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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, December 1, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

The DSP Collaborative Update

As many of you know we have been engaging with our provider community since February of 2022 to work on finding a way to attract more people to enter the workforce in support of people with developmental disabilities and their families. We’ve created a collaboration called the DSP Collaborative, we organized job fairs just for our providers, we hired a public relations firm and contracted with Joey Travolta and Future Films to produce eye catching video to improve our ability to tell our stories. We also developed a website to highlight the good work of our provider community and built in a feature for job seekers to connect with our providers. We placed television ads and got over a half million impressions and we have spoken to close to a thousand people at public forums to promote these efforts.

Our next phase is to start leveraging the video content developed by our filmmakers using social media and traditional media and to continue developing content to get out the good word. The good word message we are referring to is that people with developmental disabilities are contributing participants in their communities and in many instances, DSPs can be the difference maker to ensure this happens. 

Are you a DSP who would like to help advance this initiative? If so sign up to participate in a future film activity on Monday December 11, 2023 from 10 am to 3 pm in Stockton. 

Sign Up for the Interest List

DSPs Using the NADSP Code of Ethics

We are excited to announce the latest publication of the Frontline Initiative. This issue is focused on the code of ethics from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and it combines several five minute videos describing the various ethics Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) face all the time in their jobs. The issue is rich with short articles by DSPs, former DSPs, researchers, and other thought leaders who study and reflect and train and practice the profession of direct support. I encourage everyone to take some time watching these videos and reading these articles, you will find it to be a wonderful thought-provoking journey of learning and appreciation for the profession and the prominent role of people with disabilities in directing their own care and or support regardless of how clear and articulate they are in giving this direction.

Read More

A Quick Update on the Executive Director Search

The Valley Mountain Regional Center Selection Committee has been hard at work on the serious task of finding the next Executive Director for our region. We received interest from about 30 applicants from across the nation and interviewed 12 qualified professionals that they thought could be a good match. This week on Tuesday the committee worked late into the evening and finally narrowed their search down to a remaining three candidates. These candidates will interview again this weekend by providing a 45 minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of additional questions from the committee. The committee's goal is to make a decision and recommendation to the board of directors by Saturday afternoon. To learn more about the process click on the button below:

ED Recruitment Process

VMRC Board of Directors Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 6:00 PM

702 N. Aurora Street, Stockton, CA 95202, Cohen Board Room

Click Here for Zoom Information

As a part of this meeting, we will have a presentation and public comment on the National Core Indicators (NCI) project from the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) North Valley Hills Office

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children


Breaking News: Registration for Winter 2024 session of Early Start Online is now open! Visit to register.


ICYMI: Last week on the Neighborhood, we shared a research article from Rutgers

University about the benefits of reading to young children. The study found that shared reading between parents and infants and toddlers led to higher vocabulary scores later in childhood.

Read more about it in the Neighborhood here:


Reminder: The Service Coordination Handbook is now available to be downloaded in its entirety! Visit the following page in the Neighborhood to find out more and download your copy:

Must be able to attend all 4 trainings

These trainings are FREE for E.I. Professionals

and Parents

Register Now

December 3 | 9:00 am – 10:30 am


Sensitive Santa is coming to Weberstown Mall on December 3rd. Join us for a sensory-friendly Santa experience! There will be a variety of sensory friendly activities for everyone to enjoy while meeting Santa before the hustle and bustle of regular mall hours. Reserve your time slot here:

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

This week's entry was submitted by Dave Vodden, Program Manager, Transition Unit San Joaquin County

On November 17th, under beautiful skies, the Stockton Young Adult program held its first Annual Turkey Trot fund raiser. Supported by Stockton Unified school district staff, parents, community partners, VMRC Transition staff, the Chavez high school cheer squad and Roasty the Turkey, students walked or jogged for 30 minutes to raise funds for the Friends of the Young Adult Boosters. Prizes were given to those individuals and classes who raised the most funds. Proceeds for the event will be used to help fund future field trips, community-based instruction, PE equipment and much more. A great time was had by all, and we look forward to many years of this event.


Should you be interested in donating to the Friends of the Young Adult Booster, please contact Stockton Young adult program at (209) 933-7484.

Another year, and another 35 Thanksgiving meals passed out to our adults with disabilities who are living independently in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Amador, Calaveras, and Tuolumne counties. Thank you to all of our Service Coordinators who identified the individuals who would benefit from this, the delivery teams in all 5 counties, and everyone who has donated to our Popplewell Fund to allow us to provide these meals and give these folks a Thanksgiving to hopefully remember!


Friday, February 9, 2024! 

The Tim Tebow Foundation has a great passion for people with special needs.  In 2014 they launched an initiative to create “Night To Shine”, an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs at host churches across the World.  This event is 100% FREE to our Honored Guests.

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

Community Services Update


Brian Bennett, Director of Community Services

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930


The Council is your go to source for information to keep you and your family informed. Check out the events happening this fall where SCDD is the host, co-sponsor, or participant. 

Saturday, December 2 — National Special Education Day

Monday, December 25 — Christmas Day (SCDD offices are closed)

Times are Pacific Time unless noted otherwise.

Times, events, and hyperlinked information are subject to change.

Supported Decision-Making Technical Assistance Program

survey and grant/contract updates! 

The Supported Decision-Making Technical Assistance Program (SDM–TAP) will host a webinar on Thursday, December 14 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the SDM–TAP grants/contracts that will be available.

Register here. Please share with anyone interested in hearing about or applying for grants/contracts. 

The feedback summary and recordings of the Community Conversations are on our website. Review them here.

The summary of survey feedback provided as of November 7 is available here.

We are also updating our resource library to include links to learn more about Supported Decision-Making. Please check there for updates.  

Want to know more about the SDM–TAP or applying for a grant/contract? Join our mailing list for updates! 

If you have questions, need additional support, or need language translation, please email the SDM-TAP team at [email protected].  

Join the SDM-TAP Email List!

Ongoing Statewide Self-Determination Program Orientation

Interested in learning about the Self-Determination Program (SDP) but don’t know where to start?

The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) and the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) are hosting 2-hour—online Self-Determination Program Orientations in English, Arabic, Spanish, and other languages!

The SCDD training team includes SCDD staff, self-advocates, and family advocates who have lived experience with the Self-Determination Program. One size does not fit all. You can choose the presentation day and time that fits into your schedule.

After attending an orientation, you will have the information to help decide if SDP is right for you and enroll at your local Regional Center.

SCDD — Statewide Self-Advocacy Network (SSAN)

The Statewide Self-Advocacy Network connects self-advocates with their communities and statewide organizations to help increase leadership by people with disabilities. 

The next meeting is Tuesday, December 12 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 849 2417 9897

Passcode: 951357

Call-in Number: (669) 900-9128

Meeting ID: 849 2417 9897

Password: 951357

SCDD — Statewide Self-Advocacy Chat

The Statewide Self-Advocacy Chats were started as a way to give self-advocates throughout California a safe space to connect with each other and talk about topics and issues that are important to them.

The next meeting is Wednesday, December 27 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 876 8443 5270

Passcode: 834773

Call-in Number: 669-900-9128


Never miss an SCDD Regional training again! The SCDD Trainings Calendar contains most regional office trainings and is compatible with Google Calendar, iCalendar, Outlook 365 and Outlook Live. 

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