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CDCAN Reports Breaking News on the Recent Appointment of Nancy Bargmann as Director of DDS

Currently Works for San Gabriel – Pomona Regional Center Since Last Fall After Stepping Down Last July As Deputy Director of Community Services Division in Department of Developmental Services

SACRAMENTO, CA [BY MARTY OMOTO, CDCAN - LAST UPDATED 03/04/2016  2:53 PM] - Governor Brown, in a statement released late this afternoon, announced the appointment of Nancy Bargmann, age 54, a widely respected former senior department official, as the new director of the Department of Developmental Services. The appointment requires confirmation from the state Senate likely sometime early next year, though Bargmann can serve in the position until then. News of the Bargmann appointment is being greeted with high praise and strong support by advocates and policymakers across the State.

Diana Dooley, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, released a statement this afternoon to department staff, praising Bargmann’s  “…dedication, energy and caring she brings to her work and to the individuals we serve...," reflecting the reaction of many advocates, regional centers, and others who have worked with Bargmann.

The Department of Developmental Services, under the California Health and Human Services Agency, oversees the community-based services and supports funded through the 21 non-profit regional centers who in turn contract local community organizations and individuals to provide services to over 300,000 eligible people with developmental disabilities across the State. The department also owns and operates the three remaining health facilities called developmental centers and one smaller facility.

Bargmann will succeed Santi Rogers, who retired from state service on November 30. California Health and Human Services Agency Under Secretary Michael Wilkening has served as acting director since then and will continue to do so until Bargmann assumes the position sometime in the coming several weeks, though no exact starting date has yet been announced.

Diana Dooley, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, promised last October when Rogers’ announced his retirement, that she and her team would look for the right person to lead the department at a time when the State has embarked on a wide range of sweeping transitions to meet new federal requirements, and efforts to resolve long and short term issues of funding and resources in the community impacting people with developmental disabilities. Those major transitions include the State’s efforts moving forward on the historic closures of the remaining State-owned and operated developmental centers (except for the secured treatment area of Porterville Developmental Center); major changes in community services to comply with new federal Medicaid Home and Community Services Waiver regulations; compliance with the new federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; transitions and efforts dealing with critical funding and resource issues for people needing services and supports in the community, including those with unmet needs; issues related to reducing cultural disparities across the State; implementation of the new Self Determination Program; implementation of competitive integrated employment; transition of over 13,000 children to receive behavioral health treatment under Medi_Cal managed care; and other major initiatives.

Bargmann currently works for the San Gabriel – Pomona Regional Center in Pomona since last fall, after stepping down at the end of July last year due to family health reasons, as deputy director of the Department of Developmental Services’ community services division that oversees, among other things, regional center funded community-based services and supports. Bargmann served in that position for over three and half years, serving first under former department director Terri Delgadillo and then under Santi Rogers.

In that previous position Bargmann played a key role in bringing together diverse and sometimes competing stakeholders to navigate and implement major changes in state and federal policies impacting people with developmental disabilities and earned the respect of persons with developmental disabilities, their families, providers, regional centers and other advocates and policymakers. She was a visible presence over the years at numerous budget and other legislative hearings and stakeholder meetings up until last July when she stepped down as deputy director.

Nancy Bargmann, 54, of Long Beach, has been appointed director at the California Department of Developmental Services, where she was deputy director of the Community Services Division from 2012 to 2015. Bargmann has been associate executive director at the San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center since 2015. She held several positions at Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment Inc. from 2009 to 2012, including executive director and business consultant and held several positions at the MENTOR Network from 1998 to 2009, including vice president of operations, vice president of business development and California state director. She held several positions at the Inland Regional Center from 1985 to 1998, including community services director, resource manager, adult services program manager and client services coordinator. Bargmann earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management and a Master of Science degree in social work from San Diego State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $186,572. Bargmann is a Republican.

The following is a statement released by Secretary Dooley to all staff of the Department of Developmental Services today, on the appointment of Nancy Bargmann as director: “I am very pleased to welcome Nancy Bargmann back to the Department of Developmental Services as the new Director. Nancy brings over 30 years of experience in serving individuals with developmental disabilities, including a wealth of knowledge in developing community resources, which will be extremely valuable as residents living in the developmental centers transition to community living and as individuals age out of their family homes and move into the community. Those of you who have worked with Nancy know the commitment, dedication, energy and caring she brings to her work and to the individuals we serve. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to work with her yet, you’re in for a treat. Please join me in congratulating Nancy on her appointment.”

