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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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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.

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."

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 www.laemmle.com. 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.

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 www.arcanet.org.

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.

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 fhenson@glendale.edu. 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

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!

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.

Special Exhibit at California Museum to Focus on Advocacy and Art


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

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

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Los Angeles County Library Offers Free Family Passes to SoCal Museums


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

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

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

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

For more information on this program, or to reserve free family passes, visit http://colapublib.org/DiscoverGo/

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Support Our Back to School YouCaring Fundraiser


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Outlook Newspapers Writes Article About Pasadena Providers and First Responders Seminar


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

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

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

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The Pasadena Star-News Publishes Editorial on Developmental Services Funding


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

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

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Promotora Program Expands, Community Health Workers Trained


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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 www.dralegal.org/long-beach.

 

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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.

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:
    916.319.2180
  • 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.

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.

Immigration Workshops ~ Talleres de Inmigración


Uplift Family Services is offering immigration workshops, including an immigration forum on April 29, 2017./Uplift Family Services ofrece talleres de inmigración, incluyendo un foro de inmigración el 29 de abril de 2017.

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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 KidsAgainstBullying.org 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.

PACER Cyberbullying Resources


PACER has developed a new resource page to inform adults about how technology is being used in the online world to bully, which includes the definition of cyberbullying, facts, statistics, and reference guides.

This section features an archived livestream of the presentation titled “Social Media & Bullying: Using Technology to Keep Kids Safe.”

Learn how you can help your child stay safe online.

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


THE INTEREST LIST FOR THE MERIDIAN APARTMENTS WILL BE CLOSING SOON. IN ORDER TO BE INCLUDED IN THE LOTTERY, YOUR NAME MUST BE ON THE INTEREST LIST. PLEASE REMEMBER THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. AND BE SURE TO LET YOUR SERVICE COORDINATOR KNOW IF YOU SIGN UP AND/OR IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE. 

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.

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 SADE2@usc.edu./Para obtener más información sobre este estudio, póngase en contacto con Lucía Floríndez al 323.442.0370 o SADE2@usc.edu.

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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 council@scdd.ca.gov - 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.

An Exceptional Story: Paolo Creates an Artistic New Life


We're sharing an article Exceptional Children's Foundation (ECF) wrote about Lanterman client Paolo.

When Paolo moved with his family from the Philippines to Los Angeles, he was in his early 20s. He wanted to make friends, but found being in a new environment with a new language a challenge that often left him frustrated and unable to communicate with many people.

Paolo's parents visited Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center to learn about local programs for adults with special needs that could engage and support Paolo, as well as provide opportunities for him to socialize with peers. They mentioned to their service coordinator that Paolo was interested in a creative program, and were referred to ECF's Art Centers Program (www.ecf.net/adults/art-centers-dac-gallery/).

One visit to ECF's Downtown L.A. art studio and Paolo enthusiastically enrolled. He had taken some art classes in the Philippines, but had never seen a fully-outfitted fine art studio like this. He also responded well to the nurturing approach of ECF's art instructors. Once he started working in the studio, he was able to relax, increase his technical abilities and develop his own unique artistic process.

Over the next two years, Paolo came to trust his own sense of style, reflected in his increasingly complicated and impressive ceramic pieces. He regards his artistic practice as his job, and gets very excited when he sells a piece on ECFonAmazon.com (www.ecfonamazon.com/) or has a creation exhibited at ECF's DAC Gallery (www.dacgallery.com/).

Socially, Paolo has become more outgoing, both at home and in the art studio. While he is still developing his English skills, he can effectively communicate with staff and other artists through use of gestures. He has also developed a keen sense for interpreting other people's body language, allowing him to understand and participate in daily interactions and activities.

"Paolo likes to build things and has a natural understanding of how objects and materials fit together - like an architect," says Madga Audifred, ECF art instructor. "He is also extremely helpful and caring to all his peers; he keeps an eye on everyone."

April 17 ~ CalABLE Webinar Workshop for Providers


CalABLE invites agencies and organizations serving people with disabilities to join them for a webinar workshop on Monday, April 17, 2017 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Targeted specifically for service providers, this will be an opportunity for representatives to ask questions about the CalABLE program and discuss strategies for collaboration in providing program information and education to clients.
 
This is part of their continuous effort to form working relationships with stakeholders serving the needs of people with disabilities, and they hope this webinar will provide an opportunity to continue the dialogue.
 
For questions and more information, contact CalABLE at calable@treasurer.ca.gov. 

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March 24 to 26 ~ Abilities Expo Comes to Los Angeles


Abilities Expo, for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and healthcare professionals, will be held on March 24 to 26, 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A. Admission is free and show hours will be Friday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Los Angeles Abilities Expo will feature a line-up of exhibits, workshops, events, celebrities and activities to appeal to people of all ages with the full spectrum of disabilities - including physical, learning, developmental and sensory disabilities. Complimentary loaner scooters and wheelchair repair will also be available during show hours.

The Expo is a forum that showcases essential technology to bridge the gap between ability and disability with a host of all-inclusive, adaptive activities, and provides the community of people with disabilities access to life-enhancing products, education, resources and fun. It’s a celebration of what you can do, not what you can’t.

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Tell Your Story: Why Medicaid Matters to Me


Last week, Congress introduced a plan to change the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California). According to the national Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, "The level of cuts over time would decimate the Medicaid program."

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.

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.

If this current approach passes, Medicaid in California would be significantly impacted.

It is important to share your story of Why Medicaid Matters to You.

What you can do: TELL YOUR STORY

Your Congressional Representatives and Senators need to know the impact Medicaid has on people's lives - and they need to know now. 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 "Why Medicaid Matters to Me."
  2. Send an e-mail to council@scdd.ca.gov -- briefly tell us 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.

We will hand deliver your messages to Congress on March 21.

What else can you do?
Call your Senators and Representatives today at 202.224.3121.

Check out the AUCD Joint Policy Statement explaining the impact of the proposed changes to Medicaid.

CSPP Saturday Program Starts April 8


The next CSPP Saturday program will start on April 8, 2017 and end on June 10, 2017. The Community Special Program Partners (CSPP) officially began in January of 2003. The program serving individuals with developmental disabilities in the Greater Los Angeles Area is geared towards children starting at age 4 to young adults. The program enables them to participate in meaningful opportunities for self-growth, enhance learning, and improve on social skills. Based on 18 years of experience with the Sunday program at Young Nak Church, CSPP was incorporated as an independent entity and has secured its own nonprofit status as a public benefit organization.

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Job-Seekers Sought for Documentary Television Series EMPLOYABLE ME


Documentary producers at Optomen USA are looking for people with neuro-diverse conditions such as Tourette’s Syndrome, Asperger’s or Autism who would like their assistance finding employment on the documentary television series EMPLOYABLE ME.

EMPLOYABLE ME seeks to prove that having a neurological condition or disability can be viewed as an asset rather than an obstacle in the workplace. High profile, aspirational companies and brands are beginning to discover the benefits of recruiting from the ranks of those with disabilities and those whose “brains are wired differently.”

The job-seekers selected to appear on the documentary series will be encouraged to unlock their hidden talents with the help of experts and specialists so they can at long last find the job that best suits their unique skill sets and strengths. Visit the EMPLOYABLE ME Web page to view episodes.

A diverse workforce can be great for a business and EMPLOYABLE ME wants to dramatically shake up the system to prove it. Contact Liz.Alderman@OptomenUSA.com for more information on how to be considered for this opportunity.

Optomen Productions produces hundreds of hours of television each year for many of the major cable and broadcast networks including Food Network, Travel Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Bravo. Their most successful series include Worst Cooks in America and Mysteries at the Museum. Visit their Web site for more information about the company.

New Group of Students Assisting Lanterman Educational Law Clinic


Meet the newest group of law students assisting with the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic.

Pictured from left to right: Matt Stidham (Pepperdine University School of Law), Nicolas Nunez (USC School of Law), Jeanie Min (UCLA School of Law), Kristen Kim (UCLA School of Law), Patty Chen (UCLA School of Law) and Gloria Yi (USC School of Law)

Not pictured: Diana Malta (USC School of Law) and Nedra Firouzi (Southwestern Law School)

And we're reminding all Lanterman families with school-age children that if you need advocacy assistance with school-related issues, you can request a referral to the Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic from your service coordinator.
 

Transition to Adulthood: Working Together to Integrate Our Youth Into the Community


The transition from school to adulthood is an exciting yet challenging progression that occurs in every young adult’s life. For young adults with developmental disabilities and their families, this transition can seem overwhelming. So in early February, a group of individuals representing the organizations that provide services and supports that help with this transition came together to share how they can help facilitate the next big steps in a youth’s life.

