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In the News

November 17-19 ~ Care Harbor/LA Free Medical, Dental and Vision Care

Care Harbor/LA will be holding their next free clinic on Friday to Sunday, November 17 to 19, 2017 at The Reef, located at 1933 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

  • Free medical, dental and vision care.
  • Hundreds of doctors, dentists, optometrists and other professionals will be on hand to serve you.
  • Medical services will include primary care and specialist exams, screenings, immunizations, and other services.
  • Dental care will include cleanings, fillings, extractions, and other services.
  • Vision care will include eye exams and prescription glasses.
  • Prevention education will be available for every patient, providing you with the information you need to live a healthy life.
  • You must have a wristband to enter the clinic.

Wristband Distribution

Free admission wristbands will be distributed prior to the clinic, on:

Saturday, November 11, 2017
Ted Watkins Park Fieldhouse
1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles
Beginning at 10 a.m.

Sunday, November 12, 2017
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
2115 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles
Beginning at 10 a.m.

First come, first served till all wristbands have been given out.

One wristband per person.

Read the Patient FAQ for more information on wristband distribution.


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LA Housing Authority to Open Section 8 Waiting List on October 16

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is opening its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List for online pre-applications starting on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 6 a.m. through Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Applications to be entered into the lottery for the waiting list must be submitted online through the application portal on the HACLA Web site. View the site

View waiting list fact sheet that includes details on income limits and preferences. (English only)

Click on your language below to read Instructions on How to Apply Online for Section 8 Waiting List Lottery:

And be sure to check out the HACLA Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about applying for the Section 8 Waiting List lottery. View the FAQ page

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Disneyland Community Involvement Program Update

Just a reminder to everyone that registered for the Disneyland Community Involvement  Program, you will receive a TEST e-mail the week of October 16 to 20, 2017, at the e-mail address you registered with, verifying participation. If you do not receive this test e-mail, contact your service coordinator by Friday, October 27, 2017 at 5 p.m. to have them verify the e-mail address that was submitted.

Also, please note the following upcoming important dates:

  • Families with registered e-mail addresses will receive an e-mail with a link to the Disney online store, log-in information and purchase access codes on either Monday or Tuesday, November 13 or 14, 2017.
  • Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Tickets are limited so families should submit their order in a timely fashion. However, tickets are not guaranteed.

Please note: We are not able to add any more names to this year's list for the 2018 program.



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DDS Accepting Ornaments for State Capitol Tree

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is inviting regional centers, developmental centers, and community art programs to send ornaments to Sacramento for the State Capitol tree. There is a tree lighting ceremony that takes place the first or second week of December. This year, as in previous years, a child with a developmental disability will participate in the televised ceremony. The child will place one of the ornaments onto the tree during the ceremony with Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown.

Community art programs may send ornaments directly to DDS by November 10, 2017. Be sure to include the shipping form that is included with the guidelines.

Any other regional center clients and families, deliver your ornaments to the Koch-Young Resource Center at Lanterman Regional Center by November 3, 2017, and we will ship them to DDS.


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Join Us for Storytime at KYRC on October 18

Join the Koch-Young Resource Center as we read about Quackers, the cat who thinks he's a duck. You'll see what makes him special even if he doesn't always fit in.

This event is for children and their parents and will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the KYRC Library.

Register online by October 16, 2017 to reserve your spot.

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


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Disneyland Has Announced the 2018 Community Involvement Program (CIP)

Disneyland has announced the 2018 Community Involvement Program (CIP). This is a discount ticket opportunity which has been made available to clients of Lanterman, and their immediate families or caregivers to purchase tickets at a special discount. Tickets are available for select dates and can only be purchased by verified members of qualifying organizations (such as Lanterman), that provide services specifically to individuals who are California residents with permanent disabilities.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to submit info and participate in the Disneyland Community Involvement Program.


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Save Your Services and Supports - Without AB 279 Local Community Providers’ Doors Will Close

What would you do if the local community organizations that provide services and supports to you or to your family member go out of business? The threat of many organizations that provide essential services and supports to about 88,000 people with developmental disabilities in Los Angeles County closing their doors is very real.

