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In the News

Full Steam Ahead: Fun with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math

The Los Angeles Public Library presents Full Steam Ahead: Fun with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Space is limited. Attend one or both of the upcoming sessions being held for Lanterman clients between the ages of 8 to 14.  

Squishy Circuits
Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Use special dough to create electrical circuits to make LED bulbs light up and discover how some materials conduct electricity!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Learn about circuits and electricity as you use everyday objects, like bananas, instead of a keyboard to use the computer!

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


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Read Across America Storytime at KYRC on March 3

Join the Koch-Young Resource Center for Read Across America Storytime in honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday that will also include arts and crafts.

This event is for children and their parents and will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2017 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the KYRC Library.

Register online by February 28, 2017 to reserve your spot.

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


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Delegation from Japan Visits Lanterman to Learn About Regional Center Service Delivery System

In early December, a delegation from the Ōita Prefecture, a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island, visited Lanterman Regional Center.

The group consisted of 12 assembly members who were here to study California's developmental disabilities service delivery system.

The visit to Lanterman was facilitated with the help of Mariko Magami from the Japanese Speaking Parents Association of Children with Challenges Support Group.

Rose Chacana from Lanterman's Koch-Young Resource Center shares, "Over the years, Mariko has been instrumental in connecting Japanese officials with Lanterman Regional Center to learn about our system of care."

The group also presented Lanterman Executive Director Melinda Sullivan with a good luck figure.

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New Los Angeles Soccer League for Children and Adults with Disabilities

Hollywood FC's TOPSoccer for children and adults with physical and learning challenges (para niños y adultos con discapacidades) starts an eight-week session on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (sesión de ocho semanas comienza el martes, 10 de enero de 2017 de 6:30 a 7:30 p.m.)

Registration (Para registrar): ($50 - 8 classes)

For scholarships, contact (Para becas, póngase en contacto con)


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Formatting Issue on Annual Financial Reports Fixed, Statements Being Resent

Each year, Lanterman sends our clients, their parents or authorized representatives an annual statement that reports the services and supports purchased by Lanterman Regional Center on behalf of the client for the period of July 1 to June 30, based on payments that were made through August of that year. This year’s statements were sent out the second week of December and it was brought to our attention on December 20 that there was a formatting glitch in the English and Spanish versions of the statements. This was caused by a computer error that resulted in the financial data not displaying properly and rendered the statements confusing to read. The issue has been corrected and the annual statements are being reprinted and will be resent by the end of the week. Lanterman apologizes for any confusion that was caused. Should you have any questions about the statement, contact your service coordinator. Please note that this statement is not a bill and no further action is required on your part.

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Affordable Housing Coming to Koreatown in 2017

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 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.

Learn more about the Meridian Apartments

Complete the interest list form

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Service Provider Ann Hamilton Meets with Governor Brown

Governor Jerry Brown (left) with Lanterman Service Provider Ann Hamilton

On November 10, 2016, Lanterman Service Provider Ann Hamilton met with Governor Jerry Brown. She shares, "We had a meaningful conversation discussing a wide range of topics, including the residential care industry in California as it pertains to the elderly and individuals with developmental disabilities."

Specific points that Ann shared with the Governor include:

The increasing difficulty providers are having operating successful and profitable businesses in the current environment of increasing expenses and decreasing or static reimbursement rates.
How having facilities in adjoining cities with different minimum wages makes it necessary to request individual waivers by regional center client name, which is an onerous system for an agency charged with providing services for more than 300,00 clients and this causes significant delays in approving needed increases in reimbursement rates.

"Governor Brown assured me that he would have his staff look into our areas of concern and work toward rectifying any inequities in the system so that care providers could continue to provide quality services to the population that we serve," Ann adds.

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Happy Holidays from Lanterman

On behalf of Lanterman Regional Center, we send our heartfelt wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all of our clients, their families and our service providers. May your celebrations be safe, peaceful and joyous and best wishes for a happy, healthy and hope-filled new year.