Nearly 30 families attended “Strategies for Students: Transition Into the Community.” The presentation simultaneously provided in three languages covered:

  • What is adulthood transition;
  • Knowledge on federal and state special education laws, which require transition planning to start by the time the student reaches the age of 16, though many school districts are beginning at 14 or younger, if appropriate;
  • How to obtain supports and services through the IEP/ITP process to prepare students to move from school to adulthood and help the young adult reach social and economic independence;
  • An overview of LAUSD District Office of Transition Services (LAUSD DOTS) and their support during the process, with a look into LAUSD post-high school career and transition programs for students on the alternate curriculum;
  • What regional centers can do to further post-secondary education, employment and/or independent living skills;
  • What inclusion opportunities are available and how to request them;
  • Helpful strategies for successful inclusion into the community.

Presenters/Panelists included (pictured above left to right, excluding Marjan Kermani):

  • Marjan Kermani, Special Education Attorney, Lanterman Special Education Law Clinic
  • Lela Rondeau, Coordinator, LAUSD District Office of Transition
  • Jaman Whittington, Transition Specialist, LAUSD Career and Transition Centers
  • Helane Schultz and Lissette Gomez, Regional Managers, Lanterman Regional Center

“It was an evening full of information and discussion, with many now having the knowledge to continue on a journey they are more versed to take,” shares Kermani.

Mark your calendars for additional opportunities to learn more about the transition to adulthood:

  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    IEP, Inclusion and Transition to Adulthood
    View more information online.
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Adulthood Transition
    More information to come.

The Legacy of Frank Lanterman Exhibit


Lanterman House Exhibit Sheds Light on Lawmaker Who Advocated for Disabled Californians

Excerpt from the February 16, 2017 Los Angeles Times article by Sara Cardine

Who was Frank Lanterman? A man whose passion for playing the organ inspired him to abandon his studies at USC weeks before graduation? Or a state assemblyman whose work on behalf of people with disabilities is still evident 40 years later?

Or perhaps he was a bit of a recluse who rubbed elbows with America’s elite but spent the final years of his post-retirement life in close quarters with brother Lloyd, surrounded by organ mechanisms, tools, machines and countless boxes of personal and political memorabilia.

A new exhibit at Lanterman House museum in La Cañada Flintridge aims to shed light on the man known to friends as “Uncle Frank” and affectionately labeled by fellow lawmakers as “the workhorse of Sacramento,” using never-before-seen photos and audio elements to impart Lanterman’s indelible impact on California life.

Read the entire article

Check Out the Exhibit
The Legacy of Frank Lanterman (1901-1981) exhibit runs from February 14 thru December 21, 2017 and is displayed throughout Lanterman House.

Visit the Lanterman House Web site for more details

Free Autism Flight Experience Event at LAX


Los Angeles International Airport will be holding its annual Autism Flight Experience on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 6 p.m. at LAX.

The free event, sponsored by All Nippon Airways (ANA), will provide families with autism the opportunity to experience the process of flying - from ticketing, screening, and actually boarding and sitting in an airplane.

Be sure to register by February 15. Download the registration form

You must also complete a film release form. Download the film release form

Both completed forms must be e-mailed to jrolon@lawa.org. You will be contacted by the airport once you have been registered for the flight.

Free Tax Preparation at Chinatown Service Center


Tax season is here again, and the Chinatown Service Center will be providing free tax preparation service. The service is available each Saturday and started Saturday, February 4. Anyone whose family income is lower than $60,000 may qualify for this free income tax preparation program - VITA program. Following is the link to the flyer for this program and you can also get more details by going to www.irs.gov and typing VITA in the search box and clicking on “Free tax return preparation for you by volunteers.”

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Applications Being Accepted for the Second Session of the Uniquely Abled Academy


Applications are now being accepted for the second session of the Uniquely Abled Academy being held at Glendale Community College.

Here are some details:

  • 16-week program, February 21 to June 14, 2017
  • Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • To teach those with high-functioning autism to be entry-level computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinists
  • Includes CNC programming, setup and operation, and job readiness skills training
  • For those who qualify, most or all of the costs may be covered

The Uniquely Abled Academy program is focused on careers that require specialized training. The approach is to identify the unique abilities of folks with a particular diagnosis, and then match jobs in demand that require those unique abilities. The first career for which training is being provided is CNC manufacturing machine operator for those diagnosed with high-functioning autism.

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Free Tax Preparation


Free tax preparation at 1736 Family Crisis Center is back. See the flyers in English and Spanish for more information.

Visit www.volunteertaxprep.com to schedule an appointment or call 323.909.1975.

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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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 www.taftcollege.edu/tcwp/til/.

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.

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

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 www.CAPTAIN.CA.gov 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 training@lanterman.org.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

File

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.

Files

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.

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.

Voting Rights Restoration for Lanterman Clients That Are Conserved


Senate Bill 589, became effective as a new law on January 1, 2016, and indicates that an individual under conservatorship who has lost his or her right to vote can have their right to vote restored. Courts are implementing the new law during the biennial visits by the probate investigator.

When the probate investigator conducts a biennial visit, clients will be asked whether they want to vote and they have three choices: "I want to vote," "I don't want to vote," or unable to answer. If it is "I want to vote," the court will be notified and the right will be returned. The court will also notify the county registrar of voters. Please note, that for new petitions, the petition has been changed to address the issue of voting rights.

For clients who are conserved and want to vote in the election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, they need to notify the probate court and register to vote before October 24, 2016. Clients can inform the probate court with a simple letter to the presiding judge indicating "I want to vote." The letter should include the probate court's conservatorship case number. Once the written statement is received by the court and is verified, the court will enter an order to restore the individual's voting rights and provide notification to the county registrar of voters. Once rights are restored, the client should contact the registrar of voters to complete their voter registration.
 
The address and phone number for the Los Angeles County Probate Court is:
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.830.0850

To vote in the November elections, the above steps must be completed by Monday, October 24, 2016.

Budget Facts and Figures Made Easy


With pages and pages filled with information and figures, the section of the state budget related to developmental services and regional centers is not all that approachable. But, the Association of Regional Center Agencies has made it alot easier by providing a funds flow chart for 2016-17 and some budget facts and figures presented in pie chart format.

And there are some interesting take aways:

Funds Flow Chart 2016-17
This chart graphically depicts how the combination of state (“general fund”) and federal funds are moved through the State and to the services and supports required by persons with developmental disabilities. Points of note are the comparative cost-per-person of developmental centers versus community services, and the fact that generic services meet many needs, and must be accessed first.

Regional Center Budget and Demographic Information Charts
These charts show the breakdown of funds in our system, as well as some information on client characteristics. Major points, one per chart, are:

  • Administrative expenses are less than a single percent.
  • Federal funds (and meeting our promises that get those dollars) remain critical, providing 40 percent of our system’s $6 billion dollars.
  • Regional center services are an order of magnitude more cost-effective than developmental center services.
  • Residential services is the single largest cost component for people served.
  • Early Intervention is a small but real portion of our population, and each person served has the potential for better, and less expensive, outcomes as a result.
  • Again, residential services are the most expensive service provided – making it very important to help support people in the family home.
  • Our community’s ethnicity is roughly reflective of the State, but cultural differences and socioeconomic issues drive the complex topic of barriers to service.
  • While intellectual disabilities were, historically, the focus of our system, autism is the growing developmental disability.
  • Nearly half of people served are under the age of 18. They are more likely to have autism, and are daily entering a community system built around different needs that needs to be rebuilt around new needs.
  • Compare the costs of residential services as a portion of the budget against where people actually live. The family home is often – but not always – the preferred residence. Supporting families in their homes, such as respite services, meets their needs better, and is more cost-effective, too.
  • Men continue to be disproportionately represented in our system, driven in part by the gendered prevalence of autism.

Take a minute to look through the charts for a better idea of how funds flow through and are broken down in our system.

Files

CDCAN Reports Breaking News on the Recent Appointment of Nancy Bargmann as Director of DDS


BREAKING NEWS: NANCY BARGMANN TAPPED TO BE NEW DIRECTOR OF DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES - APPOINTMENT PRAISED BY ADVOCATES
Currently Works for San Gabriel – Pomona Regional Center Since Last Fall After Stepping Down Last July As Deputy Director of Community Services Division in Department of Developmental Services

SACRAMENTO, CA [BY MARTY OMOTO, CDCAN - LAST UPDATED 03/04/2016  2:53 PM] - Governor Brown, in a statement released late this afternoon, announced the appointment of Nancy Bargmann, age 54, a widely respected former senior department official, as the new director of the Department of Developmental Services. The appointment requires confirmation from the state Senate likely sometime early next year, though Bargmann can serve in the position until then. News of the Bargmann appointment is being greeted with high praise and strong support by advocates and policymakers across the State.

