What is the Self-Determination Program (SDP)?
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 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 program has five principles that are part of the law:
- Freedom (to plan a good life) – to have the same rights as everyone, to choose family and friends that can help, where you want to live, how you want your time to be spent, and who supports you
- Authority (over your personal resources) – You have a budget, and you get to decide exactly what to spend that money on in order to reach your goals.
- Support (for building a life in the community) – to choose what you need to meet your personal goals and hire people that will help you live the life you want in your community
- Responsibility (and pride in making your own decisions) – to be accountable for your budget and the way money is spent
- Confirmation (of the important role you play) – In the Self-Determination program, you play a critical role as the person who makes decisions. You and your family get to choose the services and supports that will help you accomplish the goals in your IPP.
For more information, visit the DDS Self-Determination Program Home Page or click here to read WRC’s Self-Determination Local Advisory Committee “Your Life, Your Way” presentation.
How is the SDP different than my current service coordination?
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. Services can include, but aren’t limited to: individual training; vehicle adaptations; or support with communication. 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.
Self-Determination offers you the opportunity to be creative, think outside the box, and make your own plan for how you want to live. For more information, visit the DDS Self-Determination Program Home Page or view WRC’s Self-Determination Local Advisory Committee calendar.
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.
What does someone need to do to be considered for enrollment?
- Participate in a required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting at your regional center. 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.
What happens after someone participates in the required Pre-Enrollment Informational Meeting and lets the regional center know they’re interested?
- Regional centers send names of those interested to the Department of Developmental Services. 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.
- The Department of Developmental Services will send confirmation to those whose names were forwarded by the regional centers.
- The Department of Developmental Services 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 the Department of Developmental Services from the regional centers. The selection takes into consideration the following factors to ensure those selected are representative of the statewide regional center population:
- Regional Center
- 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.
After the first three years, the program will then be available to everyone. For more information, visit the DDS Self-Determination Program Home Page or view WRC’s Self-Determination Local Advisory Committee calendar.
Updates on the status of the program will be posted to the DDS page as they become available by visiting http://www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/SDPUpdates.cfm . If you want to be notified when updates are made, please email email@example.com and ask to be included on the notification list or click here to attend WRC’s Self-Determination Local Advisory Committee.