Developmental Disabilities
The Regional Center History
The Lanterman Act 1969
Developed by parents and requires localized
community service systems for persons having a
developmental disability in California.
• Non-profit private corporations
• 5 year performance contracts with the State
• State and Federally funded & regulated
• 21 Regional Centers statewide
• Over 225,000 active cases statewide
Bernardino and Riverside counties.
It is the largest of all 21 regional centers in California and
currently serves over 23,000 persons of all ages.
IRC has over 550 Consumer Service Coordinators (CSCs)
with each having caseloads of 62+ persons.
Consumers are seen Quarterly at a minimum at their home,
day program, and/or school.
Each has an Annual Review and Individual Program Plan (IPP)
developed annually with goals and objectives that are
determined by the consumer with the Planning Team.
Information about Programs & Services
The California State Department of Developmental Services is
responsible for coordinating services for California residents with
developmental disabilities. Local Regional Centers ensure local community
access to services and supports.
A “Person-Centered Planning” approach is used in making decisions
regarding where a person with developmental disabilities will live and
the kinds of supports that may be needed.
Everyone has a Planning Team that includes the person utilizing the
services, family members, regional center staff, and anyone else who is
asked to be there by the individual.
The team works together to make sure that the services that people are
getting support their choices in where they want to live, how and with
whom they choose to spend the day, and hopes and dreams for the future.
Services Provided by Regional Centers
Regional Centers provide diagnosis and assessment of eligibility.
They help plan, access, coordinate and monitor the services and supports
that are needed because of a developmental disability. There is no charge
for the diagnosis and eligibility assessment.
Once eligibility is determined, a service coordinator is assigned to help
develop a plan for services, tell you where services are available, and help
you get the services. Most services and supports are free regardless of age
or income. Parents are required to “share the cost” of 24-hour out-of-home
placements for children under age 18. This share depends on the parents'
ability to pay.
Open cases can be inactivated and re-activated by consumers or their
families as needs change throughout the life span.
Regional Center services are voluntary.
Some of the 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
•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
Supportive services and living arrangements available for
persons with developmental disabilities include:
•Day Program Services
•Education Services
•Work Services Programs
•Supported Employment
•Work Activity Programs
•Supported Living Services
•Affordable Housing
•Family Home Agency
•Foster Family Agency
•Independent Living
•In-Home Supportive Services
•Respite Services
•Transportation Services
•Community Care Facilities (CCFs)
•Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs)
Who is eligible for services?
To be eligible for services, a person must have a disability that begins
before the person's 18th birthday, be expected to continue indefinitely
and present a substantial disability (Section 4512 Calif. W & I Code.)
Infants and toddlers (age 0 to 36 months) who are at-risk of having
developmental disabilities or who have a developmental delay may
also qualify for services. (Section 95014 of the Calif. Gov.Code.)
In addition, individuals at-risk of having a child with a developmental
disability may be eligible for genetic diagnosis, counseling and other
prevention services.
Eligibility is established through diagnosis and assessment performed
by Regional Centers. Persons must reside in California.
The 5 Categories of Eligibility
Mental Retardation
is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual
functioning (i.e., an IQ of approximately 70 or below) and in
adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical
adaptive skills.
Levels of retardation are reported as mild, moderate, severe,
profound, no MR (i.e., mental retardation is not present), or
is defined as recurrent, unprovoked seizures.
Seizures can cause loss of muscle control, tremors, loss of
consciousness, and other symptoms.
These include petit mal (absence seizures) and grand mal
seizures of various types.
If a person is seizure free for several years with or without
medication, eligibility for Regional Center services may be
Cerebral Palsy
includes two types of motor dysfunction:
(1) Non-progressive lesion or disorder in the brain occurring during
intrauterine life or the perinatal period;
and is characterized by paralysis, spasticity, or abnormal
control of movement or posture which is manifest prior to
two or three years of age,
(2) other significant motor dysfunction appearing prior to age 18.
Cerebral Palsy
refers to a group of disorders that
affect a person's ability to move and to maintain balance
and posture.
It is due to a non-progressive brain abnormality, which
means that it does not get worse over time, though the
exact symptoms can change over a person's lifetime.
People with cerebral palsy have damage to the part of the
brain that controls muscle tone.
Muscle tone is the amount of resistance to movement in a
muscle. It is what lets you keep your body in a certain
posture or position.
is a neurodevelopmental disorder with multiple causes.
Autism is defined as a syndrome causing gross and sustained
impairment in social interaction and communication with
restricted and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and
activities that appear prior to the age of three.
The number of people reported with Autism include both the
diagnosis of Autism-Full Syndrome and the diagnosis of AutismResidual State or Spectrum Disorder.
Autism is one of the most investigated yet puzzling diagnosis.
Fifth category for eligibility:
Other developmental disabilities similar to mental retardation that
require treatment (care and management) similar to that required
by individuals with mental retardation.
These must occur before age 18 years, be a substantial handicap,
be expected to continue indefinitely, and involve brain damage or
These do not include conditions that are solely psychiatric or
physical in nature. (Examples - Schizophrenia, Alzheimers,
Spina Bifida, Prader Willi Syndrome, etc.)
Trends of 4 major categories of Developmental Disabilities
diagnosed in California
Exceptions to birth or Early Start diagnosis for
eligibility for services:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (auto, bicycle, motorcycle
accidents, falls, injuries), near drowning, and other
incidents/illnesses can cause a child or adult with normal
development to contract cerebral palsy, seizures, mental
retardation, or a similar condition.
Some conditions benefit from rehabilitation efforts – some do not.
If this occurs before age 18, they would be eligible for RC services.
Combinations of Eligible Disabilities
Demographics of Regional Center
clients in California
Definitions of Residence Types
Own Home-Family: Home of a family member or guardian.
Community Care: Settings such as a Community Care Facilities (CCF)
Foster Homes for Children, and Family Homes for Adults (FHA)
ILS/SLS: Independent Living Setting (ILS) or Supported Living Setting (SLS)
SNF/ICF: Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or Intermediate Care Facility (ICF). ICF
includes ICF/Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD), ICF/Developmentally
Disabled-Habilitation (ICF/DD-H), and ICF/Developmentally Disabled-Nursing
Developmental Center: State Developmental Center (SDC) operated
by DDS
Other: Settings such as hospitals, community treatment facilities, rehabilitation
centers, psychiatric treatment centers, correctional institutions, and other
settings in the community.
What do the Regional Centers spend funds on?
Meet some IRC consumers…
Inland Regional Center
1365 South Waterman
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 890-3000

Who is eligible for services? - CAHF