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SDP Faces Questions from State Senators
Email them to let them know how important it is!
Yesterday, DVU Vice President Fernando Gomez and Executive Director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities Aaron Carruthers testified at a State Senate Budget Subcommittee hearing to discuss the Department of Developmental Services.

An update on the Self-Determination Program was also on the agenda. Unfortunately, some of the Senators questioned whether the Self-Determination Program should be expanded in June because of the low levels of current participation. 


To watch the meeting:

  1. Click the link below labeled "Click HERE to watch yesterday's hearing."
  2. Scroll down to the column dated 02/23/21 and labelled "Senate Budget Subcommittee #3.
  3. Click "watch" on the right-hand side.


The Self-Determination Program update begins at 1:32:27.

Aaron Carruthers' comments can be found at 1:35:33.

Fernando Gomez's comments can be found at 2:24:08.
Our incredible Self-Determination Program is at risk, not because we don’t want it but because it is struggling under unnecessary bureaucracy. If you care about the Self-Determination Program, make your voice heard. Email the State Budget Subcommittee and tell them that you expect the program to open to everybody in June, just as the law promises.

You can email the State Budget Subcommittee by clicking the link below.
SDP Connect
Wednesday, February 24, 4:30 - 6 PM
A weekly information-sharing Zoom meeting for Self-Determination Program participants from everywhere in California, family members, independent facilitators, FMSs, regional center staff, service providers, and anyone else who is interested in moving the SDP forward!

Each meeting will last an hour and a half. The first 15-30 minutes will be a presentation on a different topic followed by questions and answers from attendees at the meeting. We will stop each meeting after an hour and a half, but we will be back the following week to provide more assistance

This week’s topic:
Meet the Independent Facilitators Network!

Join us on Wednesday for a conversation with the creators of the Independent Facilitators Network! We'll discuss how the Network was created, how they serve people in the Self-Determination Program, and what questions they have for the community. We will also take your questions for the IF Network.

Presenters include:
  • David Grady, Regional Manager, Central Coast, State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Kavita Sreedhar, Founder, PRAGNYA; Executive Director, Radio Dehotties
  • Kishan Sreedhar, Co-Founder, PRAGNYA; Member of San Andreas Regional Center's Self Determination Advisory Committee
  • Chris Wecks, Independent Facilitator, Abound Services
  • Moderated by Judy Mark, President, Disability Voices United

We will be using Zoom's translation feature during this SDP Connect. When you enter the Zoom webinar, please be sure to select the language you wish to hear at the bottom of the Zoom screen, even if you are only interested in hearing the original English version of the call. We will offer technical assistance at the beginning of the call.

The Zoom meeting ID is 873 6463 5352.
The Zoom meeting password is 123456.

The call will be recorded and posted on The Self-Determination Interchange. Watch past SDP Connect Calls on the Self-Determination Interchange.
SDP Connect
Miércoles 24 de febrero, 4:30 - 6 p. m. PT
Una reunión informativa por Zoom para participantes del Programa de Autodeterminación (SDP, por sus siglas en inglés) de todo California, familiares, facilitadores independientes, FMS, personal de centros regionales, proveedores de servicios y cualquier otra persona interesada en avanzar con el SDP.

Cada reunión durará solo una hora y media. Durante los primeros 15-30 minutos habrá una presentación sobre un tema diferente, a continuación se responderán las preguntas de los asistentes. Terminaremos cada reunión exactamente al cabo de una hora y media, pero regresaremos la próxima semana para ofrecerles más asistencia.


El tema de esta semana:
¡Conozca la Red de Facilitadores Independientes!

Únase a nosotros el miércoles en una conversación con la Red de Facilitadores Independientes. Hablaremos sobre cómo se creó la red, cómo ayudamos a las personas en el Programa de Autodeterminación y las preguntas que tienen para la comunidad. También tomaremos sus preguntas para la red.