Lanterman Community Makes Ornaments for State Capitol Tree

Heeding the call for handmade ornaments for the State Capitol tree, the Lanterman community made ornaments to send to Sacramento.

  • Top: One of the Spanish-speaking parent support groups made 82 ornaments for the tree.
  • Bottom Left: The Korean Parent Support Group made 73 ornaments to send.
  • Bottom right: The ornament made by Adult Basic Learning Environment in Glendale for the 2016 tree.

The tree lighting ceremony will take place in early December.

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Sam Suzuki Retires, Replaced by Lorenzo Hernandez as Manager

Pictured: Lorenzo Hernandez (left) and Sam Suzuki

Sam Suzuki Says Goodbye After 39 ½ Years at Lanterman
With Lanterman since June 1977, Sam Suzuki started his career as a service coordinator working with families in the Foothill communities. Lanterman was still part of Children's Hospital Los Angeles and had two satellite offices, one in Eagle Rock and one in Hollywood. He was one of just seven service coordinators covering the entire Foothill region, individual program planning had just started, and caseloads were small. Four years later, in 1981, he became a manager, a capacity he served in for 35 years.
Sam attended Loyola High School and decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Maryknoll Seminary where he was studying to become a priest. He obtained his master’s in social work at the University of Southern California in the 1970s and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 1981. 
He championed inclusion of children with special needs, promoting social acceptance and working with school districts to address the fears and anxieties that came along with the growing push in the 1990s for inclusion of all children, including those with significant disabilities, in school and after school activities.
“I have equally enjoyed being a teacher and mentoring new service coordinators. I started the Center’s LA School Age unit in 1999 and have been its manager ever since. I have enjoyed the opportunities to pass on some of my experience and wisdom to others,” he adds.
And he wants everyone to know how touched he was by what he calls a masterpiece of a retirement party that was organized by his team.  “Leaving Lanterman is bittersweet. I’m excited for what the future holds, yet sad for what I’m leaving behind. The team that I supervised was like family to me and I’m leaving a great part of my life behind by retiring,” he shares.
A resident of Montebello for nearly 40 years, Sam plans to spend more time helping at his parish church, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal in Montebello. He and his wife, who also retired this year, plan to do some fall cleaning around their home they have lived in for 40 years, and he wants to replant his flower garden. He also plans to take up exercise classes at the local YMCA. Sam says, “I don’t have a major bucket list, my wife wants to travel a bit more and I enjoy sports, so I’ll be able to follow the LA Rams more closely.” And he’s looking forward to the joy of having grandkids, hopefully sooner rather than later.

From all of us at Lanterman Sam, fair winds and following seas.

Meet Lanterman’s New Manager for the Los Angeles School Age Unit
Lorenzo Hernandez started at Lanterman in July 2011 as a temporary service coordinator in the Los Angeles School Age unit, becoming a permanent employee in March 2012. Five years after coming on board, he became the Unit’s manager, replacing long-time manager Sam Suzuki upon his retirement.
Lorenzo has an undergraduate degree from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Prior to coming to Lanterman he worked with school-age children and their families for about 10 years. His focus was on behavior modification, specifically ABA and parent training, as well as with parent support groups, and also in the area of mental health. He shares, “It was rewarding assisting a child via behavior modification to develop a better way to express themselves and use alternative forms of communications, instead of a tantrum to express their needs.”
In his new role as manager, he will be working towards developing greater collaborative efforts between the entire support system – the school district, parents, community agencies, service providers, and the students with developmental disabilities themselves. “Our goal by working collaboratively is to put the best supports possible in place to ensure the best outcomes for the child,” he explains.
Lorenzo graduated from CSUN with his masters’ in public administration in 2014. In his free time he enjoys photography, reading, and road and mountain bike events. And he is getting married this month.

