Self-Determination Program

DDS Update August 7, 2015

  • "At the request of the federal government, new language was added to the Self-Determination Program (SDP) Waiver application describing how homes and settings where SDP participants will reside and receive services meet the requirements of the federal home and community-based settings rules that became effective in March 2014. As a result of this change, the Department is required to repost the Waiver application for at least 30 days. The Waiver application will be formally resubmitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shortly after the public comment period, which ends on September 7, 2015. Comments or requests to review a hardcopy of the application can be submitted via email at, by phone at (916) 653-7710, or in writing to the Department, Attention Community Services Division, 1600 Ninth Street, Room 320, MS 3-8, Sacramento, CA 95814.

View Application for California Self Determination Program

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 Priniciples 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 can 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. Because the application process by DDS to the federal government is still in beginning stages, and because this process for review and approval may take some time, we do not yet have an estimated date when this program will be implemented.

The program will be implemented gradually. Upon approval of the Waiver application (federal funding), the SDP will be implemented for up to 2,500 participants in the state, to be phased in during the first three years. During the phase in period, the Department of Developmental Services will identify a limited number of clients/families from each regional center that may be enrolled in the Self Determination Program. After this three year phase-in period, the program will be available to all clients.

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. Quarterly meetings take place on the first Wednesday, at 6:00 pm.The next scheduled meetings of the Committee will take place on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, and Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Meetings are open to the public.
As reported here earlier, the SDP must be approved for federal funding before it will be implemented. A similar program has been piloted at a few regional centers. Informational meetings will be scheduled for interested persons upon approval of the program, and announced on this webpage and in the HRC ENews.
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Members of the Community Advisory Committee include:
Ray Ceragioli, Parent, Fairview, Rancho Palos Verdes
Linda Cha-Rapp, Parent, Lomita
Rosalinda Garcia, Parent/Provider, Redondo Beach
David Gauthier, Client, Torrance
Miriam Kang, Parent, Long Beach
Carola Maranon, Parent, Norwalk
Deaka McClain, Client, Long Beach
Mariano Sanz, Parent, Long Beach
Eva Casas-Sarmiento, Clients Rights Advocate, DRC

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 begin to provide more information to our clients and families on this website when 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.