When you do the math, the numbers don’t add up. Due to local cities and counties, such as Pasadena and Los Angeles, enacting minimum wage laws to help local residents afford to live and work in their communities, these wages are now higher than the state minimum wage. And while all other businesses can adjust to this increase, community providers are not able to without the law changing. For a very simplified example, providers will receive $10 per hour wage reimbursement from the State but have to pay $12 per hour to their staff, so in one eight-hour day for one person they are short $16, add this loss over 50 staff, and in one day they are short $800, and in one week about $4,000. And for any organization, this funding gap is not sustainable, and can only result in one thing, providers going out of business.

There is a solution, and that is the passage of AB 279. The bill has been getting unanimous support, but it’s stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s suspense file. The bill needs Senator Ricardo Lara’s (Long Beach) support to pass out of his Committee so now is the time to contact Senator Lara and ask him to bring AB 279 out of suspension and allow his Committee to hear and debate AB 279, and vote to approve it to pass out of Committee. Let the Senator know how vitally important the work and support of your local community service providers is. View contact info for the Senator and talking points

If you happen to be in Sacramento on Thursday, August 30, show up to the rally being sponsored by Assemblymember Chris Holden from 10 to 11 a.m. on the south side of the Capitol where everyone gathered will be raising their voices and asking the Legislature to make sure service providers get rate reimbursements that account for local minimum wages.

Even if an end of summer road trip is not in the cards, you can still do your part as this bill is truly important to anyone and everyone that depends on community service providers for themselves or their family members. Contact your local Senator’s office, introduce yourself as a constituent, and say “I support AB 279 and I hope my Senator will too.” Senator Kevin de Leon represents Lanterman’s area and can be reached in Sacramento at 916.651.4024 and at his district office at 213.483.9300. And don't forget to contact Senator Lara and ask him to do his part to pass AB 279 out of his Committee. View contact info for the Senator and talking points

Service provider rates need to reflect local minimum wages or 88,000 individuals with developmental disabilities in Los Angeles County make wake up one day to find no one left to provide them with services and supports.


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Los Angeles’ “Safe Sidewalks LA” Program Increases Rebate Cap

Starting on August 1, 2017, the City of Los Angeles’ “Safe Sidewalks LA” sidewalk repair program will increase the amount residential and commercial property owners can receive through the City’s Rebate Program. The cap, originally $2,000 for homeowners and $4,000 for commercial property owners, has been raised to $10,000 for everyone, an amount that the City hopes will encourage more Angelenos to participate in the program.

Property owners must apply with the City to participate in the program, then pay for their own repairs. Once certified by the City that the repairs are ADA-compliant, the property owner then receives the City's valuation offer amount, up to $10,000." 

“The Rebate Program is an important part of the City’s commitment to make sidewalks accessible to all Angelenos,” said Gary Lee Moore, City Engineer. “By creating a partnership with property owners the City is helping increase mobility throughout our city and make communities more livable for everyone.”

"Safe Sidewalks LA" is the City’s historic, 30-year, $1.4 billion commitment to make all sidewalks in Los Angeles accessible to everyone. The Bureau of Engineering (Engineering) is the lead department for the program.


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Four Friends Move from Institution to Pasadena Home Developed by Easter Seals

Left photo, first row, left to right: Janna, her mom, and her sisters Alicia and Dori celebrated Fourth of July together as a family.
Left photo, second row: Deborah (left) helps prepare a meal.
Left photo, third row: Interior of the home on Orange Grove Boulevard.
Right photo, top row: Exterior of the home on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, CA purchased and developed by Easter Seals.
Right photo, second row, left: Janna
Right photo, second row, right: Dori
Right photo, third row, left: Anthony
Right photo, third row, right: Deborah

Easter Seals has a strong philosophical commitment to individualized services and now that the census of the state developmental centers is shrinking, Easter Seals approached Lanterman with the idea to develop this home. Easter Seals committed some of their resources to purchase and develop the home, and worked with Lanterman and the institution to identify potential residents.

