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What is the Self-Determination Program?

In October of 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law the Self-Determination Program, which will provide regional center clients and their families with a new option. As authorized in Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4685.8, "the Self-Determination Program (SDP) is a voluntary delivery system consisting of a mix of services and supports, selected and directed by a participant through person-centered planning, in order to meet the objectives in his or her Individual Program Plan (IPP). Self-determination services and supports are designed to assist the participant to achieve personally defined outcomes in community settings that promote inclusion," and allow participants to have more control in developing service plans and selecting service providers.

The Principles of Self-Determination include:

  • Freedom to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supports, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;
  • Authority to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;
  • Support, including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;
  • Responsibility, which includes the opportunity to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and
  • Confirmation, in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the service that they rely on.

When Will It Become Available?

The law requires that before this proram could be made available, the Department of Developmental Services submit an application for federal funding, and that this application be approved for funding by the federal government. This application was just approved on June 6, 2018.

The program will be implemented gradually. The SDP will be implemented for up to 2,500 participants in the state, to be phased in during the first three years.

On October 1, 2018, the Department of Developmental Services identified the first group of clients/families from each regional center that may be enrolled in the Self Determination Program. The Department will continue to collect and add names of those interested in the program for subsequent selections.

Interested clients/families must attend an informational meeting provided by a regional center or community-based organization (such as the Autism Society) and submit your name for consideration at that meeting. Those who attended an informational meeting and submitted their name, but were not selected initially to participate, will remain on the list for subsequent selections if some of the initial 2,500 choose not to enroll or discontinue in the program.

After this three year phase-in period, the program will be available to all clients.

Click here for updates

The Harbor Regional Center Self-Determination Program Community Advisory Committee providesinput and oversight for the future implementation of the SDP. Agendas for the SDP CAC will include review of legislation; updates on the status of the Department of Developmental Services' federal Waiver application,and on the work of Statewide Advisory Group including materials (video, training & implementation guidelines) as they are made available. Meetings take place on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:00 pm at Torrance in Conference Room A4. Meetings are open to the public.

Informational meetings will be announced on this webpage and in the HRC ENews.
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Members of the Community Advisory Committee:
Miriam Kang, Parent, Long Beach
Linda Chan Rapp, Parent, Lomita
Rosalinda Garcia, Parent/Provider, Redondo Beach
Deaka McClain, Client, Long Beach
Mariano Sanz, Parent, Long Beach
David Gauthier, Client, Torrance
Sandy Farah, Clients Rights Advocate, DRC
Sofia Cervantes, DD Council Staff

Approved Minutes of past meetings:

No Meeting in May
April 10, 2019
March 13, 2019
February 13, 2019
January 9, 2019
No Meeting in December 2018
No Meeting in November 2018
October 10, 2018
September 12, 2018
August 8, 2018
No Meeting in July 2018
June 13, 2018
May 9, 2018
April 11, 2018
No Meeting in March 2018
February 22, 2018
January 10, 2018
No Meeting in December 2017
November 8, 2017
October 11, 2017
September 13, 2017
No Meeting in August 2017
No Meeting in July 2017
June 14, 2017
No Meeting in May 2017
No Meeting in April 2017
March 14, 2017
February 8, 2017
January 11, 2017
No Meeting in December 2016
No Meeting in November 2016
October 12, 2016
NoMeeting in September 2016
No Meeting in August 2016
No Meeting in July 2016
June 8, 2016
May 11, 2016
April 13, 2016
March 9, 2016
February 10, 2016
January 6, 2016
October 7, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Determination Program

The Department of Developmental Services provides answers, and periodic updateson their webpage for Frequently Asked Questions.

Where can you obtain the latest information?

  • You may refer to the Self-Determination Program information page on the Department of Developmental Services website
  • Sign up for email updates by sending an email to and ask to be included on the update notification list.
  • If after reading the general information and Frequently Asked Questions on this page and the DDS webpage, you still have questions, you may submit those questions to
  • HRC will provide more information to our clients and families on this website as it becomes available.
  • You may sign up to receive email updates regarding local planning by sending an email to with your name, client's name if different, email address, and note that you wish to be added to the Self-Determination Program information email list.