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Korean Parent Support Group Visits Taft College

Lanterman's newest Family Support Specialist Jamie Cha-McGrath organized a trip for nine parents from the Korean Parent Support Group in mid-October to Taft College to check out the school's Transition to Independent Living (TIL) Program.

She shares, "Parents wanted to know about college options for their child with special needs, so I arranged the trip." Parents toured the campus and were able to see the dorms, an activity room, classrooms, laundry facility, cafeteria, campus library, and also where cooking classes are taught.

Three Lanterman clients from Jamie's previous caseload as a service coordinator are currently attending the College.

To learn more about the TIL Program at Taft College visit

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Tea for Sibs Held at Chado Tea Room

In an effort to build relationships and provide support for adult siblings, Lanterman Regional Center and Chado Tea Rooms hosted Tea for Sibs, a Sunday afternoon tea event in early October for the California Sibling Leadership Network (CASLN). The group of adults siblings (18 years and older) met at Chado Tea Room in Hollywood for the first of many social gatherings for the group. Siblings came from all over California - San Diego, East Los Angeles, the Westside, and close to home - to get to know each other and share their stories about having brothers and sisters with special needs.

Check out the CASLN Facebook page and stay tuned for future gatherings. We also look forward to hosting our annual Alson’s Tea event for younger siblings in spring 2017.

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Lanterman Recognizes SPAC Members for Their Service

Thank you to Kelly White (left), CEO of Villa Esperanza Services, and Bill Murphy, CEO of FVO Solutions, for your service on Lanterman's Service Provider Advisory Committee (SPAC). Kelly served 10 years on SPAC, eight of them as chair, which meant she also represented service providers on the Lanterman's board of directors. Bill served on SPAC for five years and is retiring in December.

Learn more about SPAC

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CAPTAIN Conference Presents Evidence-Based Practices in Autism

Pictured are some of the CAPTAIN LA-Foothill Region cadre members (left to right): Patricia Juarez, LAUSD; Amy Tseng, LAUSD; Jean Johnson, Lanterman; Lisa Pirruccello, Lanterman; Christine Karg, GUSD; Anjanette Michalopoulos, BUSD

Lanterman, in collaboration with the Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale Unified School Districts, recently sponsored a collaborative training developed by the local cadre of the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN) on the use of evidence-based practices in supporting people affected by autism. Educators, families and caregivers for people with autism and other developmental disabilities took part in a variety of presentations on effective methods to teach and support people with special needs in their own homes, campuses, jobs and communities. Conference participants learned the importance of employing scientifically proven techniques, referred to as evidence-based practices, to maximize learning and independence for persons with autism at all ages, and in natural settings and circumstances. 

In addition, the conference served to open a critical discussion of the future of supports for people with disabilities as the country recognizes the importance of transition from the structured protected environments provided through special education services and secluded day program options towards the expectation of true community integration in living, working, and post-secondary educational settings.

Not to worry if you weren’t able to attend, as CAPTAIN presentations on evidence-based practice will also be available through Lanterman parent support groups, and LAUSD PRESS (Parent Resources for Engagement and Student Success) trainings ongoing at local school campuses throughout the district. Find one in your area by going to the LAUSD Web site and search using keyword PRESS. You can also visit the CAPTAIN Web site at for additional information and downloadable resources, and follow upcoming CAPTAIN events on Facebook. Educators, paraprofessionals and service providers can learn more about evidence-based practices, including obtaining certificates of completion for specific practices, by enrolling in the Lanterman Learning Center or by contacting Lanterman’s Training and Development Department at

CAPTAIN is a multi-agency collaborative of Department of Education, Department of Developmental Services, University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and the Family Resource Center Network formed to provide local trainings, web-based resources and specialist guidance for educators, service providers, families and individuals whose lives are affected by developmental disability. CAPTAIN was formed in an effort to answer the mandate for the use of evidence-based practices when using public funds to support the provision of educational, health care and developmental services, such as those provided through the regional center system. 

