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In the News

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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June 14 ~ Caseload Ratio Community Meeting

Lanterman's Programs and Services committee will be hosting a community meeting to share our caseload ratio data, as well as our plans to reduce caseload ratios, on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

Spanish and Korean translation will be available if interested parties RSVP and request this service in advance. Please RSVP by Monday, June 12, 2017 with Gabriela Sanchez at 213.252.4930 or

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in the Berendo Room on the 3rd floor at Lanterman Regional Center located at 3303 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90010.

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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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Interest List for Meridian Apartments Closing Soon - Must Be On List to Be Included in Lottery


Coming in 2017, the Meridian Apartments will be an affordable housing project located within Koreatown. They will provide 100 units of affordable housing located at 225 N. Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. All units at Meridian Apartments will be adaptable, and 14 percent will be accessible in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, with 10 percent accessible units for mobility impaired households (10 units) and 4 percent accessible units for sensory-impaired households (4 units). The 14 accessible units will include a mixture of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units.
Although rental applications are not being accepted at this time, there is an interest list tab on the Meridian Apartments Web site for prospective residents to fill out. Please note, it is the responsibility of the prospective resident to keep contact information current. Do not fill out the interest list contact form more than once unless you are updating your information.

Approximately four to five months prior to project completion, the property management company will reach out to prospective tenants with further information and hold an electronic lottery to determine the order of tenants able to apply to live at Meridian Apartments. There will be a separate lottery for all potential residents who indicate a need for a mobility or sensory impaired unit.

Remember, it is a lottery – there are no promises, but if you do not sign up on the interest list you will not have the opportunity to apply. Clients and families that need assistance completing the interest list, should contact their service coordinator.

About the Meridian Apartments
The Meridian Apartments are another quality tax credit project developed by AMCAL and Korean Churches for Community Development and professionally managed by FPI Management, Inc.

Meridian Apartments will provide 100 affordable homes to families and 4,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space along Vermont Avenue. Located less than one block from the Vermont/Beverly Metro Red Line Station, residents will enjoy all the conveniences of this transit-oriented development. The spacious floor plans will include 2 studios, 41 1-bedroom, 24 2-bedroom and 33 3-bedroom units. On-site amenities include barbecue areas, dining terrace, a playground, large courtyards, elevator access, underground parking, bicycle storage and a clubhouse with offices, a computer lab and kitchenette. Meridian Apartments is seeking a LEED Gold Certification and LifeSTEPS will provide complimentary social services for residents.


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Affordable Housing Opportunity in Eagle Rock

WORKS in partnership with Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center is developing affordable housing in Eagle Rock. Construction of the T Bailed Manor Apartments should be completed mid-summer 2017 and the units will be managed by Solari Enterprises, Inc. 

Located close to several bus stops, there will be 46 one-bedroom units, 16 for regional center clients, and 30 for veterans and others experiencing homelessness. One unit will be designed for a tenant who is non-ambulatory, one for a tenant with hearing impairment, and one that is adaptable. The complex will include a computer room, community room, laundry room and meeting rooms.

All units will have a shower bench. All units are electric for heating and cooking. Water and trash will be paid for by management, while all other costs are paid for by the tenant. Each unit will be provided with a full bed, dresser, small table, a couple of chairs, futon or sofa, microwave, towels and dishes to get the tenant started.

Applications will be accepted starting on April 10, 2017 on a first-come, first-served basis. All documents submitted must be originals. Applicants can request for a service animal, however, the request must go through the reasonable accommodation process.

The application must include with it a $35 non-refundable check or money order for each adult for credit/criminal background check. Income criteria is for 2016 income and is at or below the 40 percent area median income, which is:

  • One person - $24,320
  • Two persons - $27,800
  • Three persons - $31,000

If a client works and their income is inconsistent, they must provide three months of pay stubs and the amount will be averaged out. They are looking for a minimum income for one person per month of $850.

Once the criminal background and credit check have been cleared, prospective tenants are invited for an interview.

Following are links to more information, the application and the documents that must be submitted as part of the interview.


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Highlights from Grassroots Day 2017

Lanterman community members attended 2017 Grassroots Day in Sacramento. 

Top left photo, from left to right: Edward Perez, Lanterman regional manager; Andres Lerma, Lanterman client; Assemblymember Anthony Portantino; Yudy Mazariegos, Lanterman parent; and Kimberly Isaac, Lanterman service provider

Top right photo, from left to right: Edward, Kimberly, Yudy and Andres with Elle Hoxworth, staffer for Assemblymember Chris Holden, and three community members from Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC). They collectively thanked Assemblymember Holden for sponsoring AB 279 which is intended to address funding for service providers that are struggling to meet the higher minimum wages in certain cities and counties.

Bottom left photo: Yudy and Andres, along with ELARC families, meeting with Jen Troia, staffer for Senator Kevin de Leon.

