, where you need help, what services you want, and what you think are the most important services and supports to include in your IPP. It is not about what services happen to be available or are usually provided for people like you.
The people at the meeting should work as a team to come up with ways to meet your goals and dreams. They need to take the time to make sure you understand everything. The team should listen to everyone’s ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to say something again or to ask questions. Your questions will help everyone at the meeting understand your choices and needs.
How can I have the most valuable IPP meeting?
Make sure a decision-maker is present at your meeting. Sometimes, a planning team will only “recommend funding”for services and tell you someone else will make the actual decision to add those services to your IPP or not. The regional center may say that the POS (Purchase of Service) committee or another committee has to approve your request. You have the right to meet with the person who can say “yes” or “no” to your request.
Unless a decision-maker is at the meeting, there is no one at the meeting who can say “yes” or “no” about what goes into your IPP. As soon as the meeting begins, make sure that one person from the regional center is a “decision-maker” - someone who can say “yes” or “no” to a service while you are meeting with the regional center. If a decision-maker is not present, the regional center must have a second meeting within 15 days (unless you agree to a longer time) where a decision-maker must be present. You can still talk about the services you need or want. But no decisions can be made.
Also ask someone to take notes on big pieces of paper put up on the walls for everyone to see. Ask them to write down things you have agreed and disagreed on. After the meeting, the note-taker can read the list to the team and make sure everyone agrees with what has been written.
What does a complete IPP document look like?
The IPP document must include:
- your goals and objectives,
- services and supports you need and want (the type and amount),
- who will provide the services (another “generic” agency or a particular provider or type of provider), and
- when the services will start.
If services cannot start right away because there is no available provider or you must first ask Medi-Cal or a health plan, your IPP must say:
- what steps will be taken to get services to start,
- who is responsible for each step,
- the timelines for completing each step, and
- what services will be provided in the meantime.
Will I get a copy of my IPP right after the meeting?
No, but the regional center must give you a list of agreed-upon services and supports right after the meeting. The list can be written or electronic. If known, the list must also include the start date, frequency and duration, and the provider of the services and supports.
When should I sign the IPP (or a list of the agreements made) at the meeting?
The IPP you sign should list your goals and objectives, services to help you reach those goals, who will provide the services, and when the services will start. If the regional center will not write the entire IPP at the meeting, make a handwritten list of the agreements you have made so everyone can sign the list. Take a copy of the signed list home with you. The regional center can then type up the list on the form it uses for IPPs and send it to you.
Important: Do not sign a paper that says you agree with a Proposed Plan.
You can agree to parts of the IPP and disagree with other parts. Only the parts of an IPP you agree to can be implemented. If you are denied a new service you wanted and a substitute service was written into your IPP, you can disagree or you can agree temporarily. Here are examples of what you might write for that:
I disagree with the denial of [requested service]. I agree to accept [substitute service] while I try to get the [requested service]. Please give me a notice of the denial of the [requested service] so that I can appeal.
I disagree with the denial of [requested service]. I accept the [substitute service] under protest. I believe that the [requested service] would better meet my needs, and I would like another IPP meeting within 15 days to continue to discuss adding the [requested service] to my IPP.
You can wait for the regional center’s notice of denial and file an appeal, or you can ask for another IPP meeting within 15 days to continue your conversation with the regional center.
Must the regional center give me a written notice of any denial, reduction, or termination of services?
If the regional center says “no” to a new service you ask for, they must send you a written denial notice within 5 days. If they say they want to change or end a service you already get, the regional center must give you written notice 30 days before the change or cut-off happens. The notice must tell you what information and law the regional center is basing their decision on, the reasons for their decision, and how you can appeal. If the regional center wants to reduce or terminate any of the services you already get, the notice must tell you when that change will happen.
Is there anything I can do to keep the services I have while I am appealing the regional center’s decision to reduce or end them?
If you want to fight the denial and keep your current services, file your appeal within 10 days of the written notice from the regional center, and you can keep your current services during the appeal process. This is called “aid paid pending.” If you do not file your appeal within 10 days, it does not mean your appeal is late. You have up to 30 days to file an appeal. But, if you file later than 10 days after you receive the regional center’s notice, you cannot keep your current services during the appeal process.
What if the regional center never gives me a notice?
You can appeal even if you do not get a notice. Ask for a notice, because the notice gives you important information about why the regional center decided to deny, reduce, or terminate your services and the law the regional center is relying on to do that. This information is very important and necessary to your appeal, so try to get this information before you go through the appeal process. If you do not get a notice, contact your service coordinator. If you still do not get it, you can file an administrative complaint (called a Section 4731 complaint) to force the regional center to give you an adequate of notice about their decision.
Supplement I: IPP Meeting Planner
This worksheet can help you plan for your IPP Meeting. Use it to help you think about what you want. You should talk about all the things you want during your IPP meeting.