Diana Dooley, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, released a statement this afternoon to department staff, praising Bargmann’s  “…dedication, energy and caring she brings to her work and to the individuals we serve...," reflecting the reaction of many advocates, regional centers, and others who have worked with Bargmann.

The Department of Developmental Services, under the California Health and Human Services Agency, oversees the community-based services and supports funded through the 21 non-profit regional centers who in turn contract local community organizations and individuals to provide services to over 300,000 eligible people with developmental disabilities across the State. The department also owns and operates the three remaining health facilities called developmental centers and one smaller facility.

Bargmann will succeed Santi Rogers, who retired from state service on November 30. California Health and Human Services Agency Under Secretary Michael Wilkening has served as acting director since then and will continue to do so until Bargmann assumes the position sometime in the coming several weeks, though no exact starting date has yet been announced.

Diana Dooley, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, promised last October when Rogers’ announced his retirement, that she and her team would look for the right person to lead the department at a time when the State has embarked on a wide range of sweeping transitions to meet new federal requirements, and efforts to resolve long and short term issues of funding and resources in the community impacting people with developmental disabilities. Those major transitions include the State’s efforts moving forward on the historic closures of the remaining State-owned and operated developmental centers (except for the secured treatment area of Porterville Developmental Center); major changes in community services to comply with new federal Medicaid Home and Community Services Waiver regulations; compliance with the new federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; transitions and efforts dealing with critical funding and resource issues for people needing services and supports in the community, including those with unmet needs; issues related to reducing cultural disparities across the State; implementation of the new Self Determination Program; implementation of competitive integrated employment; transition of over 13,000 children to receive behavioral health treatment under Medi_Cal managed care; and other major initiatives.

Bargmann currently works for the San Gabriel – Pomona Regional Center in Pomona since last fall, after stepping down at the end of July last year due to family health reasons, as deputy director of the Department of Developmental Services’ community services division that oversees, among other things, regional center funded community-based services and supports. Bargmann served in that position for over three and half years, serving first under former department director Terri Delgadillo and then under Santi Rogers.

In that previous position Bargmann played a key role in bringing together diverse and sometimes competing stakeholders to navigate and implement major changes in state and federal policies impacting people with developmental disabilities and earned the respect of persons with developmental disabilities, their families, providers, regional centers and other advocates and policymakers. She was a visible presence over the years at numerous budget and other legislative hearings and stakeholder meetings up until last July when she stepped down as deputy director.

GOVERNOR'S PRESS RELEASE
Nancy Bargmann, 54, of Long Beach, has been appointed director at the California Department of Developmental Services, where she was deputy director of the Community Services Division from 2012 to 2015. Bargmann has been associate executive director at the San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center since 2015. She held several positions at Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment Inc. from 2009 to 2012, including executive director and business consultant and held several positions at the MENTOR Network from 1998 to 2009, including vice president of operations, vice president of business development and California state director. She held several positions at the Inland Regional Center from 1985 to 1998, including community services director, resource manager, adult services program manager and client services coordinator. Bargmann earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management and a Master of Science degree in social work from San Diego State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $186,572. Bargmann is a Republican.

STATEMENT RELEASED BY SECRETARY DOOLEY ON APPOINTMENT OF BARGMANN
The following is a statement released by Secretary Dooley to all staff of the Department of Developmental Services today, on the appointment of Nancy Bargmann as director: “I am very pleased to welcome Nancy Bargmann back to the Department of Developmental Services as the new Director. Nancy brings over 30 years of experience in serving individuals with developmental disabilities, including a wealth of knowledge in developing community resources, which will be extremely valuable as residents living in the developmental centers transition to community living and as individuals age out of their family homes and move into the community. Those of you who have worked with Nancy know the commitment, dedication, energy and caring she brings to her work and to the individuals we serve. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to work with her yet, you’re in for a treat. Please join me in congratulating Nancy on her appointment.”

Deadline to Opt Out of Court Decision Impacting Families of Young & School Age Children is April 1


If you are the parent or guardian of a child (including an infant) with disabilities; the parent or guardian of a student who is attending or attended a California school at any time since January 1, 2008, you should be aware a federal court has ordered the release of personal protected information, including behavior, health and discipline reports, Social Security numbers and home addresses to a nonprofit which claims it wants to ensure disabled students are being treated fairly under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws.

The court order states that information will not be made available to the public, but this puts the responsibility in the hands of the nonprofit.

You can file an objection to information related to your child and your family being released. However, it is unclear whether the objection will prevent your child’s information from being released.

You must print and fill out a form or mail a private letter to the judge. There is no electronic means of notifying the court. Any objection must be received by the court by April 1, 2016.

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THE FORM THAT MUST BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED TO THE COURT BY APRIL 1, 2016

Read the Court's complete decision and its order

Read a news release about this from the California Department of Education

Read the San Diego Union Tribune article about this decision

Howard McBroom Heads to Germany to Share His Experience Living Life Through the Lens of Autism


Howard McBroom’s recent trip to Germany to share his experience living life with a diagnosis of autism all came about from a 2011 interview he did for the Los Angeles Times.

The article was read by Jette Paetz, a graduate student of Dr. Georg, and the wheels were set in motion. In 2012, Dr. Georg traveled to Los Angeles for a face to face interview with Howard for his book, “The Practice of Autism in America.” One thing led to another and three years later, Dr. Georg proposed that Howard travel to Germany to speak at a conference he was organizing about autism that would bring psychiatric professionals and people with autism together for the first time for meaningful discussion.

The biggest hurdle for Howard was getting a passport, but with the help of Jacquelyn Castillo, his community living specialist at United Cerebral Palsy, and Srbui Ovsepyan, his Lanterman service coordinator, he got it. With his essentials packed, Howard’s trip started on November 13, and for 10 days Howard brought, what he dubbed “Hope from America,” sharing his story, the effects of autism on him personally, and also about the regional center system on self-determination. The conference laid the groundwork for increased cooperation between the communities with autism in America and in Germany.

Howard shares, “This was an experience of a lifetime. I am very proud to represent the Regional Center in such a large scale advocacy effort and I look forward to more opportunities as an international speaker.”

Getting Ready for El Nino


As you know, heavier-than-usual rains, referred to as “El Nino” are expected in the Los Angeles area. The latest forecasts are for the heaviest downpours to be throughout January, February and March, 2016. Among the greatest concerns are flooding and mudslides in some areas, power outages, street closures, leaking roofs and extra traffic.

The City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County each have a registry which anyone can sign up for. If you provide your cell phone and e-mail address, notifications of emergencies and areas to avoid will be texted, called or e-mailed to you. All landlines are already automatically in the system. View a flyer that explains how to sign up for these registries.

There are also things you can do to prepare yourself and your family such as:

  • Create an emergency kit that contains a minimum of 72 hours of food and water for each person, medications, first aid supplies, a flashlight and a radio.
  • Develop a plan for communication and re-uniting if it should become necessary.
  • To prepare your residence, repair roofs, trim trees and clear out gutters.
  • For your car, make sure headlights and windshield wipers are in good working order.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded areas.
  • For your pets, plan for pet food, water, medications and leashes.

Here are some helpful websites:

Unusual weather can cause increased fear and anxiety. Discuss it ahead of time if that strategy helps. For people with some types of disabilities, use pictures or videos or your home shower to illustrate heavy rain. Plan things to do for extended time indoors. Follow news reports and heed instructions to stay away from problem areas. It is impossible to know exactly how much rain is expected, but a little advanced planning can reduce panic and maximize everyone’s safety.

State Council on Developmental Disabilities Begins Next Phase of Child/Family Surveys


Starting November 2, 2015 through March 2016 the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) Los Angeles Office will be sending out National Core Indicator Child/Family Surveys to parents and guardians of children, ages 3 to 18, who receive services from Lanterman, Eastern Los Angeles, Harbor, North Los Angeles County, South Central Los Angeles, Westside, San Gabriel/Pomona and Tri-Counties regional centers.

The National Core Indicators are standard measures used by many states to assess how people feel about the services that they receive from the developmental disability system. The questions address key areas of concern including service planning, community inclusion, choice, health and safety, rights and employment. The responses to these surveys will help California identify essential changes necessary to improve the quality of services at a statewide and local level. 

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential. No one will know your answers - not case managers, providers, support workers, or any others. Your answers will not affect you, your child, or the services your family receives. The survey comes with a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope.

Surveys will also be available in the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Hmong, Khmer-Cambodian, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese

If you need help reading or understanding the survey, or need an interpreter, contact the SCDD Los Angeles office at 818.543.4631 or losangeles@scdd.ca.gov. When you receive the survey please complete and return it within two weeks.