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Deadline to Opt Out of Court Decision Impacting Families of Young & School Age Children is April 1

If you are the parent or guardian of a child (including an infant) with disabilities; the parent or guardian of a student who is attending or attended a California school at any time since January 1, 2008, you should be aware a federal court has ordered the release of personal protected information, including behavior, health and discipline reports, Social Security numbers and home addresses to a nonprofit which claims it wants to ensure disabled students are being treated fairly under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws.

The court order states that information will not be made available to the public, but this puts the responsibility in the hands of the nonprofit.

You can file an objection to information related to your child and your family being released. However, it is unclear whether the objection will prevent your child’s information from being released.

You must print and fill out a form or mail a private letter to the judge. There is no electronic means of notifying the court. Any objection must be received by the court by April 1, 2016.


Read the Court's complete decision and its order

Read a news release about this from the California Department of Education

Read the San Diego Union Tribune article about this decision

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Howard McBroom Heads to Germany to Share His Experience Living Life Through the Lens of Autism

Howard McBroom’s recent trip to Germany to share his experience living life with a diagnosis of autism all came about from a 2011 interview he did for the Los Angeles Times.

The article was read by Jette Paetz, a graduate student of Dr. Georg, and the wheels were set in motion. In 2012, Dr. Georg traveled to Los Angeles for a face to face interview with Howard for his book, “The Practice of Autism in America.” One thing led to another and three years later, Dr. Georg proposed that Howard travel to Germany to speak at a conference he was organizing about autism that would bring psychiatric professionals and people with autism together for the first time for meaningful discussion.

The biggest hurdle for Howard was getting a passport, but with the help of Jacquelyn Castillo, his community living specialist at United Cerebral Palsy, and Srbui Ovsepyan, his Lanterman service coordinator, he got it. With his essentials packed, Howard’s trip started on November 13, and for 10 days Howard brought, what he dubbed “Hope from America,” sharing his story, the effects of autism on him personally, and also about the regional center system on self-determination. The conference laid the groundwork for increased cooperation between the communities with autism in America and in Germany.

Howard shares, “This was an experience of a lifetime. I am very proud to represent the Regional Center in such a large scale advocacy effort and I look forward to more opportunities as an international speaker.”

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Getting Ready for El Nino

As you know, heavier-than-usual rains, referred to as “El Nino” are expected in the Los Angeles area. The latest forecasts are for the heaviest downpours to be throughout January, February and March, 2016. Among the greatest concerns are flooding and mudslides in some areas, power outages, street closures, leaking roofs and extra traffic.

The City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County each have a registry which anyone can sign up for. If you provide your cell phone and e-mail address, notifications of emergencies and areas to avoid will be texted, called or e-mailed to you. All landlines are already automatically in the system. View a flyer that explains how to sign up for these registries.

There are also things you can do to prepare yourself and your family such as:

  • Create an emergency kit that contains a minimum of 72 hours of food and water for each person, medications, first aid supplies, a flashlight and a radio.
  • Develop a plan for communication and re-uniting if it should become necessary.
  • To prepare your residence, repair roofs, trim trees and clear out gutters.
  • For your car, make sure headlights and windshield wipers are in good working order.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded areas.
  • For your pets, plan for pet food, water, medications and leashes.

Here are some helpful websites:

Unusual weather can cause increased fear and anxiety. Discuss it ahead of time if that strategy helps. For people with some types of disabilities, use pictures or videos or your home shower to illustrate heavy rain. Plan things to do for extended time indoors. Follow news reports and heed instructions to stay away from problem areas. It is impossible to know exactly how much rain is expected, but a little advanced planning can reduce panic and maximize everyone’s safety.

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State Council on Developmental Disabilities Begins Next Phase of Child/Family Surveys

Starting November 2, 2015 through March 2016 the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) Los Angeles Office will be sending out National Core Indicator Child/Family Surveys to parents and guardians of children, ages 3 to 18, who receive services from Lanterman, Eastern Los Angeles, Harbor, North Los Angeles County, South Central Los Angeles, Westside, San Gabriel/Pomona and Tri-Counties regional centers.

