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In the News

Join Us for Storytime at KYRC on August 24

Join the Koch-Young Resource Center and guest librarian Ms. Glenda for a back to school storytime. You'll have fun going through a school day with Ollie and making new friends with Chu.

This event is for children and their parents and will be held on Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the KYRC Library.

Register online by August 22, 2017 to reserve your spot.

For questions, more information and to register, contact 213.252.5600 or


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Restore Respite - Contact Governor Brown

Late last week, the Budget Conference Committee gave our system half a victory thanks to your advocacy. Starting January 1, 2018, the Legislature has agreed to lift the cap on respite. If this is approved by the Governor, this critical service can once again be provided based on family need, not an arbitrary limit. Neither social recreation nor camp were restored.

Now these agreements will be sent to the full Assembly and Senate for approval, and then the Governor will need to sign off on them. This will all happen by June 30.

At this point, advocacy needs to be focused on the last hurdle - the Governor's office.

Contact Governor Brown and ask him to "please restore respite services for people with developmental disabilities."

Phone: 916.445.2841 or E-mail: Web form here

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LA County Recognizes John Eley for Outstanding Community Service

Photo on left: John Eley and Photo on right: Representative from Los Angeles County; John Eley; Helen Dersjant, Skills Instructor II Villa ADP; and Cynthia Banks, Director at County of Los Angeles, Community and Senior Services

The Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently recognized John Eley for his “Outstanding Community Service.” John regularly volunteers at a variety of nonprofits with other participants of the Villa Esperanza Services’ Adult Day Program.
Each Friday for the past six years, John has helped set tables and serve lunches to between 85 to 100 individuals experiencing homelessness at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena. He also helps deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors for the Glendale Salvation Army twice weekly.
John’s community involvement affords him the opportunity to grow his customer and social skills all while connecting with others, giving back to his community and staying active. He enjoys his volunteer activities and the relationships he has built. Thanks John, for making a difference in your community!

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Frank Lanterman’s Legacy

In 1979, the regional center leaves Children's Hospital Los Angeles and is reorganized as a nonprofit freestanding agency, the Los Angeles County Developmental Services Foundation. The agency is dedicated to Frank D. Lanterman and he agrees to lend it his name. Pictured from left to right: Asenath Young, Dr. Richard Koch, Frank Lanterman and then Executive Director Diane Anand at the dedication. 

"Assemblymember Frank D. Lanterman was a hero to people with developmental disabilities," shared Diane Anand in her June 4 presentation at the Lanterman House in La Cañada. The presentation was part of an almost yearlong special exhibit called "The Legacy of Frank Lanterman (1901-1981)." Diane (pictured below) spoke about Lanterman's work in the Legislature on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, including the signature piece of legislation that bears his name - the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, commonly known as the Lanterman Act.

The exhibit runs through December 21, 2017 and gives insight into the multi-faceted life of this famous La Cañada resident. From his early days as a musician and political activist to his 28-year term in the California State Assembly, Frank Lanterman was always a champion for the local community. The exhibition draws from seldom-seen materials that comprise the Frank Lanterman Collections belonging to the Archive of Lanterman House.

Read the 50th anniversary edition of the History of the Regional Centers: Strengthening the Commitment...Reinvesting in the System: A Journey of Community Partnership to learn more about Assemblymember Lanterman's work.

View the documentary film We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Founding California’s Regional Centers to learn more about the early years and the founding of the regional center system.

Learn more about the Lanterman House, the special exhibit on Lanterman's legacy, and how to visit the house, on their Web site.

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Special Exhibit at California Museum to Focus on Advocacy and Art

If your summer travels take you to Sacramento, be sure to stop by and check out the California Museum special exhibit, “Art and Advocacy: To Be Developmentally Disabled (TBD)” that will feature original works by California artists with developmental disabilities. The exhibit is displayed at the California Museum - home of the California Hall of Fame - and is presented in partnership with the California Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN) and Choices Person Centered Services with the California Person Centered Advocacy Partnership, Claraty Arts and The Art of Autism.

