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In the News

Governor Releases Proposed Budget for 2015-16; Does Not Address Need for 10% Funding Increase

Governor Brown has presented the proposed Governor’s Budget for fiscal year 2015-16. The priorities he outlined included maintaining a balanced budget and rainy day fund to protect against future recessions, and paying down debt. He noted that to accomplish this, the Governor’s Budget for next year is “basically flat” with modest increases in some areas.

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DDS SafetyNet ~ Stay Healthy This Winter

It's a new year, and a new you. Keep yourself healthy during winter flu season. Watch these videos to learn what you can do to stay healthy. 

Get a Flu Shot
Getting a flu shot can help protect you from the flu. Watch the video below to hear from self-advocates who got their flu shot. The video also includes more tips on how to stay healthy this winter.

Wash Your Hands
Wash away germs on your hands that can make you sick. Learn the best way to wash your hands by watching this video.

More on Staying Healthy
There are many tips on how to stay healthy this winter. Use this neat poster to remind you of these tips. Click here for a copy you can print. Don't forget to share it with your supporters and your friends.

For more tips on staying healthy, visit the DDS SafetyNet.

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CDCAN State Capitol Update: Self-Determination Progrmam Funding Proposal Submitted to Fed. Gov’t

CDCAN State Capitol Update: "Self Determination Program" Funding Proposal Submitted To Federal Government Last Week by Department of Developmental Services - Major Step Toward Implementation in California

SACRAMENTO, CA [CDCAN LAST UPDATED 01/08/2015 – 09:00 AM] – A new program that is meant to give eligible persons with developmental disabilities in California more flexibility, control, and choices on their services and supports called “self determination” moved a major step forward toward implementation with the submission of a funding proposal to the federal government by the Brown Administration last week on December 31st.  The State law that authorizes the Self Determination Program requires approval of matching federal funds in order to be implemented in California.

While the submission of the proposal to the federal government is a significant step, the normal review process could take several months or even longer before expected approval is given by the federal government and actual implementation of the program can begin in the State.

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Petition the State House and Senate to Support the Developmental Disabilities Community

The developmental disabilities community needs help now. During the past ten years this system has endured over 50 cost cutting changes to the Lanterman Act, elimination of services, and reductions to a rate system that was already frozen. This major divestment from a once robust and comprehensive community system of coordinated care, supports, and services has resulted in a fragile system that has begun the collapse many have warned about for years.

The Lanterman Coalition, consisting of the 19 statewide organizations of the California Developmental Services system, has urged the Brown administration to stop the current state of collapse of our system with a 10% reinvestment and Senator Jim Beall and others have writtten a letter in support of repairing the IDD system with ongoing support. 

Please support the Lanterman Coalition's 10 Campaign and join your colleagues in supporting Senator Beall's sign on letter.

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Obama Signs ABLE Act Into Law

On December 21, 2014, President Obama enacted the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) which will allow tax-free savings accounts to help individuals and families cover lifetime disability expenses. ABLE will allow individuals will disabilities to protect or qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid by eliminating a $2,000 cap that now applies to conventional savings accounts.

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Lanterman Families Help First Year Students at UCLA School of Law Gain Valuable Hands-On Experience

Earlier this year, UCLA School of Law reached out to Meredith Goetz who oversees the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic, to see if Lanterman would be interested in participating in a month-long trial program that would provide first year law students (LS1s) the opportunity for some time-limited field work. Students would practice interviewing clients and writing summary memos that would be used to help develop the client's case.

The Lanterman Law Clinic approached the 80 or so families they are currently working with and received an outpouring of support for this pilot, so every Friday in the month of October, the first year law students practiced their interview skills with Lanterman families.

“We are grateful to the Law Clinic for all the hard work and care they give to us. Without them, we wouldn’t get the school to listen to us. Thank you. We keep looking forward to working with them," share parents Maria Barrera and Jessi Escalante.

Melinda Sullivan, executive director adds: "This was a win-win, in the process of interviewing Lanterman families, the LS1s were exposed to special education issues and introduced to the field of special education law, gained hands-on practice writing summary memos of the legal issues and assisted the Clinic in their work helping families with the school district." 

Whether this model meets the needs of the UCLA School of Law to provide field work to first year students going forward, one thing can be said for certain, it did leave an impression on one first year law student - Ethan Feng. He says, “It was wonderful to see how your organization can help children and young adults with special needs.”

If you would like more information about the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic, contact your service coordinator.

Pictured from left to right: Law student Ethan Feng and parents Jessi Escalante and Maria Barrera and Below: A thank you card from UCLA Law School students that participated in the pilot program interviewing parents about their special education concerns.

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New Rules for IHSS Regarding Overtime and Related Changes Coming in the New Year

On January, 1, 2015, new federal rules and state laws take effect regarding overtime and related changes. Check out this informative publication from Disability Rights California called "New Rules for IHSS: Overtime and Related Changes" for everything you need to know.
 


Learn More About the Lanterman Coalition’s Ten4Ten Campaign

Check out the Lanterman Coalition's Ten4Ten campaign that suggests ten things clients, families, service providers and others can do to advocate for a 10% increase to stop the current collapse of the community based service system for children and adults with developmental disabilities.