Legislative Hearing Updates from ARCA


On December 1, there were two legislative informational hearings that are relevant to the work that regional centers do. Following is a summary by Amy Westling, Director of Policy, Association of Regional Center Agencies.

First, there was a hearing on the MCO tax in Los Angeles, which covered, by and large, familiar territory and information. Sen. Hernandez (chair) welcomed all participants and attendees. He noted with disappointment that the Department of Finance declined the conference committee’s invitation. He had been particularly interested in hearing from them why the tax is needed in light of the new funds recently reported by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).

Asm. Bonta and Sen. Mitchell were also in attendance.

  *  Felix Su (LAO) provided an overview of the various tax options and background.
  *  Mari Cantwell, DHCS, reviewed the Administration’s tiered tax plan, including the original from January and the updated version presented (and broadly publicized) in September.
  *  Nick Louizos, California Association of Health Plans, presented the perspective of the health plans, which continue to prioritize a limited, non-disruptive tax (if any). They remain concerned with the various tax proposals for various reasons. Additional CAHP priorities include a sunset on the tax, an automatic end to the tax if disallowed by the federal government, legislative reporting requirements, a revenue ceiling ($1.1 billion, to backfill or improve Medi-Cal programs only), and prevent any future tax changes (increases) without legislative authorization. Program improvements, he said, could include Medi-Cal provider rate increases.

As a note of inside ball, Sen. Mitchell asked whether or not the special session would continue beyond September 2016 when the Legislature adjourns. Sen. Hernandez responded by saying “it’ll go on beyond that, I believe.”

Public comment, running just under 45 minutes, was also taken. Speakers included a range of interests, including IHSS and independent living centers. A significant proportion of testimony came from the DD community, including self-advocates and service providers. Additionally, Melinda Sullivan (Executive Director, Lanterman Regional Center) spoke to the importance of ensuring that funding reform is included in any final package.

The Los Angeles Times covered the event, and an article has been published online.

Second, in Sacramento there was an informational hearing on services for children with special needs attended by Senator Richard Pan of Sacramento. It was comprised of a number of panels that focused on various facets of specialty care for children.

Senator Richard Pan, M.D.

  *  The Committee is concerned regarding the silos of care for children with special needs.
Dr. Edward Schor, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

  *  Provided an overview of the systems of care that serve children with special needs.
Wendy Longwell, Family Voices of California

  *  Expressed concern regarding son transitioning out of CCS, which has been very helpful in coordinating personalized care.
  *  Explained the importance of parent-to-parent support to navigate the network of complex systems that are needed to meet the needs of each child.
Jennifer Kent, Director, DHCS

  *  Developmentally disabled children average costs in the Medi-Cal program of $1,700 per month, compared to $240 for all children.
  *  The Affordable Care Act allows for 90% federal matching for health homes. A draft plan to implement this will be released by DHCS soon.
  *  It is incumbent on agencies to better coordinate services so that care appears more seamless to families.
Barbara Sheehy, Contra Costa Administrator, California Children’s Services (2002-2015)

  *  CCS ensures that children are seen by highly qualified specialists to treat their specialized conditions.
  *  Some counties have specific programs to aid in the transition of youth from CCS to adult care.
  *  The Medical Therapy Units provide direct evidence-based therapies.
  *  Current challenges include fragmentation of care, low provider rates, and the potential for the loss of specialized care in the CCS transition to Medi-Cal Managed Care.
  *  Funding for kids without full-scope Medi-Cal is split between counties and the state.
Dr. Richard Chinnock, Board President, Children’s Specialty Care Coalition
·        Pediatric subspecialty care must be provided in care centers to prevent burn-out of individual practitioners.
·        Current challenges include the need for more rational data, better transitions from CCS to adult services, better reimbursement rates, mental and physical health coordination, better coordination of primary and subspecialty care, and creating medical homes.
·        The CCS transition should proceed cautiously and retain what is working well.
Carol Gallegos , Deputy Director, California Department of Health Care Services’ Office of Legislative and Governmental Affairs

  *  Counties determine how available funding is spent to best meet local needs.
  *  Mental health agencies coordinate with other entities to meet the needs of dually served children.
  *  More work is being done on the development of a data dashboard to display information on performance outcomes for children with mental health needs.
Terry Rooney, Colusa County - Behavioral Health Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association
·        Counties continue to provide mental health services for children because there are insufficient providers available to contract with Medi-Cal Managed Care plans.
·        Supporting children in less restrictive environments is a challenge.
Dr. Stewart Teal, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry, University of California at Davis, California Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

  *  Child psychiatry is a multi-disciplinary process.
  *  There needs to be a continuum of care in children’s mental health to prevent children from falling through the cracks.
  *  There needs to be a reliable way to share mental health information between counties, particularly for foster children.
Brian Winfield, Acting Deputy of Community Services, DDS

  *  Provided an overview of the regional center system, including the distinction between Early Start and Lanterman services and funding structures.
  *  DDS coordinates with other departments in the Interagency Coordination Collaborative and the BHT Medi-Cal transition.
  *  Purchase of Service dollars are distributed according to historical trend; sometimes funds must be redistributed between regional centers. Operations funding is determined largely by the number of individuals supported and staff members.
  *  No regional centers are meeting caseload ratios but centers are monitored in other ways as well.
Rick Rollens, Legislative Advisor, ARCA

  *  The function of ARCA in coordinating statewide efforts on behalf of regional centers.
  *  The role of the planning team and accessing of generic services.
  *  The limitation and subsequent restoration of the Early Start Program.
  *  The largest current challenge is severe underfunding that must be addressed through stabilization and funding reform.
Chris Drouin, Associate Director, California Department of Education Special Education Division

  *  There are 133 SELPAs and 1,700 local education agencies.
  *  $4.46 billion annually for special education services, which supplement general education funds for students.
  *  CDE is working with DDS and DOR on the blueprint for employment of youth with developmental disabilities.
  *  The potential for single assessments and planning processes for multi-agency children.
Becky Bryant, Director III, Sacramento City Unified School District

  *  Districts are funding a larger portion of special education services out of their general budget.
  *  School districts would like to be able to bill a greater number of services to EPSDT.
  *  A current challenge is implementation of the Common Core.
  *  Sacramento City Unified has had good experiences working with ACRC in jointly children with autism.
Bob Hamilton, President, California Association of Resource Specialists

  *  General education teachers and administrators are increasingly responsible for the education of children with special needs. They need additional training to meet the specialized needs of these children.
  *  There is sometimes a disconnect between schools and other agencies, including the scheduling of meetings.
  *  There are not enough credentialed special education teachers to meet the current demand.
School nurse from Tehama County

  *  Districts are not required to have school nurses and oftentimes have to fund this out of their general funds.
  *  CCS dependent counties have particular challenges with accessing services and sometimes extended delays for services.
  *  Question from Senator Pan regarding opportunities to leverage funds to pay for more school nursing.
Senator Richard Pan, M.D.

  *  The Committee will be looking at compiling data on children with special needs.
  *  The Committee will plan to find ways to leverage additional dollars and plans to continue its work for a couple of years.
Public Comment

  *  Part C funding efficiencies could be found by doing midlevel assessments rather than full diagnostics.
  *  The need for Medi-Cal to follow federal mental health parity expectations.
  *  Previous studies have been done on these topics and may be informative.

The next Special Session (informational) hearing will be held on Thursday, December 17 (ftp://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/dailyfile/sen/senate_Committee_Hearings_Recess.pdf#page=22), in Oakland. ARCA will provide additional updates as the hearing draws closer. The Senate Select Hearing on Children with Special Needs has not yet scheduled its next hearing, but ARCA will continue to monitor this and provide updates as they become available.

Kaiser Sunset Partners with Lanterman, LAUSD and Pathpoint to Implement Project SEARCH


Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center has Partnered with Lanterman Regional Center, LAUSD and Pathpoint to Bring Project SEARCH to Their Medical Campus

Top photo is Jaime Rodriguez; bottom left photo is Adrian Garcia; and bottom right photo is Erick Morales. All 3 are Los Angeles Unified School District students participating in Project SEARCH and are supported by LAUSD Special Education Teacher Lisa Divers.

Photos taken by LAUSD Special Education Teacher Lisa Divers

View more photos

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/Sunset 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. Recruitment for students for the 2016-17 school year will begin soon. 

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.

All About Autism BrainNet


It Takes Brains ...to Solve Autism

What is Autism BrainNet?
Autism BrainNet is a new network of four university-based sites across the country that have come together to make brain donation both easier and more useful for future research. Brain donations to any of these sites will contribute to a common pool that will facilitate research by the best autism researchers in the world.

