Here are some questions that many of our new subscribers have. If you don't find answers to your questions here, please feel free to contact us.
What are regional center qualifying intellectual and developmental disabilities? To be eligible for regional center services, a person must have a disability that begins before the individual’s 18th birthday that is expected to continue indefinitely and present a substantial disability. Qualifying conditions include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, Down syndrome and other disabling conditions as defined in Section 4512 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.
How do I establish myself or a family member as eligible for regional center services? Eligibility is established through diagnosis and assessment performed by regional centers. Depending on the age of the person applying, you will need to complete either the Early Start Program application or Lanterman Act Services application to begin the intake process. An example of a regional center intake application can be found here: https://www.nlacrc.org/home/showdocument?id=5397
What kinds of services are available through regional centers? Some of the services and supports provided by the regional centers include:
Information and referral
Assessment and diagnosis
Lifelong individualized planning and service coordination
Purchase of necessary services included in the individual program plan
Assistance in finding and using community and other resources
Advocacy for the protection of legal, civil and service rights
Early intervention services for at risk infants and their families
Planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care
Training and educational opportunities for individuals and families
Community education about developmental disabilities
Who leads your support groups? All of our support groups are led by trained support group coordinators, who have either experience working in the service system or are a family member served by the system. Our support group coordinators are bilingual so that our groups can predominantly be run in the language most natural for participants. Our support groups are also attended and supported by regional center parent mentors as often as possible, and when language availability permits.
What is the structure of a typical meeting? Our groups are designed to offer a safe space for parents or advocates of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to explore resources and support services. It is a safe space for people to come together and share their stories and experiences using regional center services as well as learn insights for improving their individualized program plans. Our facilitators typically structure the meetings towards: introductions, educational components or presentation (sometimes with guest speakers), and then free discussion. Most topics are presented in brief format or as an introduction to the topic only, but with references for how to obtain more information. At no time should protected health information be shared or asked of you.
How often do the groups meet? All of our current support groups meet twice per month for ninety minutes.