Area Board 10 Gets a New Name in the New Year

A new year brings a new name for Area Board 10... Assembly Bill 1595 goes into effect January 1, 2015 and it contains some changes to the structure of the Area Boards. For the past 12 years, Area Boards have been constituted as regional offices of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). With the passage of AB 1595, the term “Area Board” will be eliminated to better clarify that the offices are regional offices of the State Council. This will bring the California Council into alignment with the federal law that governs their operations. They intend to continue transmitting the same informative monthly newsletter with a new byline. And, their office remains committed to serving the needs of the Los Angeles developmental disability community. See more online at www.scdd.ca.gov/areaboards.htm.

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DDS SafetyNet ~ Be Smart: Manage Your Money

Having your own money means you can choose how to spend it. Sometimes, we spend more than we mean to. Learn how to make smarter spending choices. Below are a few easy tips for managing your money. Share them with your supporter, or someone you support.

  • Make a Budget
  • Consider: Needs vs. Want
  • Think, Plan, Do
  • A Tip for the Holidays: Save money and give homemade gifts

For more useful tips on managing your money, read the DDS SafetyNet e-mail at or visit the DDS SafetyNet Web site at www.ddssafety.net.

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Hearing Held to Determine Impact from Funding Reductions, First Steps Towards Sustainability

Hearing Held to Determine Extent of Impact from Funding Reductions on Community Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, and First Steps Towards a Sustainable Future for the System

It’s been said in the past that the regional centers are at the hub of the community service system, they connect all of the various spokes together in a central place by coordinating the services and supports that children and adults with developmental disabilities rely on to be active, productive and contributing members in their communities. The spokes, if you will, are made up of the service providers, families and other community organizations that provide the services and supports directly to regional center clients. Together they formed a well-honed wheel. For many years this system worked reasonably well despite the challenges of chronic underfunding.

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October ~ PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month

The End of Bullying Begins with Me is the message to remember during PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month in October. It’s a time when communities unite nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities, outreach, and education. PACER created the campaign in 2006 with a one-week event which has now evolved into a month-long effort to encourage everyone to take an active role in the bullying prevention movement. PACER offers a variety of resources to use year-round, but especially during October, to inspire, educate, and inform. Check out the many events and activities, and make plans to join the movement and take action where you live.

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Why Vote? - Members of the ARCA CAC Share What Voting Means to Them, Register to Vote by Oct. 20

The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers through its Disability Organizing Network is hosting a video contest. Groups and individuals were encouraged to submit brief (30 second to 2 minute) videos encouraging individuals with disabilities to vote. The ARCA CAC members decided at their recent meeting that they wanted to participate in the contest and that given the limited allowed length of the video that they each wanted to share why voting is important to them personally. Their video features 13 members of the ARCA CAC expressing in their own words why voting matters to them. The one minute video can be seen here

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming November elections is October 20, 2014. All necessary information about registering to vote and voting in California is available in the Elections section on the California Secretary of State's Web site.

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Community Social/Recreational/Training Opportunities

Fall is in the air, and there are many community social, recreational and training opportunities

Following are links to flyers for various trainings, activites and opportunities being offered in and around the Lanterman area. Some of these are organized/planned specifically for adults with developmental disabilities.

Click on the flyer link to view more information for the many opportunities available.

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A Message from Lanterman’s New Executive Director Melinda Sullivan

I’m honored to have been selected by the board of directors as Lanterman Regional Center’s next executive director. I’ve worked closely with Diane Anand for nearly two decades and am looking forward to this opportunity to continue to nurture the strong Lanterman culture and core values that were fostered under her leadership and guidance.
 
I look forward to continuing to build on and developing the collaborative working relationship that exists between our clients, families, service providers and staff in this new capacity. We at the Center are working together to achieve a seamless transition. I will be reaching out to many of the Center’s partners. I plan on visiting families through support groups, as well as outreach to the service provider community. Communication is the cornerstone of collaboration, and these in-person meetings will play an important role in setting the priorities for this next year.
 
I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the staff at Lanterman. The Center has a highly competent and talented executive and leadership team that embodies the Lanterman values and service commitment. Our direct and support staff are truly the forward face of this organization and it is their hard work and dedication to Lanterman clients and families that enables us as an organization and community to work towards achieving our vision of “a world where every person is respected and embraced.”

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A Letter from Larry DeBoer, President and Chairman of the Board of Lanterman Regional Center

Many of you may have heard that after nearly four decades as Lanterman Regional Center’s executive director, Diane Anand is retiring this June. During this time she led the Center through periods of significant growth and also safely guided the Center through periods of recession, including significant fiscal and legislative challenges. I hope you will join me in expressing our gratitude for the singular effort Diane has brought to not only our regional center, but the service system as a whole.
 
The highest priority for Lanterman’s board of directors has been to ensure that the Center is well situated and prepared for a smooth transition of leadership. The board has been engaged in succession planning for well over a year, reviewing all aspects of how Lanterman operates and conducts business, and for the past six months in the selection of the Center’s next executive director.
 
With that said, it gives me great pleasure to share with you that the board has selected Melinda Sullivan as the Center’s new executive director. Melinda has been at Lanterman for 27 years working in a number of capacities, including as a regional manager, director of Community Services and most recently as associate director of Client and Family Services, a position she has served in for the past 17 years. Melinda truly exemplifies the Lanterman core values, and has the skills, knowledge, character and experience that the board was looking for in the Center’s next leader. Widely known and respected within the developmental services system, we believe that Melinda is the right choice to lead the Center now and into the future.
 
The board of directors looks forward to working with Melinda during this transition as we all continue to work towards our mission of creating a community where people with developmental disabilities live purposeful lives as active members of their communities.

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