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Self Determination

The Department of Developmental Services is developing a new program, called the Self Determination Program, that will let participants have more control over selecting their services and supports. One of the ways this can be done is by giving participants (or their parents or legal representatives) a specific budget to purchase the services and supports that they need to make their person centered plan work better for them. The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has applied for approval of federal funding for this new Self Determination Program and the application is still in review at the federal level. This page will give you information regarding the proposed program and resources for you to become more familiar with the latest happenings.

SD Proposed Number of Participants

Self-Determination Program

All individuals, regardless of ability, have the right to access the basic elements that make-up a good life, beginning with: family, independence, personal responsibility, and freedom of choice. The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act builds upon these basic fundamentals so that all individuals have the right to live their lives as they choose.

Similarly, the principles of Self-Determination include:

  • Freedom to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supports, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;
  • Authority to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;
  • Support, including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;
  • Responsibility, which includes the opportunity to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and
  • Confirmation, in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the service that they rely on.

It is through this “Self-Determination Program” that all individuals are able to access what everyone deserves – “a good life.

Self Determination Local Advisory Committee – This is a public meeting that is held on the second Tuesday of each month at Westside Regional Center from 6:00-7:00 pm. The committee shall consist of the regional center client’s rights advocate, consumers, family members, and other advocates and community leaders.  A majority of the committee shall be consumers and their family members. The committee shall reflect the multicultural diversity and geographic profile of the catchment area.  The committee shall review the development and ongoing progress of the Self Determination Program, including whether the program advances the principles of self determination and is operating consistent with the requirements of this section, and may make ongoing recommendations for improvement to the regional center and the department.  For more information, please call Erica Reimer Snell  (310)258-4281.

The Local Self Determination Advisory Group is looking for individuals, families, advocates and friends to join the group!

If you are interested in joining, please respond directly to Judy Mark at

WRC Self Determination- Plain Language Presentation

State of California, Department of Developmental Services Self Determination Program – This link to the DDS Self-Determination webpage will introduce you to the Self Determination Program, provide you with the Self Determination statute, answer Frequently asked questions, and refers you to useful resources.


Autism Society of Los Angeles Self Determination Info – The Autism Society of Los Angeles is a non-profit 501c3 corporation serving millions of people in the L.A. area affected by autism. Their mission, vision and values are to make a difference in the lives of people with autism and their families in our community. This link will take you to ASLA’s Self Determination webpage that includes a Self-Determination fact sheet and other helpful resources.

Autism Society SD Fact Sheet for Consumers and Families 2016 

Chart on Differences

Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) Self Determination Project – In 1988 Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center was chosen to pilot the first Self Determination project. This link is to a comprehensive Self Determination webpage that ELARC maintains including legislative updates and facts regarding their pilot program.

State Council on Developmental Disabilities – The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is established by state and federal law as an independent state agency to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families receive the services and supports they need. The Statewide Self-Advocacy Network’s Self Determination Advisory Committee identifies self determination best practices, effective consumer and family training materials, implementation concerns, systemic issues and ways to enhance the program. They make recommendations regarding the most effective method for participants to learn of individuals who are available to provide services and supports. For more information from the Statewide Self-Advocacy Network on Self Determination, please click here.

Local Self-Determination Information Sessions


Pacific Community Center via Lanterman Regional Center

When: Thursday, February 8, 2018

Time:     4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (Spanish session)

               6 – 7 p.m. (English session)

Where: Pacific Community Center

501 South Pacific Ave., Glendale, CA 91204

If you would like to register, contact



Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center

When: Second Tuesday of every month

Time:     9:30-10:30 Spanish

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Korean

5:30-6:30 p.m. English

Where: 3303 Wilshire Blvd., 1st Floor (KYRC Conference Room)

Los Angeles, CA 90010



Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center Boardroom

When: February 6, 2018

Time:     6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Where: 1000 S. Fremont Ave.

Alhambra, CA 91803

(626) 299-4772


North Los Angeles Regional Center

When: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Times: 10:00 a.m. OR 6:30 p.m.

Where: 43210 Gingham Avenue

Lancaster, CA 93535

(818) 778-4416


South Central Los Angeles Regional Center

When: 2nd Wednesday of the month

Times: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: 2500 S. Western Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90018



Autism Society of Los Angeles

When: January 29, 2018

Times: 10am-12pm

Where: Mychal’s Learning Place

4901 W Rosecrans Ave,

Hawthorne, CA 90250

(310) 297-9333