The National Core Indicators are standard measures used by many states to assess how people feel about the services that they receive from the developmental disability system. The questions address key areas of concern including service planning, community inclusion, choice, health and safety, rights and employment. The responses to these surveys will help California identify essential changes necessary to improve the quality of services at a statewide and local level. 

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential. No one will know your answers - not case managers, providers, support workers, or any others. Your answers will not affect you, your child, or the services your family receives. The survey comes with a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope.

Surveys will also be available in the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Hmong, Khmer-Cambodian, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese

If you need help reading or understanding the survey, or need an interpreter, contact the SCDD Los Angeles office at 818.543.4631 or When you receive the survey please complete and return it within two weeks.

Legislative Hearing Updates from ARCA

On December 1, there were two legislative informational hearings that are relevant to the work that regional centers do. Following is a summary by Amy Westling, Director of Policy, Association of Regional Center Agencies.

First, there was a hearing on the MCO tax in Los Angeles, which covered, by and large, familiar territory and information. Sen. Hernandez (chair) welcomed all participants and attendees. He noted with disappointment that the Department of Finance declined the conference committee’s invitation. He had been particularly interested in hearing from them why the tax is needed in light of the new funds recently reported by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).

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Kaiser Sunset Partners with Lanterman, LAUSD and Pathpoint to Implement Project SEARCH

Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center has Partnered with Lanterman Regional Center, LAUSD and Pathpoint to Bring Project SEARCH to Their Medical Campus

Top photo is Jaime Rodriguez; bottom left photo is Adrian Garcia; and bottom right photo is Erick Morales. All 3 are Los Angeles Unified School District students participating in Project SEARCH and are supported by LAUSD Special Education Teacher Lisa Divers.

Photos taken by LAUSD Special Education Teacher Lisa Divers

View more photos

About Project SEARCH
Project SEARCH is a program for young adults with disabilities to learn job skills through unpaid internships. The interns are in their last year at LAUSD and they will participate in three 10-week internships throughout various Kaiser/Sunset departments such as OB/GYN, Ambulatory Services and Volunteer Services.

The goal for Project SEARCH interns is to gain valuable work experience that will lead to paid employment after graduation. Recruitment for students for the 2016-17 school year will begin soon. 

LAUSD students interested in finding out more about Project SEARCH should speak with their teacher or their service coordinator at Lanterman.

For general information about Project SEARCH visit their Web site.

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All About Autism BrainNet

It Takes Brains Solve Autism

What is Autism BrainNet?
Autism BrainNet is a new network of four university-based sites across the country that have come together to make brain donation both easier and more useful for future research. Brain donations to any of these sites will contribute to a common pool that will facilitate research by the best autism researchers in the world.

Why is Autism BrainNet Important?
Autism is a disorder of brain development. In order to make progress in all areas of autism research, scientists need to study brains. Understanding what is different about the genetics or structure of the brain will give autism researchers essential information to develop better treatments and ultimately prevent the debilitating symptoms of autism.

Read more to learn how donations are used and how you can help

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Making Ornanments for the State Capitol Tree

Breakout the Glitter, Glue Guns and Tissue Paper - It's Time to Get Crafty and Start Making Ornaments for the State Capitol Tree

For more than 20 years, ornaments made by persons with developmental disabilities have adorned the state tree during the holidays. The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has been asked once again to participate in the official State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will take place in early December.

DDS is requesting ornaments from regional center clients to decorate the tree. If you or your program/agency would like to make and donate one or more ornaments, please check out the ornament guidelines and shipping instructions.

Ornaments must be received by November 16, 2015

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DDS Director Santi Rogers to Retire Effective December 1

Santi Rogers, Director of the Department of Developmental Services will retire from state service, effective December 1, 2015. The surprise announcement was made by California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley at the beginning of the California Health and Human Services Agency Developmental Services Task Force meeting Wednesday morning, who praised the commitment and work of Rogers. She thanked Rogers, widely respected for his long career working for the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, noting that he ended up serving beyond his one year commitment as director of the Department of Developmental Services. Task force members and the audience in the room gave Rogers a strong ovation acknowledging his lifelong work.

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Promotora Project Family Graduation

Lanterman recently celebrated the first group of families graduating from the Center's pilot project with Esperanza Community Housing.

Called the Promotora Project, it is the first of its kind among the 21 regional centers in California.

The goal of the Promotora Project is to help families increase access to services in their community, increase advocacy skills, and improve their understanding of their child’s special needs.

Congratulations to all the families who participated.