The exhibit challenges assumptions about people with developmental disabilities - their lives, relationships, experiences, hopes and dreams. The exhibit - the first of its kind at the California Museum - is meant to further awareness that advocacy comes in many forms, including art, that can be at its best, as powerful as any public testimony at a budget hearing or at a protest rally for disability rights. This is about advocacy and art - centered on the person and their families and friends, including places where they live and work.
The exhibit runs from June 15 to September 17, 2017.


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Los Angeles County Library Offers Free Family Passes to SoCal Museums

Discover & Go is a new LA County Library initiative that provides families the opportunity to visit museums in Southern California for free. Library card holders, above the age of 18, can visit the Discover & Go online portal to reserve free family passes to local Southern California museums.

Museums, much like libraries, serve as community gathering places and provide rich experiences for visitors. This is a great way to enhance cultural experiences involving all Southern California museums and cultural institutions.

Through the Discover & Go program, partnering museums and cultural institutions provide the LA County Library a limited number of free passes to library card holders, who can go online and reserve free family passes. All free tickets are first come, first served, until all tickets are exhausted for the month. 

Museums currently participating in the County Library program include: Autry Museum, Craft & Folk Art Museum, Japanese American National Museum, Kidspace Children's Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, LACMA, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Skirball Museum, and more.

For more information on this program, or to reserve free family passes, visit


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Support Our Back to School YouCaring Fundraiser

We know summer hasn't event started yet, but we're already working to get the new school year off to a great start for Lanterman clients between 3 to 18 years whose families are experiencing financial hardship, and we need your help.

Lanterman is receiving a donation of 400 backpacks from Baby2Baby and Premier Healthcare Services, and we’re turning to our community to help us raise the funds to fill them with basic age-appropriate school supplies.

We've started a YouCaring fundraiser and for every $25 we raise, we’ll be able to fill one backpack with supplies, including everything from crayons, markers, glue, scissors and paper for the younger students, to pens, spiral notebooks, binders, rulers and calculators for the older students.

Service coordinators will be nominating their clients who are most in need and clients will receive their backpack and supplies on July 28, 2017 at a back-to-school event being hosted by Lanterman.

Please support this fundraiser campaign and help make the fall school year a special time for clients, and take a little bit of the stress off of parents who are struggling to send their kids back to school.


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CDCAN Report: DDS Selects Arizona Firm to Conduct Regional Center Provider Rate Study

Following is an excerpt from the May 17, 2017 CDCAN Report:

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) announced this week that it intends to contract with Burns and Associates, a Phoenix-based consulting firm, to conduct a long awaited regional center provider rate study and to provide recommendations for a “simplified rate setting methodology” for providing services and supports to eligible children and adults with developmental disabilities in California.

A rate study when completed – if viewed as credible, comprehensive and accurate by advocates and policymakers – could have sweeping impact on community-based services and supports for hundreds of thousands children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families, and thousands of community based providers and workers across California.


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Outlook Newspapers Writes Article About Pasadena Providers and First Responders Seminar

Check out the May 4, 2017 article by Shel Segal of Outlook Newspapers called "Bridging the Gap Between First Responders and the Disabled" about a recent seminar held by Pasadena service providers and first responders.

Following is an excerpt from the article:
Emergencies can happen without warning. And although first responders do their best, there are times they come across situations that make the emergency even more challenging, including communicating with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Villa Esperanza Services, AbilityFirst and Professional Child Development Associates joined forces recently and presented a seminar and training session at Ambassador Auditorium to help train families and caregivers how to work with law enforcement and first responders.


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The Pasadena Star-News Publishes Editorial on Developmental Services Funding

The Editorial Board of The Pasadena Star-News published "State must not siphon off developmental services funding" on May 09, 2017.

Following in an excerpt from the article:
An idea floating around the Capitol deserves the full support of legislators and the governor: that savings from the upcoming closures of California’s three remaining developmental centers should be used to sustain developmental services, and not be swept into the state’s general fund.


