Disability Rights for Regional Center Clients
What are Regional Centers?
Regional centers are nonprofit organizations that work jointly with the California Department of Developmental Services to furnish services for people with developmental disabilities. There are twenty-one regional centers throughout the State of California.
Who is Eligible for Services?
According to California law, to be eligible for regional center services, a person’s disabilities must:
- Originate before the person turns 18.
- Be lifelong.
- Be “substantial.” This means a lack of functioning ability in three or more of the following, based on age and subject to determination by the regional center:
- Receptive and expressive language
- Capacity for independent living
- Economic self-sufficiency
Also, persons at risk of having a child with a developmental disability may be eligible for genetic diagnosis, counseling, and other prevention services.
The following is a non-inclusive list of services regional centers provide:
- Information and referral
- Assessment and diagnosis
- Lifelong individualized planning and service coordination
- Purchase of necessary services included in the individual program plan
- Resource development
- 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
- Genetic counseling
- Family support
- Planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care
- Training and educational opportunities for individuals and families
- Community education about developmental disabilities
Appealing Regional Center Decisions
Sometimes, regional centers limit or deny services for a variety of reasons. It is unlawful for a regional center to deny or change a service without giving written notice. There are also deadlines to appeal regional center decisions. If you disagree with a regional center’s decision regarding services, you should contact Brasov Law for a consultation.