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Kirk is a Shining Example of Life After the Developmental Center

Sometimes the unremarkable is remarkable - like going out for dinner, taking a trip to Target, or even decorating your own tree at the holidays. It's something many of us take for granted, but for Kirk, officially Lanterman's last client to move out of Lanterman Developmental Center in December 2014, after living there since 1997, these are experiences to be cherished.

Kirk He moved into the Verdugo 1 home in Burbank and his service coordinator, Jenny Arellano, shares, "Kirk has taken pride in and ownership of his home. He has made connections with his staff and has been heard calling his Direct Service Professional his 'brother.' Kirk has made significant improvement with his ambulation since his arrival at his new home; this is a result of his DSP providing constant encouragement to use his lower extremities. He is now able to move more efficiently throughout his home with support from his walker and on occasion he will even make short trips around his home without support from an assistive device."

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Dorothy’s 77th Birthday Luau

For nearly 70 years, Dorothy lived at Lanterman Developmental Center. In July 2010, she moved to Easter Seals Frederic Home, where she now resides with two other housemates.

According to her service coordinator, Jenny Arellano, "Dorothy seems to like having her own room and living in a quieter environment. She is the 'queen' of the house as she is the only female resident. And the staff is very attentive and caring. Dorothy enjoys being pampered and loves getting her makeup done and her hair coifed and is regularly treated to 'spa days.''' Staff recently threw Dorothy a marvelous luau to celebrate her 77th birthday.

Dorothy also enjoys spending time out in the community. Over this past year she has visited Universal Studios, Malibu Beach and ate at Duke’s Diner. She also visited Beverly Hills and went on tour of famous stars homes.

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Ramona’s Poem

When Lusine Gambaryan, SLS Assistant Program Director at InClusion Services, recently stopped by to visit Ramona, Ramona shared a poem she had written entitled "A Poem About Ramona." Ramona asked that they read it together, as it was written just after a particularly difficult experience that she went through and Lusine shares, "This touched my heart that Ramona was courageous enough to write out her thoughts and express them on paper."

Ramona is a young adult who has successfully transitioned from living in a state developmental center to living in her own apartment with supports. She is a member of Lanterman's Client Advisory Committee as well. 

Lusine adds, "After reading this, I am confident that Ramona is trying very hard to overcome her daily challenges. She also understands that with the help of her support circle she has come a long way to turn around at this."

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Information and Resources are Only a Click, E-mail or Phone Call Away

A few weeks ago, Lanterman's Koch-Young Resource Center (KYRC) received an e-mail at Help Desk asking for information regarding epilepsy. The information was provided, and then not too long thereafter, the KYRC received an update. It turns out the requester was a high school student who has epilepsy and lives in Wyoming - Gabbie Marie.

Rose Chacana, director of the KYRC, shares, "She found us on her own, researched the Lanterman Web site and used the information she gathered to create a school project designed to increase epilepsy awareness. I really like her initiative and she made very good use of the Web site and KYRC resources, all while residing in another state. We touch many lives..."

Gabbie Marie's project was presented at the Wyoming State FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) in Cheyenne. Her presentation and project placed bronze in the statewide Illustrative Talk competition. And while she didn't make it to the Nationals, her story is a shining example of what can be accomplished with the information and resources that are available with only a click, e-mail or phone call.

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Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center

Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center Find Their “Voice” and Express Themselves Positively

Eight years ago, brothers John and Daniel, who had spent much of their adult lives at Lanterman Developmental Center, moved into Casa de Adora. And contrary to all of the naysayers who argued keeping adults with developmental disabilities like John and Daniel in the developmental centers was better for them, with nurturing and support from the staff at Casa de Adora, John and Daniel have all but disproven this.

It’s not to say that it didn’t take time to achieve the marked progress that can be seen in their lives and the daily lives of the other residents at Casa de Adora, but they are a case in point example of the breakthroughs that can be achieved when clients are provided with ways in which to find their “voice” and express themselves positively.

“When they first came to Casa de Adora,” recalls Julio Vicente, a QA Specialist in Lanterman’s Community Services department, “the two brothers had uncontrollable behaviors, including hitting, kicking, head banging, yelling and spitting, and they didn’t like to be around others, especially people they didn’t know. For Daniel, these were the ways he used to communicate as he didn’t’ have any other means or know what else to do, and John would also retreat to his room and spend hours in his chair alone.”