Where to Live
Where do you want to live?
- Stay where I am
- My parent’s place
- My own place
- With a foster family (Adult Family Home Agency)
- A group home
- Supported living
- Independent Living
- My own place with roommates
- Other place
What services do you need to help you live where you want?
- More training
- Help with managing my money
- An attendant or roommate
- Help finding a place to live
- Someone to give me regular support and help
- Help with shopping, cooking, and/or cleaning
- Being safe
- Other service
Working and School
Where do you want to work or go to school?
- Stay where I am working now
- Stay where I am going to school now
- Different school or job
- Get a competitive, integrated job (at least minimum wage and with non-disabled people)
- Other ideas?
What kind of work or school do you want to do?
- Paid work
- Volunteer work - what interests you?
- Other type of work
- Adult education classes
- Other type of school
What services do you need to help with working or going to school?
- Help updating my resume
- Help applying for a job
- A job coach or aide at the job
- A tutor or note taker
- Training on or off a job location
- Access to workplace or class (like a ramp)
- Other services or supports
What do you want to do in your free time?
- Visit friends
- Go to movies or plays
- Volunteer work
- Play sports
- Listen to music
- Watch TV
- Join a self-advocacy group or People First
- Help advocate for other people
- Other activity
What services do you need to help you do things you want to do?
- Circle of friends
- Supplies or equipment
- Other services or supports
Medical and Health
What medical or health services do you need?
- Sex education (safe sex, birth control)
- Nutrition and diet
- Other health services
What other support do you need to access medical or health services?
- Someone to ask questions
- An advocate or lawyer
- Other supports
What other things do you want help with?
- Cleaning my place
- Meeting more people and making friends
- Learning about sexual relationships and safe sex
- Getting along better with people
- Self-advocacy and knowing my rights
- Problems with Social Security, SSI, or other benefits
- Being on committees or a Board of Directors
- Learn about self-determination
- Other help
What other services do you need?
- Someone to ask questions
- Help setting up a circle of friends
- An advocate or lawyer
- Other services
Supplement J: Use Your IPP to Plan for Community Activities
Being involved in the community is an important part life. Ask yourself the questions below. Your answers will help you decide what community activities are best for you. And you can plan for these activities at your IPP meeting. You can ask for services to be able to do these things.
- What things do you think are great about you?
- What qualities do other people like about you?
- What talents do you have that other people admire?
- What do you like about other people or the things they do?
- What places do you like to go? What interests you most?
- What kinds of activities do you like?
- Do you like: a structured schedule / a flexible schedule
- Do you feel most active in the: morning / afternoon / night
- What are your hopes and dreams?
- How would you like to spend your day?
- What do you want your social life to be like?
- How do you want to be a part of your community?
- What do you want to learn how to do?
- What do you want to learn more about?
- Where would you like to go to learn these things?
- What groups do you belong to in your community? What other groups would you like to join?
- Where do you go regularly in your community (at least once a month)?
- Where else would you like to go regularly in your community? Where do you go in your community that people know you by name? Where would you like people to know you by name?
- Do you go to church or other spiritual meetings? (Which ones?)
- If not, would you like to go to church or other spiritual meetings? (Which ones?) What cultural or community events do you go to? What community or cultural events would you like to go to?
Activities with Your Child
- Describe any activities you do with your child now:
- Describe activities you would like to do with your child:
- Do you need help finding activities you can do with your child? Yes / No
- What kind of work do you like?
- What kind of work do you NOT like?
- Do you like to work outdoors? Yes / No
- Would you like to work with other people around? Yes / No
- Are you interested in a certain kind of job or business? Yes / No
- What kind of job or business?
- Do you want to do volunteer work? Yes / No
- What kind of volunteer work?
- Would you like to work as an artist, musician, dancer, or actor? Yes / No
Arts and Crafts
- Do you like to do arts or crafts for fun? Yes / No
- Crafts (describe):
- Music (describe):
- Dance (describe):
- Act in plays (describe):
- Go to movies (describe):
- Other (describe):
- What sports or games do you like to watch?
- What sports or games do you like to play or want to learn how to play?
- What sports or games do you NOT like?
Friends and Relationships
- Do you have friends? Yes / No
- Would you like to have more friends? Yes / No
- Do you like social activities? Yes / No
- What kinds of social activities do you like most?
- What social activities do you NOT like?
- Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend? Yes / No
- Do you see him or her as much as you would like? Yes / No
- Do you want to learn about having a romantic relationship? Yes / No
- Do you want to meet others and have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Yes / No
Supplement K: Get Ready for Your Child’s IPP or IFSP Meeting
You can use this worksheet to get ready for your child’s IPP or IFSP meeting. It will help you think about goals for your child, and the services and supports your child needs to reach those goals. This will help you decide what services you may need from the regional center to support your child.