Why is Autism BrainNet Important?
Autism is a disorder of brain development. In order to make progress in all areas of autism research, scientists need to study brains. Understanding what is different about the genetics or structure of the brain will give autism researchers essential information to develop better treatments and ultimately prevent the debilitating symptoms of autism.

Read more to learn how donations are used and how you can help

Making Ornanments for the State 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 ornament guidelines and shipping instructions.

Ornaments must be received by November 16, 2015

DDS Director Santi Rogers to Retire Effective December 1


STATE CAPITOL UPDATE:
DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES DIRECTOR SANTI ROGERS TO RETIRE EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1
Surprise Announcement Made by California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley At the Beginning of the Developmental Services Task Force Meeting – Search for Replacement Will Get Underway – Dooley and Advocates Praise Work and Commitment of Rogers

[Photo of Santi Rogers, Director of the Department of Developmental Services, March 2015 (Marty Omoto Photo)]SACRAMENTO, CA [BY MARTY OMOTO, CDCAN LAST UPDATED 10/28/2015 11:40 AM] –  Santi Rogers, Director of the Department of Developmental Services will retire from state service, effective December 1, 2015.  The surprise announcement was made by California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley at the beginning of the California Health and Human Services Agency Developmental Services Task Force meeting Wednesday morning, who praised the commitment and work of Rogers.  She thanked Rogers, widely respected for his long career working for the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, noting that he ended up serving beyond his one year commitment as director of the Department of Developmental Services.  Task force members and the audience in the room gave Rogers a strong ovation acknowledging his lifelong work.
    Secretary Dooley said that Santi Rogers “…is finally going to actually take his retirement. It is a great disappointment to me, but approaching that age myself, I am very appreciative how well earned this is.  Santi was ready to do this two years ago” but that because of his commitment to this community, “…he stepped up and said he would help us move through the transition that we were embarking on at that time two years ago…”
    She noted that Rogers “…agreed to serve for a year and we have wrung two years out of him. And believe, he has been through the wringer. This is very hard work we are doing together,” adding that “he has a life and I respect that ever so much.”
    Rogers, whose appointment was announced January 14, 2014, took office in March 3, 2014, He was confirmed by the State Senate in February 17, 2015 by a vote of 36 to 0. Rogers succeeded Terri Degadillo who retired from state service in December 2013.
    No replacement has yet been selected and a search for a new director will be underway, with Secretary Dooley encouraging task force members and members of the audience to submit their ideas for a “generation of new leadership”.  Dooley said that given the short time frame that it was “doubtful” that Rogers’ replacement would be decided by his retirement date of December 1st but that “interim leadership” possibly California Health and Human Services Agency Under Secretary Michael Wilkening, would be put in place as it was before when Delgadillo, the previous director before Rogers, retired from state service two years ago.
    The Department of Developmental Services is an agency under the California Health and Human Services Agency, serving over 296,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities through the 21 non-profit regional centers and a network of community-based organizations and individuals who provide services and supports.  The latest budget for the department in the 2015-2016 State Budget is over $5.9 billion ($3.5 billion of that is State general funds), an increase of $456.7 million above the last year’s 2014-2015 State Budget (an increase of 8.3%).
    Children and adults with developmental disabilities may also be eligible for other services administered by other state agencies, including In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), intermediate care facilities funded by Medi-Cal, Medi-Cal health benefits, Medicare health benefits, SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment) grants, Medicaid Waiver Personal Care Services, community-based adult services, foster care, adoption assistance, special education, Early Start, and more.

SECRETARY DOOLEY PRAISED ROGERS COMMITMENT FOR “ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE & INSPIRED US TO DO…”
    Dooley praised Rogers saying that he in “…so many ways embodied the decades of commitment that created the Lanterman Act,” and that she was “…deeply grateful and appreciative” for all that “you have done and all that you have inspired us to do…”
    Rogers, in response, playfully looked around the table where he sat next to Secretary Dooley, as if trying to find something and then held up his copy of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act book that contains the landmark California civil rights act for people with developmental disabilities - the only state in the nation to have such protections for people with developmental disabilities.  The gesture caused a round of warm and affectionate laughter, because everyone knew that was his signature opening to nearly every speech he has given to countless audiences through the years across the State. Now he was holding the Lanterman Act booklet at his last meeting of the Developmental Services Task Force as director of the Department of Developmental Services.
    He recalled the commitment of parents and families who helped to push the passage of the historic civil rights act for people with developmental disabilities who told lawmakers 45 years ago that “we are here to speak for justice” to bring the “essence of a better life” for their children.  The landmark act was authored by Republican Assemblymember Frank Lanterman, passed by a then Republican controlled Legislature, and signed into law by then Governor Ronald Reagan.
    Rogers spoke of his father when he took him to visit Porterville Developmental Center when he was 12 years old, and how that experience of seeing thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities residing there changed his life. He said he was “…honored to be a part of the service system” that has served so many people and that this was a “forever relationship”.
    Members of the task force around the table and members of the audience all praised and thanked Rogers for his work and commitment to the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

ROGERS BORN AND RAISED IN FRESNO – SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS DIRECTOR OF SAN ANDREAS REGIONAL CENTER
    Born and raised in Fresno, California, Rogers had long experience in state government dating back to Governor Brown’s first administration, working 27 years within the Department of Developmental Services as a Special Education Teacher; Director of Title I Early Education Program; Program Director; Deputy Director for the division in the department that oversaw regional centers.
    He served as an Director at four Developmental Centers: Stockton (1976), Sonoma (1985), Porterville (1987) and Agnews (1992).  Rogers retired from his first tour of duty in State service in 1995.  From 1995 to 2014, for over 19 years, Rogers served as executive director of San Andreas Regional Center covering Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, before his temporary return to State service as Director of the Department of Developmental Services in 2014.  .
    San Andreas Regional Center is one of 21 non-profit agencies under contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide assessments, determine eligibility and coordinate regional center funded services for over 296,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities, including infants and toddlers in California’s early intervention program called “Early Start”.

CDCAN - MARTY OMOTO YOUTUBE CHANNEL
    A CDCAN (Marty Omoto, family member and advocate) youtube channel was set up and has several videos dealing with current – and previous state budget issues, disability and senior rights, and advocacy.
    To see the current videos, including March 2014 San Andreas Regional Center Aptos Legislative Breakfast, January 2014 panel discussion on services for adults with autism spectrum and related disorders in Palo Alto, and older videos including video of April 2003 march of over 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, families, providers, regional centers and others from the Sacramento Convention Center to the State Capitol (to attend and testify at budget hearing on proposed massive permanent cuts to regional center funded services, go to the CDCAN (Marty Omoto) Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEySEyhnr9LQRiCe-F7ELhg<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=b3788cf710&e=bb1b2a9da5>
    More videos – including new current videos (an interview with longtime advocate Maggie Dee Dowling is planned, among others) – plus archive videos of past events – will be posted soon.

CDCAN DISABILITY-SENIOR RIGHTS REPORT
CALIFORNIA DISABILITY-SENIOR COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK
OCTOBER 28, 2015 -  WEDNESDAY EVENING
Advocacy Without Borders: One Community – Accountability With Action
CDCAN Reports go out to over 65,000 people with disabilities, mental health needs, seniors, people with traumatic brain and other injuries, people with MS, Alzheimer's and other disorders, veterans with disabilities and mental health needs, families, workers, community organizations, facilities and advocacy groups including those in the Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, American Indian, Indian, African-American communities; policymakers, and others across the State.
Sign up for these free reports by going to the CDCAN website.  Website: www.cdcan.us<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=2aa75a140f&e=bb1b2a9da5>
HELP IS NEEDED TO CONTINUE CDCAN (SEE BELOW)
To reply to THIS Report write:
Marty Omoto (family member & advocate)  at martyomoto@rcip.com<mailto:martyomoto@rcip.com> or martyomoto@att.net<mailto:martyomoto@att.net>  [new email - will eventually replace current martyomoto@rcip address]  Twitter: martyomoto
Office Line: 916-418-4745  CDCAN Cell Phone:  916-757-9549

  PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
  OCTOBER 28, 2015 - WEDNESDAY EVENING
  HELP CDCAN CONTINUE ITS WORK
  CDCAN Townhall Telemeetings, CDCAN Reports and Alerts and other activities cannot continue without YOUR help. To continue the CDCAN website and the CDCAN Reports and Alerts sent out and read by over 65,000 people and organizations, policy makers and media across the State, and to continue and resume CDCAN Townhall Telemeetings, trainings and other events, please send your contribution/donation (please make check payable to "CDCAN" or "California Disability Community Action Network" and mail to:
  CDCAN
1500 West El Camino Avenue Suite 499
Sacramento, CA 95833

Many, many thanks to all the organizations and individuals for their continued support that make these reports and other CDCAN efforts possible!