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Ornaments Needed for the 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 guidelines for participating and the ornament submission form.

Ornaments must be received by Wednesday, November 9, 2016.

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Meet the 2016-17 Project SEARCH - Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Class

From left to right: Andrew Francisco, Gildardo Hernandez, George Chan, Amalia Reoyo Olazabal, Bruce Ictue, Ariel Alvarez and Edgar Lopez

There are seven young adults in the second Project SEARCH class that started in the fall.

The first class at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center had three participants in this innovative program. They graduated in the early summer and all three are continuing on at Kaiser as paid employees.

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 Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center 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. 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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October 11 is the Deadline to Participate in the Disneyland Community Involvement Program

Tuesday, October 11 is the deadline to submit info and participate in the Disneyland Community Involvement Program. Check out our latest e-mail bulletin for info and instructions on participating.


HCBS Regulations - Provider Funding for Compliance Activities

Please note...DDS has extended the deadline for submission to October 30, 2016.

On August 3, 2016, the Department sent the attached information regarding the process for requesting funding to assist providers in making changes to meet the federal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) settings requirements. To allow more time for the development and completion of these proposals, the Department is extending the deadline until October 30, 2016, for service providers to submit proposals to regional centers. The information received with these proposals regarding strategies to address needed changes will be very important as we move forward. Therefore, it’s essential that service providers are made aware of this opportunity to, in conjunction with clients and family members, develop ideas for needed changes to meet the HCBS requirements.


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DDS Holds Local POS Disparity Data Meeting

Clockwise from top left: Nancy Bargmann, Director of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS); Julisa Pineda, Lanterman parent; Brian Winfield, Acting Deputy Director, Community Services Branch, DDS; and Pierre Landry, Chairperson of the Los Angeles State Council Regional Office

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) conducted four meetings throughout the State to discuss and develop strategies for addressing disparities in purchase of services. On Friday, August 26, 2016, DDS met with the Los Angeles Regional Centers. The Department shared purchase of service (POS) data for the entire State while local regional centers shared activities and efforts intended to reach out to underserved communities.  

Lanterman Regional Center shared the success of its Promotora Project and that it intends to apply for some of the special disparity funding from DDS to replicate this project in its Korean community. Lanterman also advocated for DDS to use some of its funding to purchase an automated message system so families can receive messages in their native language as well as for DDS to fund a statewide study of the disparity issue.

The study would seek to better understand whether these differences are a result of family decisions due to differing cultural beliefs and preferences; personal or family choice; or if these variances are due to inequities prevalent in the developmental disabilities service system based on lack of culturally competent services, linguistic barriers, socioeconomic or other factors that in some way limit access to services and negatively impact utilization of services.The study should consider regional differences such as rural, urban and other factors representative of the State as a whole.

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A Well-Developed ITP Puts Ricardo Lopez on the Path to Higher Learning

Ricardo Lopez is a highly motivated student with a passion for learning and a strong desire to continue his education. He is 18 years old and has a diagnosis of autism. During his senior year of high school, Ricardo faced the overwhelming challenge of taking the SAT and ACT in order to apply to four-year universities. Despite the unnerving feeling, Ricardo faced the exams head-on and successfully completed both, allowing him to apply to multiple universities.

As a result of his hard-work and determination, Ricardo was ultimately accepted into four California State Universities. He chose to attend California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and has enrolled in five courses for the fall 2016 semester.

In part, Ricardo’s successful transition was due to his well-developed Individualized Transition Plan (ITP). The ITP successfully highlighted Ricardo’s desire to attend a four-year university and incorporated this into his post-secondary educational goal. His ITP also addressed specific activities to support the achievement of the goal. For example, Ricardo was to be provided with assistance in identifying and applying to four-year universities that met his interests. Due to the thoroughness of his ITP, Ricardo successfully transitioned into CSUN and is now provided with the opportunity to further pursue and accomplish his future goals and aspirations.

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