All four of the clients selected to move in - Janna, Dori, Deborah and Anthony - lived in the same large institutional setting together, and now they are still together and living in a small home, each with their own private bedroom. They also have opportunities to help with meal prep, hang out on the back porch, pick fruit from the fruit trees on the property, or just kick back and watch television.

Janna and Dori's mom worked with Easter Seals and their Lanterman service coordinator to facilitate the move and help them transition to their new home from a large institutional setting. She also chose not to have their sister Alicia, who is served by another regional center, move into the home, as she did not want to disrupt Alicia's life as she is very happy where she is at. Nonetheless, their mom was thrilled that they were all able to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday together. While Janna and Dori's mom is involved, neither Anthony nor Deborah have family involved.

Pictures really are worth a thousand words, so all that remains to be said is welcome to your new home Janna, Dori, Anthony and Deborah.

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Applications Available for Low-Income Housing Community in LA

Applications are now available for Gilbert Lindsay, a 137-unit affordable low-income rental housing community located at 601 West 40th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037. There are 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom rental units and rents range from $511 to $1441 per month (income and rents are subject to change in accordance with program guidelines and are dependent on unit size). For more information, contact 323.515.9590


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View Updates for the Get Ready to Go Back To School Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone who supported our YouCaring Back to School fundraiser. We met and exceeded our goal of filling the 400 backpacks being donated with supplies. And with the additional money raised we will be able to purchase 50 more backpacks and fill them with supplies, plus expand our back to school event to include young adults transitioning to college.

As the back to school event is coming up soon, we’ve already started purchasing supplies. Here is a photo collage of the preparations taking place for the event. Thank you again, your contributions will ensure that our school-age clients get their year off to a great start and we can’t wait to share photos from the day of the event.


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48 Families Graduate from 2016-17 Promotora Program

Esperanza Community Housing Celebrates 20 Years of Promoter Training

Top row: The Promotora Project graduated 48 of the 52 Lanterman families who participated in the yearlong program from July 2016 to June 2017. This picture includes some of the families along with a few Lanterman service coordinators.
Middle row, left: Koch-Young Resource Center Director Rose Chacana (left) with Esperanza Community Housing Executive Director Nancy Halpern Ibrahim (center), and Lanterman Executive Director Melinda Sullivan (right)
Middle row, right: Koch-Young Resource Center Director Rose Chacana (left) with Norma Benitez (center), director of Health Programs, Esperanza Community Housing, and Lanterman Executive Director Melinda Sullivan (right)
Bottom row: Norma Benitez addresses attendees at the luncheon celebrating the 20th anniversary of Esperanza's Community Health Promoter Training.
In September 2013, Lanterman Regional Center started a pilot project with Esperanza Community Housing. "The focus of the project was to help Lanterman families increase utilization of both regional center and generic services, and learn to better navigate the service system," explains Koch-Young Resource Center Director Rose Chacana.
The project started with 52 families and two promotoras. Each year in June since then, Lanterman has recruited a new set of 52 families. "This year due to disparities funding (ABX2 1) we were able to expand the program by adding two additional promotoras who are working with an additional 52 families," adds Rose. The program was also expanded to Lanterman's Korean community through the Korean Youth Community Center. KYCC developed a similar program called Community Health Workers, and currently there are 20 Korean-speaking families participating in the program.
So this year alone, a total of 124 Lanterman families are participating, and in total, including this year, the program has served 332 families.

While the program at Lanterman is only a few years old, Esperanza recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Community Health Promoter Training with a luncheon.
Norma Benitez, director of Health Programs, Esperanza Community Housing, shares, "For the past 20 years Esperanza has witnessed the power of community determination, resiliency and hope as community members embark on the journey of personal and community transformation. Through that journey, agencies such as yours have been instrumental in providing our promotoras a platform to thrive and grow into the professionals they are today. Thank you for taking a chance and believing in our promotoras and collaborating with us."