Copyright ©  2015 - Can be posted or re-produced without permission if full credit is given to CDCAN

Our mailing address is:
Marty Omoto - martyomoto@rcip.com<mailto:martyomoto@rcip.com>  or martyomoto@att.net<mailto:martyomoto@att.net>

Promotora Project Family Graduation


Lanterman recently celebrated the first group of families graduating from the Center's pilot project with Esperanza Community Housing.

Called the Promotora Project, it is the first of its kind among the 21 regional centers in California.

The goal of the Promotora Project is to help families increase access to services in their community, increase advocacy skills, and improve their understanding of their child’s special needs.

Congratulations to all the families who participated.

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Kirk is a Shining Example of Life After the Developmental Center


Sometimes the unremarkable is remarkable - like going out for dinner, taking a trip to Target, or even decorating your own tree at the holidays. It's something many of us take for granted, but for Kirk, officially Lanterman's last client to move out of Lanterman Developmental Center in December 2014, after living there since 1997, these are experiences to be cherished.

Kirk He moved into the Verdugo 1 home in Burbank and his service coordinator, Jenny Arellano, shares, "Kirk has taken pride in and ownership of his home. He has made connections with his staff and has been heard calling his Direct Service Professional his 'brother.' Kirk has made significant improvement with his ambulation since his arrival at his new home; this is a result of his DSP providing constant encouragement to use his lower extremities. He is now able to move more efficiently throughout his home with support from his walker and on occasion he will even make short trips around his home without support from an assistive device."

Dorothy’s 77th Birthday Luau


For nearly 70 years, Dorothy lived at Lanterman Developmental Center. In July 2010, she moved to Easter Seals Frederic Home, where she now resides with two other housemates.

According to her service coordinator, Jenny Arellano, "Dorothy seems to like having her own room and living in a quieter environment. She is the 'queen' of the house as she is the only female resident. And the staff is very attentive and caring. Dorothy enjoys being pampered and loves getting her makeup done and her hair coifed and is regularly treated to 'spa days.''' Staff recently threw Dorothy a marvelous luau to celebrate her 77th birthday.

Dorothy also enjoys spending time out in the community. Over this past year she has visited Universal Studios, Malibu Beach and ate at Duke’s Diner. She also visited Beverly Hills and went on tour of famous stars homes.

Ramona’s Poem


When Lusine Gambaryan, SLS Assistant Program Director at InClusion Services, recently stopped by to visit Ramona, Ramona shared a poem she had written entitled "A Poem About Ramona." Ramona asked that they read it together, as it was written just after a particularly difficult experience that she went through and Lusine shares, "This touched my heart that Ramona was courageous enough to write out her thoughts and express them on paper."

Ramona is a young adult who has successfully transitioned from living in a state developmental center to living in her own apartment with supports. She is a member of Lanterman's Client Advisory Committee as well. 

Lusine adds, "After reading this, I am confident that Ramona is trying very hard to overcome her daily challenges. She also understands that with the help of her support circle she has come a long way to turn around at this."

Information and Resources are Only a Click, E-mail or Phone Call Away


A few weeks ago, Lanterman's Koch-Young Resource Center (KYRC) received an e-mail at Help Desk asking for information regarding epilepsy. The information was provided, and then not too long thereafter, the KYRC received an update. It turns out the requester was a high school student who has epilepsy and lives in Wyoming - Gabbie Marie.

Rose Chacana, director of the KYRC, shares, "She found us on her own, researched the Lanterman Web site and used the information she gathered to create a school project designed to increase epilepsy awareness. I really like her initiative and she made very good use of the Web site and KYRC resources, all while residing in another state. We touch many lives..."

Gabbie Marie's project was presented at the Wyoming State FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) in Cheyenne. Her presentation and project placed bronze in the statewide Illustrative Talk competition. And while she didn't make it to the Nationals, her story is a shining example of what can be accomplished with the information and resources that are available with only a click, e-mail or phone call.

Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center


Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center Find Their “Voice” and Express Themselves Positively

Eight years ago, brothers John and Daniel, who had spent much of their adult lives at Lanterman Developmental Center, moved into Casa de Adora. And contrary to all of the naysayers who argued keeping adults with developmental disabilities like John and Daniel in the developmental centers was better for them, with nurturing and support from the staff at Casa de Adora, John and Daniel have all but disproven this.

It’s not to say that it didn’t take time to achieve the marked progress that can be seen in their lives and the daily lives of the other residents at Casa de Adora, but they are a case in point example of the breakthroughs that can be achieved when clients are provided with ways in which to find their “voice” and express themselves positively.

“When they first came to Casa de Adora,” recalls Julio Vicente, a QA Specialist in Lanterman’s Community Services department, “the two brothers had uncontrollable behaviors, including hitting, kicking, head banging, yelling and spitting, and they didn’t like to be around others, especially people they didn’t know. For Daniel, these were the ways he used to communicate as he didn’t’ have any other means or know what else to do, and John would also retreat to his room and spend hours in his chair alone.”

Fast forward to Daniel’s most recent birthday celebration, and the two brothers can be seen celebrating with the Casa de Adora staff and the other two residents – Jaime and Mario. Julio adds, “Daniel no longer exhibits any of the above behaviors, enjoys hanging out and has learned some basic sign language to communicate with others. John, who never came out of his room and did not want to participate in any activities, now spends time in the living room watching television with his brother and his peers, partakes in meals with the rest of the residents, and has even learned to smile and attempt to communicate through sign language as well.”

Mario and Jaime have also made leaps and bounds since moving in. The staff have worked very closely with Mario and his doctors on medication reduction, and Jaime has gone from being introverted to talking, singing and making eye contact with his peers and with people in general.

Julio adds, “This is all very endearing to me, because I saw them when they first got to the home and I’m looking at a totally different and amazing picture now.  Wonderful to see!”

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Grassroots Day 2015 ~ Sacramento


Last week was Grassroots Day in Sacramento, and Lanterman board member and parent Karla Garcia, along with Enrique Roman, associate director of Client and Family Services, and Karen Ingram, director of Community Services spent the day in Sacramento visiting with members of the Legislature and their senior staff to build support for the much needed 10% funding increase for regional centers and providers. They shared how key this increase is for providers as far as offering competitive wages, hiring quality staff, reducing turnover and in the end their ability to stay in business.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Enrique, Karen and Karla with Senator Holly Mitchell (at right), an advocate for children and regional centers who was instrumental in restoring Early Start last year; Karla with the Golden Bear; and Karen and Enrique with Tina Andolina (center), Senior Policy Consultant to Senator Ben Allen

Mark Your Calendars for the Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games


The Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games are coming to California State University, Long Beach on June 13 and 14. The games are free and open to the public and competitions include aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics. Learn more at www.sosc.org/summergames and come out and show your support for more than 1,100 athletes from all over Southern California.

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Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing Requirements No Longer In Effect


On February 13, 2015, a federal court issued a ruling that the Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing requirements put into effect in 2009 could not be enforced until such time as the state had obtained approval for the requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Essentially, the Court said the Department of Developmental Services cannot implement Uniform Holiday Closures without prior approval from CMS, so they are no longer in effect. What this means for regional center clients and families is that programs and transportation services that were impacted by these closures MAY provide services on March 31 (what was to be the next Uniform Holiday Closure date), and on all other future UHC dates. Families should, however, confirm with the program that they will be open that day.

The Court also said that DDS cannot implement half-day billing requirements for day programs without prior approval from CMS, so this is no longer in effect as well. This applies to Activity Centers, Adult Development Centers, Behavior Management Programs and other look-alike day programs.

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The Time Has Come - Let Your Voices Be Heard, Show Your Support for a 10% Funding Increase


The time has come - get informed and then let your voices be heard and show your support for a 10% funding increase for the developmental services system - before it's too late.

Get Informed - Read ARCA's Report and Senator Beall's New Letter
ARCA has released its newest report, titled On The Brink Of Collapse, meant to provide policy-makers, advocates, and the citizens of California an understanding of the crisis engulfing our state’s developmental services system.

ARCA hopes this report will increase your understanding of the fiscal challenges California’s developmental services system faces in fulfilling its promise to individuals and their families and the urgent need for both short and long-term Budget solutions, which ARCA and the other Lanterman Coalition members support, to stabilize and advance the system.

On a separate front, Senator Beall has authored a second letter itemizing various harms done to the developmental services system, and specifically asking for the 10% POS/OPS increase. He is requesting that other legislators sign on. Read a copy of his letter and use it to inform your personal comments and testimony.