Make a list of the goals you have for your child and your family. If you can, describe the steps needed to reach each goal.
Ask yourself these questions. The answers will help you shape your goals.
- Where do you want your child to live?
- In what ways would you like your child to be included in the community?
- In what ways would you like your child to be included in school?
- What does your child need to become more integrated in the community and at school? For example, your child may need to learn certain self-help strategies, or get help with a medical or behavior problem.
- What kind of services do you need so you can:
- Go to school or work.
- Take a break from child care so you could relax or do something fun.
- Do chores like cooking, shopping, and cleaning.
- Care for other children.
(You may need services and supports for your child with a disability so you can do these things)
- Does your family have cultural, lifestyle, and language needs that you want to be part of the services you get?
Once you know your goals, you can list the services and supports you need to reach your goals. List all the services you have now and the services you want.
Think about the services and supports your family needs to keep your child at home. If staying at home is best for your child, the regional center must consider every possible way to help you keep your child living at home before looking at out-of-home options. Here is a list of some family support services the law talks about. The regional center must also provide other services your child needs.
- Specialized mental and dental care
- Infant stimulation programs
- Respite for parents
- Day care or child care
- Mental health services
- Special adaptive equipment like wheelchairs, hospital beds, or communication devices
- Special training for parents
- Homemaking services
- Camping services
- Short-term out-of-home care
- Behavior modification programs
- Advocacy assistance
- Other services you need
Sometimes family members, friends, or other people you know are willing and able to provide services or support. This is called “natural” support. But, if you do not have natural support, the regional center must provide the support your child needs. The regional center cannot say your family or friends have to support you instead of providing a service.
Some services are available to you through school, community, or public agencies, such as special education, Medi-Cal, and IHSS. You may be able to get help from your private health plan. Your regional center expects you to use these “generic resources” if you have them. They will not provide the same services. But, they must help you get them and make sure the services are right for your child.
The IPP planning team should discuss each service and support your child needs. The IPP should include all services your child needs, even if they are getting the service somewhere else, like a generic agency, and not from the regional center. At the end of the IPP meeting, the regional center must provide you with a list of agreed-upon services it will provide. This means you should not leave the meeting wondering what they will actually provide. The list should have each service, when it may start, how often you will have it and how long it will last, and the provider (if known).
Supplement L: How to Interview a Supported Living Agency
A supported living agency can give you the services you need to live independently. Before you choose an agency, make sure they understand what you need and can provide the services you need to live on your own.
You can start by saying, “I would like to know more about your agency. Can we set up a time so I can call or visit and ask you some questions?”
- What services can you provide to help me live on my own?
- How can you help me become active in community activities?
- I would like to live in ________. How can you help me live there?
- I like to ________ (for example: dance, have pets). How can you help me do this?
- How soon could you start working with me?
- Please tell me about the staff people who would help me?
- Can I pick the staff person I want to work with me?
- Who would I call if I need help at night or on the weekend?
- Have you ever stopped someone’s support services? Why?
- What do you expect from me?
- What is your agency’s philosophy or “mission statement”?
- How many other people does your agency help?
- Is there anything else you want me to know about your agency?
- Can you give me the names and phone numbers of other people you have helped so I can speak to them?
After you talk to the agency, ask yourself these questions to help you to decide which agency is best for you.
- What did you like about the agency?
- What did you dislike or feel worried about?
Do you have other questions you would like to ask them?
Supplement M: Prepare to Negotiate with the Regional Center or Other Agency
Prepare for your negotiation or mediation by answering these questions.
- What do you disagree about?
- Why is this important for you?
- What is the best solution?
- What is the next best solution?
- What solution would you accept, even if it is not ideal?
- What will happen to you if you do not make an agreement?
- Why does the agency disagree?
- Why is this important for them?
- What solution do they propose?
- What solution do you think they might accept?
- What will happen to the agency if you do not make an agreement?
After the Regional Center or other agency proposes a solution, answer these questions:
- Do you agree with their solution or part of it?
- What do you think their next best solution would be?
- What other solution do they propose?
- What happens next if you reach an agreement?
- What happens next if you do not reach an agreement?
Go through this process for each issue in dispute (each disagreement).