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July 21 to 27 ~ “Swim Team” Documentary Screens in LA

Parents of a boy on the autism spectrum form a competitive swim team, recruiting other teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. "Swim Team" chronicles the extraordinary rise of three diverse young athletes, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning.

The documentary will screen in Los Angeles from Friday, July 21 to Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Laemmle Monica Film Center located at 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Screenings will be held daily at 1:50 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and 9:55 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday, there will also be an 11:10 a.m. screening.

Use promo code TeamUp for a discount on tickets purchased at Friday and Saturday after 6 p.m.: $10 each; all other times: $8 each


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2016-17 Project SEARCH Class Graduates Seven

First row: 2016-17 Project SEARCH interns with staff
Second row, left: Intern Andrew Francisco gave the student address at graduation
Second row, right: Intern George Chan with his diploma
Third row, left: Interns George Chan and Edgar Lopez (right)
Third row, right: Intern Amalia Reoyo Olazabal with her father, Gerardo Reoyo, who gave the parent address
Fourth row, left: Gildardo Hernandez celebrating after being presented with his diploma
Fourth row, right: Ariel Alvarez celebrating after receiving his diploma
Fifth row, left: Intern Bruce Ictue with his mother, Leslie Pineda, who also gave the parent address
Fifth row, right: Interns George Chan, Andrew Francisco, Bruce Ictue and Amalia Reoyo Olazabal

Seven interns took part in a graduation ceremony on June 8, marking their completion of Project SEARCH - a year-long work training program for students with disabilities. The internships at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC) offer entry-level work experience through rotations across such departments as Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition Services, Materials Management, Neurology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Project SEARCH interns attend the off-campus class at LAMC five days a week for communication, independent living, work readiness and reflection instruction, followed by worksite rotations. Now in its second year as a Project SEARCH site, LAMC has provided school-to-work experience to 20 students with disabilities, and currently employs two former interns.

Interns of the 2017 graduating class are Ariel Alvarez, George Chan, Andrew Francisco, Gildardo Hernandez, Bruce Ictue, Edgar Lopez and Amalia Reoyo Olazabal.

Securing employment after graduation is a concern for every young adult. But for students with special needs, the challenge can feel insurmountable. An estimated 84 percent of adults with developmental disabilities do not have a paid job. Project SEARCH, a high school transition program, is changing that with a unique, one year, school-to-work experience program that takes place entirely at a host workplace. And for the second year, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center is an active partner, helping students with special needs learn the skills they’ll need to get ahead in the workplace. The success of this program is a collaboration from Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (Host Site), Los Angeles Unified School District (Education Partner), PathPoint (Employment Vendor), and Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center. All collaborating parties have a role and responsibility to the operation and success of the program. All are committed and passionate to increase work opportunities for students with disabilities in our communities. Congratulations to all of this year's graduates.

Lanterman has 10 clients enrolled for the 2017-18 school year in Project SEARCH. Los Angeles Unified School District students interested in the applying for the 2018-19 school year should contact their service coordinator.

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Individuals with Decades of Service Come Together for ARCA Director Eileen Richey’s Retirement

Top row, left to right: ARCA Executive Director (retired) Eileen Richey, Lanterman Executive Director Melinda Sullivan, and DDS Director Nancy Bargmann
Second row, left: Denny Amundson, former DDS director and chief of staff for Assemblymember Frank D. Lanterman
Second row, right: ARCA Government Affairs/Community Relations Director Daniel Savino and ARCA Legislative Advocate Rick Rollens present Eileen with a resolution
Third row, left: Amy Westling, ARCA's new executive director
Third row, right: Santi Rogers, former DDS director and current executive director at San Andreas Regional Center

It was a veritable who's who in the field of developmental disabilities at Eileen Richey's retirement event as she left her position as executive director of the Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA). Eileen spent her 35-year professional career in the developmental disabilities services field starting in Michigan, but with the bulk of it in California, including serving in many roles at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), plus as director of Area Board 10, working at MENTOR Network, and finally, first as a consultant for ARCA and later as ARCA's executive director.

