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Self Determination

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 To view the Self Determination video in Spanish, Chinese, or other languages, click here.

  View a Self Determination Video by Self Advocates for Adults Served by the Central Valley Regional Center 


Self Determination is on the way across the state, this exciting program will allow for a new way for the people we serve to have more authority and freedom in how their services and supports are planned and implemented.

What's New?

Waiver Application Approved!     

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS)  is very pleased to announce that the application for federal funding, or Waiver, for the Self-Determination Program was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  This news represents an essential step toward providing people who receive regional center services and their families an alternative way to coordinate their services, with more freedom and control over how the services are provided and the individuals who support them. 

Self-determination in California began almost twenty years ago as a small pilot project in limited areas of the state, with the intention of eventually expanding the program statewide.  The time from the start of the pilot project, to Governor Brown’s signing of the law in October 2013, to now has only heightened the desire to implement self-determination broadly in California.  

While approval of the Waiver represents the key step towards implementation of the Self-Determination Program, DDS and the self-determination advisory workgroup must continue to focus on finalizing program components for implementation.  Providing information and support, in particular training and orientation materials, needed to assist those who are selected and choose to participate is central to implementation and is in the final stages of completion.  DDS remains committed to implementing this important program. DDS will publish a timeline with key dates for implementation by June 18, 2018.  Updates will be posted on the DDS website page for Self-Determination at:  If you would like to be notified of future updates about Self-Determination, please send an email to  Information for those who are interested on how they can be considered for participation in the Self-Determination Program can be found at

ELARC is hosting Pre Enrollment Informational Sessions in 2018:  ELARC has scheduled several sessions for the first half of  2018 with more planned later in the year.  Upcoming Informational Sessions: 

Check back as we will schedule more sessions in the fall/winter of 2018. 

The ELARC Local Advisory Committee holds open public meetings.   Come join us on at our next meeting!   We have meetings scheduled for  September 4, 2018  and November 6, 2018. All meetings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the ELARC Boardroom located at 1000 S. Fremont Ave. Alhambra 91803.       View the Flyer  in English    View the flyer in Spanish  View the flyer in Chinese  View the flyer in Vietnamese

 Visit the Self Determination Local Advisory Committee webpage for more information about the committee and their meetings.  


Download the ELARC SDP Fact Sheet in English    in Spanish    in Chinese    in Vietnamese    in Korean 

The California statewide Self-Determination Program is a voluntary alternative to the traditional way of providing regional center services. The SDP is being developed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to allow participants to have more control over selecting their services and supports. One of the ways this can be done is by giving participants (or their parents or legal representatives) a specific budget to purchase the services and supports that they need to make their person-centered plan work better for them. Participants may choose their services and pick which providers deliver those services. Participants are responsible for staying within their annual budget.


The way the Self-Determination Program works is different than the way services are delivered right now. The thing that makes self-determination so exciting is that it gives you flexibility in choosing your services, supports, and providers. In the Self-Determination Program, you can buy different services, not just those through the regional center.   The program offers a lot of flexibility. Your services and supports can be from almost anyone in the community. Right now, your Service Coordinator from the regional center is the person who helps you find the services you need.  In self-determination, you get to decide who else you want to help you. This could be your family or friends, or an Independent Facilitator. There will be money in a budget and you will choose which services and supports to have to meet your goals.


To participate in the Self-Determination Program, a person with a developmental disability must:

Be a regional center consumer, and

  • Agree to the following specified in the law
  • Attend an orientation to the Self-Determination Program
  • Use Self-Determination Program funds only when generic services are not available
  • Only purchase services necessary to implement the Individual Program Plan
  • Manage services and supports within an individual budget
  • Use a Financial Management Services provider

Consumers residing in a developmental center may be eligible for the Self-Determination Program if they are expected to transition to the community within 90 days.

Participants do not have to be in the Medi-Cal program.


During the first three years of the Self-Determination Program, enrollment is limited to 2,500 people. To help ensure the selection of the 2,500 participants is equitable, the following process was developed by the Self-Determination Program advisory group.



Participate in a required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting.  It’s important to hear, in greater detail, information about the Self-Determination Program. At this meeting, people will learn not only about the opportunities but also the increased responsibilities involved in accepting more control over coordinating their services. Understanding this information will help people decide if the Self-Determination Program might be a good option for them.

After participating in the required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting, let the regional center know you’re interested in enrolling in the Self-Determination Program. After you have participated in the required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting and you think that Self-Determination is a good option for you or your family member, you must let the regional center know you’re interested in enrolling in the Self-Determination Program. As discussed below, this does not guarantee you will be selected as part of the first 2,500 participants.


Regional centers send names of those interested to DDS. Only those consumers/family members who have participated in a required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting will be eligible for enrollment in the Self-Determination program.  DDS will send confirmation to those whose names were forwarded by the regional centers.  DDS will randomly select the first 2,500 enrollees from among those who have attended a required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting. This selection will be made from the names of those received by DDS from the regional centers. The selection takes into consideration the following factors to ensure those selected are representative of the statewide regional center population:

  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Disability diagnosis

Those selected can enroll in the Self-Determination Program. The enrollment will be done through the regional centers who will work with each participant to enroll in orientation, establish an individual budget, etc.

If not selected initially, consumers will remain on the interest list for future enrollment opportunities.

Confirm your name is on the DDS interest list here

After the first three years, the program will then be available to everyone.


Updates on the status of the program will be posted to the DDS page as they become available by visiting . If you want to be notified when updates are made, please email and ask to be included on the notification list. 

To be included in ELARC's E Notifications on Self Determination, view the E notifications sign up page