Take Action - Attend the March 4 Capitol Rally or E-mail Your Testimony for the Hearing
The Lanterman Coalition's members continue to push for funding reform to fix our developmental services system, but they need our help. If you can, join them at the State Capitol in Sacramento for a rally at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4 or come testify and show your support for our system at a Budget hearing, in room 4202, at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Now is the time to advocate for our system and your services. This is your first, and best chance to tell the Legislature why your service system needs a 10% increase now, and long-term funding reform.

Can't make it, but still want your voice to be heard? Please e-mail your personal, honest and respectful testimony and comments to "The Honorable Tony Thurmond," chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services. The email address is: assemblymember.thurmond@assembly.ca.gov. And be sure to include your mailing address at the bottom to ensure your testimony can be properly accepted.

Read more about what you can do to take action in ARCA's latest newsletter.

Files

DDS SafetyNet ~ Don’t Get Measles - Get Vaccinated


California is having a measles outbreak. You can protect yourself and others from measles by getting vaccinated. 

What Is Measles?
Measles is a disease that you can catch from other people. It can cause cold-like symptoms, fever, and a skin rash. It can make you really sick. Measles: What You Need to Know

How Do You Prevent Measles?
There is a shot, also called a vaccine, that keeps you from getting measles. Children and adults should have a Measles Vaccine.

What Happens When You Get a Shot?  
Getting a measles shot is quick and easy. Learn what to expect by reading Shots Can Keep You Healthy.

For more useful tips on vaccinations, visit the DDS SafetyNet.

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DDS SafetyNet ~ Check Up on Your Preventive Health


The SafetyNet has brand new tips and tools to help you be prepared for your annual checkup, preventive health screenings, and vaccinations to help you stay healthy. Tips to read before your checkup:

Tools to Complete for Your Checkup:

For more information on annual checkups, health screenings, and more, visit the DDS SafetyNet.

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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. He highlighted the increase to Medi Cal to provide health care to low income Californians, and increased spending for education as supported by a majority of voters in the election last November.

Proposed funding for Developmental Services was increased $452 Million in 2015-16, and $159 million to adjust the current 2014-15 budget, to address growth in caseload and service utilization. But the proposed budget does not address the need for an immediate 10 percent across-the-board funding increase

The budget for Social Services proposes to restore the 7 percent across the board reduction of IHSS service hours, effective July 1, 2015. Effective January 2015, maximum SSI/SSP grant levels are $881 per month for individuals and $1,483 for couples, due to federal Cost of Living Adjustment funding.

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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


STATE CAPITOL UPDATE: “SELF DETERMINATION” PROGRAM TAKES MAJOR STEP FORWARD WITH FUNDING PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY BROWN ADMINISTRATION

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.  

Advocates and policymakers in the Legislature meanwhile have applauded the work of the Department of Developmental Services in bringing together stakeholders that resulted in the final proposal submitted, though some have raised concerns about the need for next steps to prepare the State for eventual full scale implementation once federal approval of the proposal is given.   

The voluntary new program, which would be initially limited to a Statewide total of 2,500 eligible persons with developmental disabilities phased in over three years (from the date of actual implementation) in all 21 regional centers, was authorized in legislation – SB 468 by Senator Bill Emmerson (Republican – Riverside, 23rd State Senate District),  – that Governor Brown signed into law on October 9, 2013 (see below for links to the bill as signed into law).

The Department of Developmental Services, the state agency that oversees the funding of services and supports to over 250,000 eligible children and adults with developmental disabilities that is coordinated through the 21 non-profit regional centers who in turn contract with local community-based organizations and individuals to provide those services, said last week that a copy of the proposal would be posted soon on the department’s webpage at: http://www.dds.ca.gov/sdp/SDPUpdates.cfm<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=a8be95347a&e=bb1b2a9da5>  [CDCAN will send out notice when the proposal sent to the federal government is posted on the department website and also when it is posted on the federal government website for public comment]  

The department, under director Santi Rogers, acknowledged the “significant efforts” of a stakeholder advisory group that helped to craft the proposal during the past year in numerous meetings and phone conferences.  The first meeting of that stakeholder advisory group was convened a year ago November 2013 by department director Terri Delgadillo just before her retirement from state service in December and continued in regular meetings after that headed by Nancy Bargmann, deputy director of community services, Jim Knight and other senior department officials.  That first meeting last year was also attended briefly by former Senator Bill Emmerson (Republican – Riverside, 23rd State Senate District), who authored the Self Determination Program legislation that became law.

The proposal was developed and submitted as a Medicaid Home and Community Based Services waiver application to the federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees nationwide the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In California the Medicaid funded programs are called “Medi-Cal”.  A “waiver” granted by the federal government to a state authorizes that state to implement and test out new or innovative ways to provide Medicaid funded service or program that normally under current federal Medicaid laws would not be allowed.  

The legislation was sponsored by the Autism Society of Los Angeles and Disability Rights California (DRC), who organized a major statewide conference November 7-8, 2014 in Los Angeles to help kick off the implementation of the Self Determination Program that drew over 400 people with developmental din Los Angeles sabilities and family members from across the State including senior officials from the Brown Administration and representatives and executive directors of several regional centers and advocacy organizations.

ORIGINAL SELF DETERMINATION PILOT PROGRAM STARTED IN 1999 STILL CONTINUES

A previous self determination pilot program, funded only with state dollars, was authorized in 1998 by SB 1038 (Chapter 1043, Statutes of 1998) authored by then Senator Mike Thompson (Democrat – Eureka) that implemented in 1999 a three year pilot in five regional centers with about 200 persons with developmental disabilities.  That pilot program – which is significantly different from the Self Determination Program proposal submitted December 31, 2014 to the federal government - continues today and has largely been considered a success by those who participated in the program.  Over the coming months, the Department of Developmental Services will finalize and announce the process for those remaining participants in the original 1999 pilot program in transitioning to the new Self Determination Program, assuming approval of the proposal for funding by the federal government.

A different model of self determination proposed by the Schwarzenegger Administration, called “Self Directed Services” was authorized as part of the 2005-2006 State Budget (in a budget trailer bill, AB 131, Chapter 80, Statutes of 2005) though was never implemented in the State.  The proposal was considered controversial by many advocates who viewed that version of self determination as largely a cost savings measure to reduce access to services that included too many restrictions and barriers. Other advocates supported that proposal believing it was a reasonable first step in the right direction. While a proposal for Medicaid funding was eventually submitted, no further action was taken on it either by the federal government or by the State and is considered “dead”.

NEXT STEPS   

FEDERAL REVIEW OF APPLICATION: The federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has 90 days from the date the application (or proposal) was submitted to review the application and take one of three actions: approve; deny; or request additional information. It is likely the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will request additional information to clarify information in the application – something that happens to virtually every proposal and application submitted to the agency - that in turn extends the review period.  The actual proposal submitted from California will be posted not only on the Department of Developmental Services website, but also on a specific webpage of the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services that will include the status of the application and ways to make public comments directly to the federal Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposal.  [CDCAN will send out the link to this page once the application is posted – as of January 8, 2015 neither site has yet posted the proposal]

ENROLLMENT:  No enrollment into the new Self Determination Program can happen until approval of federal funding is obtained, which in turn would trigger the official implementation of the program.  The Department of Developmental Services – with stakeholder advisory group members and others – has been working to develop and finalize the process of enrollment into the program, including what steps regional centers and individuals and families need to take toward enrollment. 

TRAINING AND OUTREACH: The Department of Developmental Services said last week that while review of the proposal submitted to the federal government is underway, work will continue on the development of training and informational materials regarding the Self Determination Program.

SB 468 BY FORMER SENATOR EMMERSON WAS SIGNED INTO LAW LAST YEAR AUTHORIZING THE PROGRAM   

The Self Determination Program was authorized in legislation, SB 468, authored by former Senator Bill Emmerson (Republican – Riverside, 23rd State Senate District), who resigned from the State Senate last December 1, 2013 because of “my passion has waned” to continue service in the Legislature.  The bill was passed on September 11, 2013 by the Assembly by a vote of 78 to 0 and the State Senate by a vote of 39 to 0. Governor Brown signed the measure into law on October 9, 2013 (Chapter 683, Statutes of 2013).
    For PDF Document copy (14 pages) of the bill as signed into law:
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0451-0500/sb_468_bill_20131009_chaptered.pdf<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=99b6e8fb6d&e=bb1b2a9da5>
    For HTML version of the bill as signed into law:
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0451-0500/sb_468_bill_20131009_chaptered.htm<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=9e983db48e&e=bb1b2a9da5>

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The following are questions and answers from the Department of Developmental Services webpage regarding the self determination program (CDCAN made certain minor edits to define abbreviations used):

Q: What is the Self Determination Program?
A: As authorized in Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4685.8, "the Self Determination Program (SDP) is a voluntary delivery system consisting of a mix of services and supports, selected and directed by a participant through person-centered planning, in order to meet the objectives in his or her Individual Program Plan (IPP). Self-determination services and supports are designed to assist the participant to achieve personally defined outcomes in community settings that promote inclusion."

