San Diego SDRC Self Determination Orientation with Regional Center, California

“I am a great example as being Independent living adult” ~ Gabriella Ledesma

Congratulations on attending your Self-Determination Orientation. The California governor approved $10.5 billion ($6.5 billion General Fund) for the Department and estimates that approximately 386,753 individuals will receive developmental services by the end of 2021-22.

In October 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 468 into law creating a statewide Self-Determination Program that offers regional center consumers a voluntary alternative to the traditional system and more control over the services they receive and the individuals who support them. Starting July 1, 2021, all consumers can switch to Self Determination.

..but wait… For current regional center consumers, the budget will equal 100% of the amount of the total purchase of service expenditures made by the regional center during the past 12 months.

…um, so…If your case manager or regional center supervisor says that they are still (1) unsure and (2) “waiting to find out funding availability” and (3) not providing clear instructions, please write to us now.

Here’s what is supposed to happen next for you.

We learned about an IF (Independent Facilitator). We asked if a consumer can get the $2,500 from the budget if they complete the work. According to district managers, you cannot pay yourself, and you have to pay others; there is no mention in the State order (Dec 2018) about this ad hoc prohibition.

We are looking into training our autistic clients to have job opportunities by becoming an IF for their peers! Stay tuned.

IF – Independent Facilitator

An IF is not required for your next step, but recommended. Their role is to sit in meetings with your R.C. team. They are supposed to negotiate rates and service codes for your budget. They can advocate for you to get the best possible budget based on what you know you need. If you expect your service coordinator to be sluggish, non-responsive, or cruel with their service agreement rate disclosures, then an IF is a good idea for you!

FMS – Financial Management Service


A Financial Management Service (FMS) is the only required service for participants in Self-Determination. You can find a list of the FMS agencies that San Diego Regional Center partners with here.

  • about 10 companies listed, check out the negative yelp reviews.

3 Different Models

There are actually 3 models available for Self Determination, but most agencies will offers 2.

  1. Bill Tier Model – very similar to traditional services with regional centers. They choose the agencies they know and make their own suggestions.
  2. Sole Employer ModelYou choose your own agencies and personnel. The FMS responsibility is to collect the w-2 forms, calculate the tax withholdings, and send the paychecks. Consumer’s responsibility is to enter the GROSS rate, not the NET into the budget, since we pay the tax withholdings from the overall budget. The deduction is 14.8%. If you’d like to calculate that, you would have to say, “If you want $15 per hour, we will have to calculate 15*1.48 = 22.” $22 is then the gross rate entered into the budget.

The FMS will send you forms to complete, and set an appointment for your initial meeting.

  • We recommend that you ask for a zoom call and complete the forms together.
  • They will offer paper mail forms
  • they are amenable to digital processing for efficiency and disability accommodations.

Expand Your Network

  • Please join our email list (email us, to receive news, updates, call to action, and interact with other list members via email

Donate to our organization

Links for Navigation

  1. Dr Henny’s Self Determination Peer Support for Consumers in California

  2. San Diego SDRC Self Determination Orientation with Regional Center, California
  3. The Politics of Self Determination and Regional Centers in California
  4. July 1, 2021 Self Determination started today!!!!
  5. Return to for Self Determination

Dr Henny’s Self Determination Peer Support for Consumers in California

San Diego SDRC Self Determination Orientation with Regional Center, California

The Politics of Self Determination and Regional Centers in California

Communication Support 2021-2050 Legislative Budget Proposal

Autism Benefits and Poverty in New York, 2016
Bipartisan friendly legislation
In 2015, a group of autistic professionals collaborated for legislative advocacy purposes to promote Communication Support for autistic people as a mandate. Together, we authored and introduced 5 bills in the State of New York. Our Autism Action 2016 proposal resulted in the bipartisan passing of ACCES-VR (A.5141) communication support; Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Board (A.8635); Autism Home Loan Program (A.8696); A Communication & Technology Bill of Rights (A.8708); Autism I.D. Card (A.8389). 

Happening Now

During COVID19, our advocacy expanded to implementing the ADA requirement for Effective Communication to be provided by default in each state. This federal law is meant to accommodate Americans who have vision, hearing, or speech disabilities (“communication disabilities”) and use different ways to communicate. However, effective communication for autistic people may require closed captioning, and or time to communicate with someone who uses a communication board or device. Most affected are autistic adults who require communication support to access county benefits, state agency supports, medical care, education and employment.

When communication support is implemented in your state, a law enforcement officer will be able to conference-call a specialist when they encounter an autistic person. The same default response will be applied to a client who is applying for benefits, is asking for accommodations from their boss or university, and a person who needs to engage with the DMV. In other words, identifying as autistic will trigger the ADA implementation in your state as a covered Communication Support.

What is Communication Support?

  • If a state employee accommodates the need for effective communication, they are also violating state law when they replicate the standards of the profession for speech, language, and hearing pathologist.
  • Only a speech therapist is trained in social pragmatic language disorders as part of their mandatory degree requirements, and their overseeing body has already provisioned telehealth for shelter-in-place during COVID19.

Follow out hashtag #communicationsupport on FaceBook and social media to learn about our progress and respond to Calls for Action. To volunteer, please contact info at our address.

Follow actions taken in each state below, and follow #communicationsupport on FaceBook for calls to action.

CA Bipartisan Budget Proposal submitted (12/15/20) to all 16 members of the Health Committee Primary jurisdictions are health care, health insurance, Medi-Cal and other public health care programs, mental health licensing of health and health-related professionals, and long-term health care facilities

Please email info at our address to volunteer or support our legislative advocacy.