Search This Blog

Thursday, May 23, 2013

California Legislation: Self-Determination

At California's State Capitol in Sacramento, advocates for the disabled rallied for a legislative agenda including restoration of state budget cuts.  At the Sacramento Bee, Jim Sanders reports:
To kick off the event, speakers exhorted hundreds of participants gathered near the Capitol's west steps to chant, "We're here, we're loud, we're disabled and we're proud."
"They certainly hear us, but that doesn't always mean they make the decisions we want them to make," Teresa Favuzzi, director of the California Foundation For Independent Living Centers, said of lawmakers who are weighing a revised state budget proposal unveiled by Gov. Jerry Brown this month.
The 10th annual "Disability Capitol Action Day" hoped to attract 3,000 people. Lobbying inside the Capitol was planned after the speeches and sign-waving ended. Sponsors included more than a dozen labor union, disability rights and retail groups
The article lists a variety of bills affecting Californians with disabilities, including SB 468.  From The Autism Society of Los Angeles:
The Autism Society of Los Angeles along with Disabilities Rights California are sponsoring California Senate Bill No. 468: Self-Determination Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Click here to view the content of Senate Bill No. 468. Use this link to determine your State Senate and Assembly representatives.
Introduced and supported by Senators Emmerson and Beall, this bill would allow individuals with developmental disabilities (with the support of family, friends, and professionals) to take charge of their future by gaining control over the services, supports and resources they need to reach their life goals. Learn more.
What is self-determination?
Self-determination provides an alternative to the traditional method of providing regional center services to consumers.
Self-determination helps individuals with developmental disabilities gain a life that:
  • Respects their own choices and fulfills their hopes and dreams.
  • Fosters independence while encouraging interdependence.
  • Allows them to choose services and supports that are not bound by what is currently available.
  • Reaches farther than meeting basic needs and toward creating a meaningful life.
  • Has services and supports based on their changing needs.
  • Is not unique to individuals with disabilities.
Has California ever had a self-determination program?
Yes. In 1998, the California Legislature (SB 1038) amended the Lanterman Act to include a Self-Determination Pilot Project. The highly successful program was piloted in five regional centers across California and included 200 participants. The program continues to exist for the original pilot participants as long as they choose self-determination. This legislation will offer the self-determination program to consumers throughout the state.
The Society has a call to action:

Urgent action needed:

The Autism Society of Los Angeles is the sponsor of SB 468 on Self Determination. This bill, if passed, will allow clients of the Regional Centers the ability to choose their own services and support.

Currently the bill is stuck in appropriations, and the only way to get it out of the Suspense file is for people to make phone calls TODAY!!!
Please call Darrell Steinberg's office at (916) 651-4006
If we can generate enough calls the committee can decide to take it out of suspense. If this does not happen today the bill will die. This bill if passed will have significant impact on families and adults with autism.

Call Senator Steinberg today! (916) 651-4006.
For more information on SB 468, click here: SB 468 FAQ's