Los presentadores serán:
  • David Grady, Gerente Regional, Central Coast, Consejo Estatal sobre Discapacidades del Desarrollo
  • Kavita Sreedhar, Fundadora, PRAGNYA; Directora Ejecutiva, Radio Dehotties
  • Kishan Sreedhar, Co-fundador, PRAGNYA; miembro del Comité Consultivo para la Autodeterminación del Centro Regional San Andreas Regional
  • Chris Wecks, Facilitador independiente, Abound Services
  • Moderadora: Judy Mark, Presidenta, Disability Voices United


Usamos la función de traducción de Zoom durante este SDP Connect. Cuando ingrese al seminario web de Zoom, seleccione el idioma que desea escuchar en la parte inferior de la pantalla de Zoom. Luego, quite la flecha de "original audio". Ofreceremos asistencia técnica al inicio de la llamada.

El ID de reunión de Zoom es 873 6463 5352.
La contraseña de Zoom es 123456.

Se grabará la llamada y se publicará en The Self-Determination Interchange. Escuchar las llamadas anteriores de SDP Connect en the Self-Determination Interchange.
Announcing the 
All In for Self-Determination Conference! 

A Statewide Virtual Conference on 
California’s Self-Determination Program

Friday - Sunday half days
April 16 - 18, 2021
Join self-advocates, family members, independent facilitators, FMSs, regional center staff, service providers, advocates, and anyone else interested in the Self-Determination Program!

The conference will include keynote speeches by key leaders in California, panels of self-determination experts, and numerous breakout sessions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced self-determined individuals and their supporters. 

The conference will take place on an innovative platform that gives conference attendees the ability to network with other participants as well as virtually visit all of the “booths” in our Expo. Our amazing Expo will include FMSs, independent facilitators, service providers, and advocates who can help you get started in your self-determination journey.

Early Sign Up Registration Costs (until March 19):
$50 - Individuals served by regional centers and their family members
$75 - All others

Conference registration includes access to the conference platform and participation in all sessions and Expo plus a conference T-shirt and the Thinking Outside the Box self-determination manual, which will be mailed in advance.

Payments accepted:
  • Regional center clients: This conference will be vendored with regional centers for those in the traditional system 
  • Current SDP Participants - We can invoice your FMS
  • Credit cards 
  • Checks
Become a Conference Sponsor!

We have sponsorship opportunities available starting at $1,000.

Your sponsorship dollars will help us to provide:
  • Scholarships for people with disabilities and family members in need
  • Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish for all sessions
  • Closed captioning for all sessions

The conference platform offers our sponsors unique opportunities to meet with our registrants informally and formally throughout the conference.
With Support and Without the Court
Recording & Resources
Our SDM Forum on Saturday was a huge success. We thank all self-advocates, supporters, and professionals who attended. You can find a recording of the Forum, a copy of our Supported Decision-Making Handbook, and a list of all the resources shared during our Forum above.

Presenters included:
  • Ann Bui, Manager of Housing Services, The Kelsey, Disability Voices United Board Member, and Supporter 
  • Judge Frances Doherty, retired justice instrumental in Nevada’s 2019 Supported Decision-Making and guardianship reform laws
  • Kiely Francisco, Self-Advocate and AAC User with Exceptionally Different Abilities
  • Dr. Amy Hanreddy, Professor of Special Education, California State University Northridge and CHIME Institute Leadership Award winner for quality educational programs for students with significant support needs
  • Tim Jin, Self-Advocate, AAC User and Board Member for both Ability Central Philanthropy and Disability Voices United
  • Dr. Clarissa Kripke, Director, University of California San Francisco, Office of Developmental Primary Care, and Communication First Board Member
  • Moderated by: Darlene Hanson & Suzanne Bennett Francisco, Co-Directors of the Supported Decision-Making California Advocacy Project at Disability Voices United

This forum is part of Disability Voices United's Supported Decision Making California Advocacy Project, funded by Ability Central Philanthropy and the WITH Foundation.
Budget Hearing on DDS
Recording of February 17 comments
This hearing discussed how people with developmental disabilities were supported during the pandemic by DDS, regional centers, and service providers.

Elizabeth Gomez, Director of the Integrated Community Collaborative, discussed the vaccine rollout & other critical issues to the COVID response. You can find her comments at 1:25:00.

Judy Mark, President of Disability Voices United, commented on the adequacy and sustainability of the developmental services provider network. You can find her comments at 3:09:33, or read them below.
Image of a photo collage of self-advocates and family members at the California State capitol and various other places around California.
Disability Voices United works for:

  • Choice and control over our lives

  • Meaningful outcomes that matter to us

  • Systems that are equitable and accountable to us

Please consider donating today to support our important work!