Bottom right photo, left to right: Yudy, Andres and Kimberly, in front of the capital. Kimberly was able to briefly speak with Governor Jerry Brown about the need to increase provider rates.

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Give Kids a Smile 2017

Give Kids a Smile was held on Friday, March 10, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lanterman. Part of nationwide events coordinated through the American Dental Association, Gives Kids a Smile featured events for children 12 months to 14 years old and their parents, including:

  • Dental screenings 
  • Oral health education, brushing, flossing
  • Fluoride varnish
  • Presentations on oral health and dental desensitization
  • Dental resources, including Professional Child Development Associates, Children's Hospital Los Angeles Dental/Autism Clinic, Party Time Children’s Dental, University of California Los Angeles Pediatrics, Burbank Kids Dental Clinic, and Children’s Dental Fun Zone
  • Arts and crafts table
  • Dental care kits with oral health aids and other freebies
  • Dental referrals as appropriate

A total of 51 children and 64 parents were served during the event. 

A special thanks to the following dental providers for participating: Dr. Gina Gonzalez; Dr. Faribors Rodef; Debra Olsen, RDHAP; and Brenda Kibbler, RDHAP. And to volunteers from the following organizations: West Los Angeles College Dental Hygiene, Party Time Dental, Kids’ Community Dental Clinic, and Lanterman staff in the Clinical, Early Intervention and School Age units.


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Dental Study for Children with Autism at CHLA/Estudio Dental para Niños con Autismo en CHLA

Children's Hospital Los Angeles is offering two free dental cleanings for children between 6 to 12 years of age who are regional center clients, diagnosed with autism, and otherwise in good health./Children's Hospital Los Angeles ofrece dos limpiezas dentales gratis para niños entre 6 a 12 años de edad que son clientes del centro regional, diagnosticados con autismo, y de otra manera en buen estado de salud.

As part of volunteering to participate in the dental study:/Como parte de ser participante voluntario en el estudio dental:

  • You will complete a set of surveys about your child's dental care./Completará una serie de encuestas sobre el cuidado dental de su hijo.
  • Your child will receive an autism and cognitive assessment./Su hijo recibirá una evaluación acerca de su autismo y evaluación cognitiva.
  • Your child will have two free dental cleanings four to six months apart. One cleaning will be in a regular room dental room. The other will be in a room with special lights and music./Su hijo tendrá dos limpiezas dentales gratuitas de cuatro a seis meses de diferencia. Una limpieza será en una sala dental regular. El otro estará en una sala con luces especiales y música. 
  • You will get money for participating and for transportation costs for each visit./Usted recibirá dinero por participar y por los costos de transporte para cada visita. 
  • Your child will get a small gift at each dentist visit./El niño recibirá un pequeño regalo en cada visita al dentista.

To learn more about this study, contact Annie Hong at 323.442.1864 or obtener más información sobre este estudio, póngase en contacto con Lucía Floríndez al 323.442.0370 o


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SCDD Delivers Letters to Congress

The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) asked you to tell your story about why Medicaid matters to you. You told your story and SCDD Executive Director Aaron Carruthers hand-delivered your stories to Congress two weeks ago. They said your stories are "Moving," "Powerful," "Exactly what we need to know," and Congress decided not to change Medicaid.

However, Congress may decide to change Medicaid in the future, so SCDD is still collecting your stories.

Why should we in California care?

For many adults with developmental disabilities, Medicaid is their health insurance. It pays for care from doctors, specialists, and hospitals, as well as prescriptions.

California, like all states, receives Medicaid funding to help pay for the cost of long-term supports that people with developmental disabilities receive. If you or someone you know receives services paid for by a regional center, Medicaid most likely helps pay for it. Medicaid currently pays approximately half the cost of many community services through regional centers.

Hundreds of thousands of Californians with developmental disabilities depend on Medicaid - or will need it in the future - to remain healthy, live in the community, and stay out of costly institutions. Many other groups of people will also be affected.

What can you do? If you haven't already, TELL YOUR STORY.

Your Congressional Representatives and Senators need to know the impact Medicaid has on people's lives. They know that Medicaid provides health coverage but may not realize all the other things Medicaid does, like funding In-Home Support Services (IHSS).

If you or someone you know relies on Medicaid-paid services as described above - or will in the future - take these three easy steps:

  1. Think about "How Medicaid helps you get health care and live on you own."
  2. Send an e-mail to - briefly tell them the positive impact healthcare services and community supports have had on your life or the life of someone you care about. For example, how have regional center services helped you stay healthy, get or keep a job, live on your own, or do the things you want.
  3. Include your name, city and county.

SCDD will keep these letters, add them to the letters they have already received, and deliver them to Congress at the right time.

Your story needs to be told. And SCDD will make sure it gets told to those who need to hear it.

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