Supplement N: Appeals Process Changes Chart – Old Law vs. New Law
See Chapter 10 for more information
Senate Bill 188 (2021-22): Developmental Services Fair Hearing Reform
Fair Hearing Procedures – Attorney Representation
|Current Law||New Law||Effective Date|
|All Parties Have the Right to Attorney Representation During Any Part of the Hearing Process|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4712(h)
|October 1, 2022|
Notice of Action and Timelines for Appeal
|Current Law||New Law||Effective Date|
|Right to Aid Paid Pending If Appealed Within 10 Days|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4715
|Right to Aid Paid Pending If Appealed Within 30 Days|
SB 188, SEC. 36, 69
|March 1, 2023|
|Appeal Within 30 Days|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4710.5(a)
|Appeal Within 60 Days After Notification of Service Agency Action|
SB 188, SEC. 36, 41
|March 1, 2023|
Informal Meeting & Mediations
|Current Law||New Law||Effective Date|
|Person Can Request Informal Meeting and/or Mediation with Hearing Request|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4710.5
|Person Can Request Informal Meeting and/or Mediation without Having to Request a Hearing|
SB 188, SEC. 30, 41
|March 1, 2023|
|Informal Meetings are Required When Requested by the Claimant; Regional Center Can Accept or Decline Mediation|
Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 4710.6, 4711.5(a)
|Both Informal Meetings and Mediation is Mandatory for the Regional Center When Requested by the Claimant|
SB 188, SEC. 43, 53
|March 1, 2023|
|Current Law||New Law||Effective Date|
|Witness List and Evidence Packet Exchanged At Least 5 Days Before Hearing|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4712(d)
|(1) Service Agency: Sends claimant position statement in their preferred language 2 business days before the hearing. The position statement summarizes the facts of the case and justification for the service agency’s actions. It also includes witness list, the general subject of the testimony of each witness, and copies of documentary evidence.|
(2) Represented Claimant: Similar standard as service agency. Sends position statement 2 business days before the hearing with a witnesses list and documentary evidence.
(2) Unrepresented Claimant: No position statement required. 2 business days before the hearing, must send a list of intended witnesses with a brief description of their relationship to the claimant and copies of any professional assessments or reports related to eligibility or services that the claimant intends to use at hearing. The claimant can provide all other intended documentary evidence at or before the hearing.
SB 188, SEC. 57
|March 1, 2023|
|Conduct of Hearing Officer: The fair hearing need not be conducted according to the technical rules of evidence and those related to witnesses. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted.|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4712(i)
|Existing law PLUS:|
After the Hearing
|Current Law||New Law||Effective Date|
|Hearing Office Decision is Final; Only Way to Challenge is by Superior Court Appeal|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4712.5(a)
|March 1, 2023|
|90 Days to Appeal Hearing Decision|
Welfare & Institutions Code Section 4712.5(a)
|Appeal Hearing Decision Within 180 Days|
SB 188, SEC. 61
|March 1, 2023|
|No Clear Authority for Ensuring the Service Agency Complies with Hearing Decision||Service agency must implement the hearing decision as soon as practical but no later than 30 days after the date of the final decision. Service agency must notify DDS and claimant if it cannot meet this timeline.|
The claimant can contact DDS if they are not satisfied with the service agency’s compliance and DDS is authorized to take appropriate actions to obtain compliance.
SB 188, SEC. 65
|July 1, 2022|
Supplement O: How to File a Section 4731 Complaint
If you believe your regional center, developmental center, or a service provider has violated your rights, you can file a Section 4731 complaint to ask them to stop violating your rights (and the rights of others). If you are the regional center consumer, you can file this yourself. Or, someone can file this on your behalf. See Chapter 10 for more information about this complaint process.
To file a complaint, you can:
- Fill out the English complaint form at: https://www.dds.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DS255.pdf
- Fill out the Spanish complaint form at: https://www.dds.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DS255_SP.pdf, or
- Write a letter using the instructions below.
How to Write a Section 4731 Complaint
Use the text below as a guide. Be sure to complete the letter with your own personal information in the underlined areas in the brackets.
Executive Director, [Regional Center name]
[Write the regional center’s address here. You can find the Regional Center Directors and Addresses here: https://www.dds.ca.gov/rc/listings/]
This is a “WIC Section 4731 complaint” about a pattern and practice that violates rights under the Lanterman Act. This complaint is on behalf of [write your name or the consumer’s name here], and all other regional center consumers in a similar situation.
[Consumer’s name, just say “I” if you are writing for yourself] is a [age] year old with a [describe the type of disability] disability. [Describe the services and supports you or the consumer receives now.]
I am having a problem with [Write name of regional center, developmental center, or service provider (vendor)].
[Write the problem. It could be the regional center violated the right to have an IPP in your native language or your right to make choices in your own life. It could also be a complaint that a policy or practice violates the consumer’s rights. For example, are the services you receive based on a policy instead of on your individual needs? It could be a problem with a service provider violating your right to have visitors or participate in exercise and recreation. These are just examples. Write your problem here]
[Explain how your complaint can be settled. Write what you want to happen to fix this.]
Please investigate this complaint and respond to me within 20 business days. If you have any questions, you may contact me at the number listed below.
[Your name – or the name of the person writing on behalf of the consumer]
[Your address and phone number – or the address and phone number of the person writing on behalf of the consumer]