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Promotora Program Expands, Community Health Workers Trained

Lanterman Regional Center, along with Esperanza Housing, has expanded the Promotora Program with the recruitment and training of two additional promotoras that will be providing services to 52 newly enrolled Spanish-speaking Lanterman families. 

In addition, starting in January, the Promotora program was replicated with the Korean Youth Community Center (KYCC), and two community health workers were recruited and began training to provide services to 20 Korean-speaking families.

"This model has proven to be a successful strategy in targeting disparities and increasing access to services for clients living at home with their parents," shares Rose Chacana, director, Koch-Young Resource Center. "The community health workers/promotoras build community trust through home visitations and mentoring. They are leaders in the community who speak the same language and understand the challenges our families face."

With training completed in April, work with families began right away. Pictured at the graduation/certification of the new promotoras/community health workers (from left to right): Norma Benitez, health director at Esperanza Housing, who oversees the Promotora Program and training of new community health workers/promotoras; Lisbeth Vilchez, new Spanish-speaking promotora for Esperanza; Juana Calel, new Spanish-speaking promotora for Esperanza; Geumjin "Ginny" Yoo, new community health worker for KYCC; Hannah Lim, new community health worker for KYCC; Nayon Kang, assistant division director for KYCC; and Jaime Cha McGrath, Lanterman family support specialist.

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Scrub a Dub, Dub…Soap Making Class Held for Adult Clients

Jaime Cha McGrath, Lanterman family support specialist, recently led a four-session soap making class for adult clients. 

Attended by a total of seven clients, some of whom came with a parent, adult sibling or aide, participants not only learned about the soap making process, but also about health and hygiene. And most importantly, they had an opportunity to make new friends.

All participants had hands on experience making the soaps themselves. They made soaps of different colors, shapes and fragrances. Once the soaps were ready, they packaged their products into gift bags to take home for themselves or give as a gift.

With lots of interest in another class, we are currently in the process of exploring locations to partner with to host future classes, and will keep everyone posted as to the next soap making opportunity.

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NLACRC Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Lanterman Act

Lanterman Board Member Yudy Mazariegos and Executive Director Melinda Sullivan attended a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act hosted by North Los Angeles County Regional Center.

This celebration included a viewing of "We’re Here to Speak for Justice," a documentary on the founding of the regional center system. Carol Liu, former state senator, was also honored at the event and recognized as a tireless advocate for people with developmental disabilities during her terms. 

Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (46th District) was in attendance as well and stated that the documentary should be required viewing. He also encouraged regional center families to connect with their local representatives.

Top Photo (left to right): Diane Ambrose, deputy director of NLACRC; Lanterman Executive Director Melinda Sullivan; former State Senator Carol Liu; and George Stevens, executive director of NLACRC

Center Left Photo: Former State Senator Carol Liu

Center Right Photo: Steve Miller, retired executive director of Tierra del Sol

Bottom Photo (left to right): Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and Lanterman Board Member Yudy Mazariegos

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Notice of Settlement Issued

A Notice of Settlement for the disability rights class action case Ochoa v. City of Long Beach has been issued. As further explained in the Notice, the Settlement addresses the accessibility of the City’s pedestrian right of way for individuals with mobility disabilities. The judge in Ochoa ordered plaintiff’s counsel to distribute this Notice to several specific disability rights organizations to ensure the Long Beach community with disabilities was aware of the settlement. For additional information, please visit



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Check Out the SFVBJ Article on AB 279

The challenges facing the developmental services system in the San Fernando Valley region are presented in this recent two-page article (page 1 and page 2) in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal (SFVBJ) focused on AB 279. The bill, by Assemblymember Chris Holden, would fund costs associated with local minimum wage increases. ARCA is in support of the bill.