Fast forward to Daniel’s most recent birthday celebration, and the two brothers can be seen celebrating with the Casa de Adora staff and the other two residents – Jaime and Mario. Julio adds, “Daniel no longer exhibits any of the above behaviors, enjoys hanging out and has learned some basic sign language to communicate with others. John, who never came out of his room and did not want to participate in any activities, now spends time in the living room watching television with his brother and his peers, partakes in meals with the rest of the residents, and has even learned to smile and attempt to communicate through sign language as well.”

Mario and Jaime have also made leaps and bounds since moving in. The staff have worked very closely with Mario and his doctors on medication reduction, and Jaime has gone from being introverted to talking, singing and making eye contact with his peers and with people in general.

Julio adds, “This is all very endearing to me, because I saw them when they first got to the home and I’m looking at a totally different and amazing picture now.  Wonderful to see!”


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Grassroots Day 2015 ~ Sacramento

Last week was Grassroots Day in Sacramento, and Lanterman board member and parent Karla Garcia, along with Enrique Roman, associate director of Client and Family Services, and Karen Ingram, director of Community Services spent the day in Sacramento visiting with members of the Legislature and their senior staff to build support for the much needed 10% funding increase for regional centers and providers. They shared how key this increase is for providers as far as offering competitive wages, hiring quality staff, reducing turnover and in the end their ability to stay in business.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Enrique, Karen and Karla with Senator Holly Mitchell (at right), an advocate for children and regional centers who was instrumental in restoring Early Start last year; Karla with the Golden Bear; and Karen and Enrique with Tina Andolina (center), Senior Policy Consultant to Senator Ben Allen

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Mark Your Calendars for the Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games

The Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games are coming to California State University, Long Beach on June 13 and 14. The games are free and open to the public and competitions include aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics. Learn more at and come out and show your support for more than 1,100 athletes from all over Southern California.


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Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing Requirements No Longer In Effect

On February 13, 2015, a federal court issued a ruling that the Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing requirements put into effect in 2009 could not be enforced until such time as the state had obtained approval for the requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Essentially, the Court said the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) cannot implement Uniform Holiday Closures without prior approval from CMS, so they are no longer in effect. What this means for regional center clients and families is that programs and transportation services that were impacted by these closures MAY provide services on March 31 (what was to be the next Uniform Holiday Closure date), and on all other future UHC dates. Families should, however, confirm with the program that they will be open that day.

The Court also said that DDS cannot implement half-day billing requirements for day programs without prior approval from CMS, so this is no longer in effect as well. This applies to Activity Centers, Adult Development Centers, Behavior Management Programs and other look-alike day programs.


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The Time Has Come - Let Your Voices Be Heard, Show Your Support for a 10% Funding Increase

The time has come - get informed and then let your voices be heard and show your support for a 10% funding increase for the developmental services system - before it's too late.

Get Informed - Read ARCA's Report and Senator Beall's New Letter
ARCA has released its newest report, titled On The Brink Of Collapse, meant to provide policy-makers, advocates, and the citizens of California an understanding of the crisis engulfing our state’s developmental services system.

ARCA hopes this report will increase your understanding of the fiscal challenges California’s developmental services system faces in fulfilling its promise to individuals and their families and the urgent need for both short and long-term Budget solutions, which ARCA and the other Lanterman Coalition members support, to stabilize and advance the system.

On a separate front, Senator Beall has authored a second letter itemizing various harms done to the developmental services system, and specifically asking for the 10% POS/OPS increase. He is requesting that other legislators sign on. Read a copy of his letter and use it to inform your personal comments and testimony.

Take Action - Attend the March 4 Capitol Rally or E-mail Your Testimony for the Hearing
The Lanterman Coalition's members continue to push for funding reform to fix our developmental services system, but they need our help. If you can, join them at the State Capitol in Sacramento for a rally at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4 or come testify and show your support for our system at a Budget hearing, in room 4202, at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Now is the time to advocate for our system and your services. This is your first, and best chance to tell the Legislature why your service system needs a 10% increase now, and long-term funding reform.

Can't make it, but still want your voice to be heard? Please e-mail your personal, honest and respectful testimony and comments to "The Honorable Tony Thurmond," chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services. The email address is: And be sure to include your mailing address at the bottom to ensure your testimony can be properly accepted.

Read more about what you can do to take action in ARCA's latest newsletter.


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