Eileen devoted her professional career to bettering the lives and opportunities of people with developmental disabilities, striving to improve service systems as a whole while never losing focus on the importance of the individuals served by those systems.

Attendees at the event included Denny Amundson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Denny, started his career in the field in the early 1970s working for Assemblymember Frank D. Lanterman, and as his chief of staff drafted the Lanterman Act and follow-on bills. He also served as executive director for North Los Angeles County Regional Center, as a consultant in the field and later as director of DDS in the 1990s. Also in attendance was current DDS Director Nancy Bargmann, who herself has over 30 years of experience in serving individuals with developmental disabilities, including a wealth of knowledge in developing community resources, and Santi Rogers, who has enjoyed over 45 years of working in the field, with 27 years being in various positions at DDS, including as director of the Department, and with over 20 years as executive director of San Andreas Regional Center, a position he still holds today.

Also at the event was ARCA's new executive director, Amy Westling, who has been with ARCA since March 2012, serving in a variety of capacities including senior policy analyst, director of policy, associate director, and as interim executive director since February 2017. Amy has worked within the regional center system for nearly 18 years, including at Alta California Regional Center coordinating the movement of individuals with developmental disabilities from institutional to community settings and at Central Valley Regional Center overseeing service coordination in rural Merced and Mariposa counties. During her five years at ARCA she had a major role in the following successes:

  • Successful restoration of the Early Start eligibility criteria for infants and toddlers at risk of developmental disability;
  • Documenting the fiscal struggles of the service system as the principal author of ARCA’s publication "On the Brink of Collapse," which led to a $500 million increase in annual funding for California’s developmental services system;
  • Minimizing service disruption in the transition of funding from regional centers to private and public health insurers; and,
  • Greater cohesion at the statewide level with major stakeholders around issues of mutual interest and concern.

We wish Eileen all the best as she embarks on her next chapter and welcome Amy to her new position.

ARCA represents California’s community-based network of 21 independent non-profit regional centers, which provide lifelong services to approximately 300,000 individuals with developmental disabilities. For more information about ARCA, please visit

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ECF Begins Transitioning Programs/Services as Part of CMS Final Rule

Pictured from left to right at the new ECF location in Inglewood: ECF staff Benjamin Sandoval and Aide Herrera, with Lanterman Executive Director Melinda Sullivan, ECF CEO Scott Bowling, and Lanterman Community Services Director Karen Ingram

The CMS Final Rule expects services to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities to be provided in integrated settings. The Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF) has begun transitioning their programs and services by offering participants more choices and more opportunities to work in the community. ECF has developed work training opportunities that include candle making, computer classes and art galleries. The Uniquely Abled Academy trains individuals with autism to operate machinery and parts for the aerospace industry.  Upcoming academies include Warehouse Management and Culinary Arts. 
ECF staff Benjamin Sandoval and Aide Herrera (pictured) run the Uniquely Abled Academy at Glendale Community College. In addition to the classroom training, ECF helps regional center participants find jobs using their new skills, and supported employment job coaching once the individual is hired.

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Applications Now Being Accepted for Fall Uniquely Abled Academy

The goal of The Uniquely Abled Project is to shift the paradigm of thinking from “disabled” to “uniquely abled." It starts by preparing people with high-functioning autism to take on high-performing jobs in the workplace through an innovative job-training program held at Glendale Community College and appropriately called, The Uniquely Abled Academy. Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2017 Uniquely Abled Academy.

The Uniquely Abled Academy is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between machine technology educators, specialists in education for those with autism, representatives from state and local social service agencies, and non-profit and for-profit organizations. This exceptional combination is dedicated to properly train, place in the workforce and provide on-going support for qualified students seeking skill-specific well-paying jobs within the manufacturing industry.

For more information about this unique vocational training program, check out the flyer for the open house being held Tuesday, August 15, 2017. The open house will be held at Glendale Community College from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is for parents and students. Attendees need to RSVP and request a parking permit from Applications are due Wednesday, August 30, 2017 and classes start September 18, 2017.


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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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