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New Business Acumen Monthly Webinar Series for Providers

Join the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities for a monthly webinar to be held on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
The mission of community-based organizations (CBO) is rooted in supporting people with disabilities and/or older adults to have vibrant and meaningful lives in their community. This mission is achieved through a culture and philosophy that values person-centered practices, which in turn has yielded a highly customized and community specific provider network. With the movement toward integrated health care, join us to learn more about national efforts to help CBOs to sharpen their business skills in order to translate their mission and expertise into value-added partnerships with a variety of payers including managed care organizations.

Learn more about ACL's Business Acumen initiative to help states and community-based organizations build networks and respond to delivery system changes, including technical assistance, building business capacity for successful contracting with integrated care entities, and developing pathways to sustainability.



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TAKE ACTION: Contact Chairwoman Fletcher Now, Ask for Support of AB279

Write, fax or e-mail Chairwoman Fletcher now, and ask for support of AB279. This bill will allow DDS and regional centers to adjust provider reimbursement rates to rates higher than the State's minimum wage so service providers can comply with city and county minimum wage increases and continue providing services in local communities with higher wage requirements. The Committee votes April 25.

Step 1: Download the sample letter.

Step 2: Fill in the letter with your information.

Step 3: Send the letter to Chairwoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher via:

  • Mail:
    Honorable Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
    Chair of Assembly Appropriations Committee
    Capitol Office, Room 2114
    P.O. Box 942849
    Sacramento, CA 94249-0080
  • Fax:
  • E-mail:
    Click through e-mail form

Why Is This Important?
As California service providers forecast for the future, it is important they continue fighting for funding for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Currently, service providers are reimbursed by the regional centers at rates determined by the California Legislature. Rates can be increased to meet state minimum wage requirements, but not for city or county minimum wage requirements.

With the minimum wage in Pasadena going up to $13.25 an hour in 2018, in contrast to the $11 an hour mandated by California, current reimbursement rates will create a significant shortfall. Many service providers have already closed their doors and more will follow if there is no change, leaving thousands of people without much needed resources.

Service providers are grateful to Assemblymember Chris Holden, who has sponsored Assembly Bill (AB) 279 to address this problem. The bill will allow the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and regional centers to adjust reimbursement rates to comply with city and county minimum wage increases. The bill passed through the Human Services Committee vote on March 7 and will now be voted on by the Appropriations Committee on April 25. If it passes, it will be presented as part of the State Budget Revision in May.

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Mercedes Diaz Homes Opens Keystone in Burbank

Mercedes Diaz Homes has just opened Keystone in Burbank. This 4-bedroom home provides a welcoming environment for individuals moving from the developmental center or similar restrictive environments. Residents will have their own bedroom and will be able to access various community activities with staff support. The home was developed with Community Placement Program funds. Mercedes Diaz Homes designed the house with the residents in mind, creating shared and private spaces that all can enjoy.

One of the home's new residents is moving out of Fairview Developmental Center in May and will be living close to his parents. Another tenant has complex health and behavioral needs and she is moving out of a locked psychiatric center.

Top photo, left to right: The mother of the individual moving out of Fairview; along with Mercedes Diaz, owner of the home; Claudia, the manager of the home; and a personal friend of Mercedes.

Second photo, above on the left: A view of the backyard of the home with (left to right) Claudia, Lanterman Board Member Larry DeBoer, and Ramon Diaz (far right).

Third photo, above on the right: Pictured are Claudia, Ramon, Mercedes and Larry.

Four bottom photos (clockwise, left to right): Shown are the backyard, the kitchen, the living room and one of the bedrooms.

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Kids Against Bullying Classroom Activity Book

Order printed copies or download the eight-page classroom activity book designed with educational activities that incorporate the Web site. It engages young learners in creative ways, using the Club Crew cast from the Kids Against Bullying Web site.

The content provides activities to help students think about their feelings, explore responses to bullying situations, and take the pledge to be a Kid Against Bullying.

Free to download, full color or black/white.

Full-color print booklets are available; $25 for 25 copies which includes postage. To order by mail, use the publication order form.

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