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 here! 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?

August 2019: Person Centered Planning Workshops: The Person Centered Planning Workshop is for Self Determination participants and their circle of support, to learn more about the foundational elements of any person centered plan as well as examples of different plan types. The workshop is designed to provide a clearer understanding of why person centered plans are important, as well as provide participants an opportunity to clearly define the foundational information that should be an any person centered plan. Workshop attendees will then be able to expand on that information in the person centered plans that they choose to later develop. View the August flyer. Future dates and flyers to be posted soon.

July 2019: We have added dates for Informational Sessions! Are you interested in learning more about Self Determination? Maybe you'd like to add your name to the list of potential participants? If so, ELARC will be hosting Informational Sessions. Come and learn:

  • What is Self Determination?
  • How is it different than traditional services?
  • What will this program look like for me, or my family member?
  • If interested, how can I add my name to the list of potential participants?

For complete details and/or to RSVP, please view the flyer.

*If you have already attended an Informational Session in the past, you don't need to attend again to add your name. Check to see if you or your family member is already on the DDS list.*

June 2019: Check out the Self Determination Newsletters and DDS's FAQ page! Each month, the newsletter highlights an SDP participant and some key points about the program is shared. View all of these newsletters on the DDS website.  Also, do you know that the DDS website has a Self Determination Frequently Asked Questions webpage? You may have questions that these FAQ's could answer! Look at the DDS FAQs here. If you don't find an answer to your question, please reach out to your Service Coordinator or write to us at

April 2019: We have orientation dates and times set up for all participants! If you are one of the 110 participants, you should have received a letter in the mail detailing all dates, times, and locations. Please RSVP as soon as possible, per the RSVP instructions in the letter and flyer. If you need assistance, please reach out to your Service Coordinator. 

March 8, 2019: There are new directives relating to: 

If you have been chosen to participate during this soft roll-out, you will need to attend an orientation.

January 4,  2019:   View the directive related to Independent Facilitators and  view the directive related to Financial Management Services (FMS)  in the Self-Determination Program (SDP).  This information is also available on the Department of Developmental Services' (DDS)  website at  DDS is continuing to work on additional SDP information, including training for local advisory committee members and regional centers on conducting participant orientations and guidance for developing the individual budget.  Updates on progress in completing these and other items needed as we move toward implementation will also be posted on the Department’s website.  If you have any questions, please send an email to  

On October 1, 2018, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS)  made the stratified random selection of the initial 2500 Self Determination Program (SDP) participants for the first three years of the program. ELARC has 110 slots at this time, with 24 set aside for our pilot participants. After three years, the program rolls out to everyone.   

DDS has mailed notification letters to all individuals to communicate their selection status.  To find out if you were selected to participate, you may enter your UCI (Unique Client Identifier) number at   For further updates on the DDS website go to

What Happens Next?

Cases Selected:  The case will remain with the individual’s Service Coordinator for now and they will continue to receive traditional services. The first step will be a required Orientation Class that will be scheduled for Spring 2019. After that, work to begin planning, budget development, and the set-up of services will begin.  It is anticipated this process will take several months. 

Pilot Participants:   Their Service Coordinator will be working with them to review the steps they will be taking together to transition to the new program.   This process is anticipated to take a few months.  The first step will be a required Orientation Class just for Pilot Participants.  After that, at the time of their next IPP and Budget Renewal, the participant and their Service Coordinator will transition their case to the new program. 

Cases Not Selected:   If not selected initially, individuals will remain on the interest list for future enrollment opportunities. In three years, the program will be open to all.  

The State of California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in collaboration with the self-determination advisory workgroup and other stakeholders, has been working on the major components necessary to implement SDP at the Regional Centers.  View  the major components requiring completion at the state (DDS) level prior to the SDP becoming fully operational at the Regional Centers by visiting  the DDS Self Determination page at   

ELARC continues to plan for implementation, please visit our  Local Advisory Committee page 

ELARC is hosting Pre Enrollment Informational Sessions.   ELARC will be scheduling more Pre Enrollment Informational sessions for 2019.   Check back for dates, times, location, and languages. 

Please note that individuals can attend Pre Enrollment Informational Sessions hosted by other Regional Centers or Community Based Organizations.   ELARC will make every attempt to publicize those sessions on our Community Events Page when the information is shared with us.

The ELARC Local Advisory Committee holds open public meetings.   Come join us on at our next meeting!   We have a meeting scheduled for April 2, 2019. Agenda coming soon.  All meetings are from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the ELARC Boardroom located at 1000 South Fremont Ave. Alhambra 91803.  View flyer with 2019 meeting dates. View this flyer in these languages:

 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