Q: When does the Self Determination Program (SDP) start?
A: The program will start once it is approved for federal funding. The Department of Developmental Services is working with stakeholders to draft a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver application that will be submitted for approval to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services no later than December 31, 2014. Upon approval of the Waiver application, the Self Determination Program (SDP) will be implemented for up to 2,500 participants during the first three years. After this three year phase-in period, the program will be available to all consumers.

Q: How can I keep updated on the progress of the Self Determination Program (SDP)?
A: Updates will be posted as they become available on the Self Determination website. If you want to be notified when updates are made, email sdp@dds.ca.gov<mailto:sdp@dds.ca.gov> and ask to be included on the update notification list.

Q: Who is eligible for the Self Determination Program (SDP)?
A. An individual must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Has a developmental disability and currently receives services from a regional center or is a new consumer of a regional center;
- Agrees to specific terms and conditions, which include but are not limited to, participation in an orientation to Self Determination Program (SDP), working with a “Financial Management Services” (FMS) entity, and managing Self Determination Program (SDP) services within an individual budget amount.
- An individual who lives in a licensed long-term health care facility (i.e., a Skilled Nursing Facility, Intermediate Care Facility) is not eligible to participate in the Self Determination Program (SDP). If someone lives in one of these facilities and is interested in the Self Determination Program (SDP), he or she can request that the regional center provide person-centered planning services in order to make arrangements for transition to the Self Determination Program (SDP), provided that he or she is reasonably expected to transition to the community within 90 days.

Q: What if participants are happy with their current service delivery program and do not wish to enroll in the Self Determination Program (SDP)?
A: Enrollment in the Self Determination Program (SDP) is completely voluntary. Just like any other program offered under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act in California, an individual chooses what is best for him or her. An individual may choose to participate in, and may choose to leave, the Self Determination Program (SDP) at any time.

Q: How much responsibility will participants or their family have if they choose to participate in the Self Determination Program (SDP)?
A: The participant will need to develop a person-centered plan and select individuals or members from their planning team to help implement the plan. The participant will also need to choose a Financial Management Services (FMS) entity that will work with him or her to monitor their individual budget.

Q: What are Financial Management Services (FMS)?
A: Financial Management Services (FMS) assist the participant to manage and direct the funds contained in the individual budget, and ensure that the participant can implement his or her Individual Program Plan (IPP) throughout the year. Financial Management Services (FMS) may include bill paying services and activities that facilitate the hiring of support workers for the participant.

Q: What is an individual budget?
A:  It is the amount of money a Self Determination Program (SDP) participant has available to purchase needed services and supports.

Q: How does the individual budget amount get determined?
A: The individual budget is determined by the Individual Program Plan (IPP) team, and is based upon the amount of purchase of service (POS) funds used by the individual in the most recent 12-months. This amount can be adjusted, up or down, if the Individual Program Plan (IPP) team determines that the individual's needs, circumstances, or resources has changed. Additionally, the IPP team may adjust the budget to support any prior needs or resources that were not addressed in the Individual Program Plan (IPP).

Q:  How does the individual budget amount get determined for an individual, who is either new to the regional center, or does not have a 12-month history of Purchase of Service (POS) costs?
A:  For these individuals, the individual budget amount is determined by the Individual Program Plan (IPP) team, and is based upon the average Purchase of Service (POS) cost of services and supports, paid by the regional center, that are identified in the individual's Individual Program Plan (IPP). The average cost may be adjusted, up or down, by the regional center, if needed to meet the individual's unique needs.

Q:  Are there restrictions on what the individual budget can be used for?
A:  Yes, a participant can only purchase services and supports as described in the Self Determination Program (SDP) [Medicaid Home and Community Based Services] Waiver and in the Individual Program Plan (IPP). Services funded through other sources (e.g., Medi-Cal, schools) cannot be purchased with Self Determination Program (SDP) funds.

Q:  If I choose to participate in the Self Determination Program (SDP), will I still have the same rights?
A:  Yes, participants enrolled in the Self Determination Program (SDP) will have the same rights established under the traditional service model (e.g. appeals, eligibility determinations, all rights associated with the Individual Program Plan (IPP) process).

Q:  How can someone learn more about the Self Determination Program (SDP)?
A:  Interested participants, families, or others are encouraged to visit the Self Determination website (at www.dds.ca.gov/sdp<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=1c2ab4f427&e=bb1b2a9da5> ) to find out more information about the Self Determination Program (SDP). The site will be updated as more information is available.

Q:  Can I enroll in Self Determination now?
A:  The process for selecting and enrolling the 2,500 participants in the first three years has not been finalized. However, you can email (the Department of Developmental Services) sdp@dds.ca.gov<mailto:sdp@dds.ca.gov> to express your interest in the program and you'll receive notice of website updates on the progress of the Self Determination Program (SDP), including the enrollment process. Please include your name and/or the name of the person interested in enrollment and the regional center you are with in the email.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SELF DETERMINATION PROGRAM
    DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES:
    SELF DETERMINATION PROGRAM MAIN PAGE (INCLUDING WELCOME FROM DIRECTOR SANTI ROGERS):
    http://www.dds.ca.gov/sdp/index.cfm<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=167e3666bb&e=bb1b2a9da5>
    IMPLEMENTATION UPDATES:
    http://www.dds.ca.gov/sdp/SDPUpdates.cfm<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=8e0b14401d&e=bb1b2a9da5>
    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (Note: this was reproduced in full above):
    http://www.dds.ca.gov/sdp/SDPFAQ.cfm<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=5fec876536&e=bb1b2a9da5>

CDCAN - MARTY OMOTO YOUTUBE CHANNEL
    A CDCAN (Marty Omoto) youtube channel was set up and has several videos dealing with current – and previous state budget issues, disability and senior rights, and advocacy.
    To see the current videos, including March 2014 San Andreas Regional Center Aptos Legislative Breakfast, January 2014 panel discussion on services for adults with autism spectrum and related disorders in Palo Alto, and older videos including video of April 2003 march of over 3,000 people with developmental disabilities, families, providers, regional centers and others from the Sacramento Convention Center to the State Capitol (to attend and testify at budget hearing on proposed massive permanent cuts to regional center funded services, go to the CDCAN (Marty Omoto) Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEySEyhnr9LQRiCe-F7ELhg<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=8ef6ffcb79&e=bb1b2a9da5>
    More videos – including new current videos (an interview with longtime advocate Maggie Dee Dowling is planned, among others) – plus archive videos of past events – will be posted soon.

Advocacy Without Borders: One Community – Accountability With Action
CDCAN Reports go out to over 65,000 people with disabilities, mental health needs, seniors, people with traumatic brain and other injuries, people with MS, Alzheimer's and other disorders, veterans with disabilities and mental health needs, families, workers, community organizations, facilities and advocacy groups including those in the Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, American Indian, Indian, African-American communities; policymakers, and others across the State.
Sign up for these free reports by going to the CDCAN website.  Website: www.cdcan.us<http://cdcan.us4.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=6d5ff1c64c58f56239b63cf14&id=709d60e878&e=bb1b2a9da5>
To reply to THIS Report write:
Marty Omoto at martyomoto@rcip.com<mailto:martyomoto@rcip.com> or martyomoto@att.net<mailto:martyomoto@att.net>  [new email - will eventually replace current martyomoto@rcip address]  Twitter: martyomoto
Office Line: 916-418-4745  CDCAN Cell Phone:  916-757-9549

JE SUIS CHARLIE -  “I AM CHARLIE”

PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
JANUARY 8, 2015  THURSDAY
HELP CDCAN CONTINUE ITS WORK
CDCAN Townhall Telemeetings, CDCAN Reports and Alerts and other activities cannot continue without YOUR help. To continue the CDCAN website and the CDCAN Reports and Alerts sent out and read by over 65,000 people and organizations, policy makers and media across the State, and to continue and resume CDCAN Townhall Telemeetings, trainings and other events, please send your contribution/donation (please make check payable to "CDCAN" or "California Disability Community Action Network" and mail to:
CDCAN – NEW MAILING ADDRESS:
1500 West El Camino Avenue Suite 499
Sacramento, CA 95833
[replaces 1225 8th Street Suite 480, Sacramento, CA 95814]
Office Line: 916-418-4745  CDCAN Cell Phone: 916-757-9549 (replaced 916-212-0237)

Many, many thanks to all the organizations and individuals for their continued support that make these reports and other CDCAN efforts possible!

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.

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.

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