Valley Mountain Regional Center

Self-Determination Advisory Committee

Self-Determination is HERE! (It is a “phase-in” process over the next 3 years – open to all in fiscal year 2021-2022)

What is Self-Determination Brochure

What is Self-Determination Brochure – Spanish

Funding Letter for Advisory Committee to Support Implementation of the Self-Determination Program

Funding Allocation


About the Self-Determination Advisory Committee (SDAC):  The committee’s role is to provide oversight of the Self-Determination Program. The committee shall review the development and ongoing progress of the Self-Determination Program, including whether the program advances the principles of Self-Determination and is operating consistent with the requirements of this section, and may make ongoing recommendations for improvement to the regional center and the department. They are to ensure the work is getting done, not to do the work. They are also tasked with facilitating the sharing of best practices and training materials. 

Per statute, the Local Advisory Committee members must include consumers, family members, the regional center Clients’ Rights Advocate, as well as other advocates and community leaders. The local SDAC must also reflect the multicultural diversity and geographic profile of the catchment area.

Valley Mountain Regional Center appoints half the members and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities appoints the other half of the members. A member is appointed for up to two (3) year terms.  The committee has voted to not have Bylaws for this committee.

Committee Members:  Mariela Ramos, Chair, Karen Bonacci, Vice Chair, Lisa Culley, Secretary/FRN, Sandra Graham, DRC/OCRA, Mary Bonacci, Griselda Estrada, John Forrest, Claire Lazaro, Alphonse Mickahail, Kerstin Williams, Sue Collie, Tim Collie, Araceli Espinoza, Rosa Chable-Poot, Nancy Sanchez, Jeffrey L.

English Application for Self-Determination Advisory Committee

Spanish Application for Self-Determination Advisory Committee

All information and materials for these meetings will be posted 10 days before each meeting and posted on and

Next Meeting (Every 3rd Thursday of the Month): The next Self-Determination Advisory Committee Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 17th, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM via Zoom video meeting. For the Zoom information, click here

State Self-Determination Advisory Committee (SSDAC)

Our VMRC local Self-Determination Advisory Committee appoints one member to serve on the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee facilitated by the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. This statewide committee advises and make recommendations on ways to increase the effectiveness of the Self‑Determination Program. Visit their website here:

SSDAC Advisory Committee

Self-Determination Program Orientation Dates and Links

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 900 AM – 1200 PM, English with Spanish Translation

Friday, July 9, 2021, 100 PM – 400 PM, in Spanish

Saturday, July 24, 2021, 1000 AM – 100 PM, English with Spanish Translation

Tuesday, August 3, 2021, 900 AM – 1200 PM, in Spanish

Monday, August 9, 2021, 200 PM – 500 PM, English with Spanish Translation

Thursday, September 30, 2021, 200 PM – 500 PM, English with Spanish Translation

Agendas and Minutes

After the discussion during the June 17th meeting, it is urgent that we have an additional SDAC meeting before June 30th, to present and vote on the current RFP from Community Catalyst California, and to draft a letter to DDS on how the SDAC funds for year 2020-2021 will be spent. It is important that we have a quorum at this meeting or we risk losing $81,600 funding from DDS to this committee. 

June 28, 2021
Agenda: English

Agenda:  Spanish

When: Monday, June 28, 2021, from 200 PM-3:30 PM 

Where:  Zoom Meeting

For security reasons you must be signed into your Zoom account to access the meeting. Please ensure you are signed into Zoom before clicking the link above or entering the ID & passcode. Spanish translation will be available through Zoom.

June 17, 2021 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

May 20, 2021 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

Information from the First VMRC SDAC Meet & Greet, 04/06/21

April 15, 2021 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee Recommendations for Enrollment in the Self-Determination Program Prior to June 7, 2021

VMRC Self-Determination Advisory Committee Meet & Greet Flyer

Recommendations for Enrollment in the Self-Determination Program
Prior to June 7, 2021
The Statewide Self Determination Advisory Committee (SSDAC), which consists of the
chairpersons of 21 Regional Center Self Determination Local Advisory Committees (SDLAC)
and 1 member of the State Council, convened its regularly scheduled meeting on February 16,
2021. With the participation of more than 100 attendees, including regional center (“RC”) staff,
vendors, service providers, independent facilitators, fiscal management services and
community action group members, SSDAC developed a list of recommendations for
implementation of the first phase of the Self-Determination Program (SDP). This phase will be
completed on June 7, 2021, at which time the SDP will be available to all persons and families
served by RCs who wish to participate in it.
The focus of the meeting was on what each Local Self-Determination Advisory Committee
(LAC) could do to assist and facilitate the completion of enrollment of those selected to
participate in the SDP during the interim remaining period of the first phase. The outcome of
the meeting was the development of specific recommendations to all 21 regional centers (RCs)
and LACs for implementation of the SDP and to overcome common barriers to enrollment in
the SDP. The list of recommendations is not all-inclusive, instead, it is intended to put forth
recommendations that are believed to be possible to achieve before June 7th
. It is the hope
and expectation of the SSDAC that the recommendations will be considered by each LAC in
an effort to successfully enroll as many of the SDP participants as is reasonably and practically
possible before expiration of the first phase of the SDP on June 7, 2021.
Finally, the SSDAC has determined that in order for the SDP to be successful, its goal must be
to focus not on what DDS can do, but on what each LAC can do, collaboratively with each RC,
to fulfill the purpose and intent of the SDP. All of the recommendations are applicable to the
first phase of the SDP. Many of the recommendations will be equally relevant to the
longer-term effort to overcome barriers to the SDP and to prepare for the full expansion.
Recommendation 1: Transitioning all phase-in participants by June 1st
RCs should reach out to all persons selected to participate but who have not completed
enrollment to determine: 1) what stage of the SDP process they are in; and 2) who is
responsible for next steps. There should be a goal of moving each participant through the next
stage of the process by March 31, 2021 – including finishing all orientations – and a goal of
completing enrollment and transitioning to the SDP by June 1, 2021.
Recommendation 2: Simplifying Orientation & Ongoing Training of Participants
RCs and LACs should participate in the revision of the orientations in order to make them
clearer and in shorter segments. The SSDAC will be providing a new sample orientation to
SDLACs that can be presented in short training modules. The LACs should continue to
conduct trainings after participants have enrolled in the SDP as necessary. As much as
possible, orientations and trainings should be conducted by self-advocates and family
members in the SDP in collaboration with RC staff, independent facilitators, and other leaders
in the SD movement.
Recommendation 3: Coaching of Participants
LACs, in cooperation with RCs, should facilitate coaching or mentoring of individual
participants by individuals and organizations funded by federal participation funds. First-year
funds should be allocated for this purpose not later than March 31, 2021. Planning for
expenditure of second-year funds should be completed and approved by each LAC not later
than April 30, 2021, with allocation completed not later than June 30, 2021. This is sometimes
referred to as “fast-tracking” participants to enrollment by June 1, 2021.
Recommendation 4: Training of RC Staff
RCs, in collaboration with the LACs, should conduct SDP trainings of RC staff, specifically,
service coordinators (SC). Training presentations should be in plain language and easy to
understand. LAC members should co-lead all trainings. RC staff should share best practices
among themselves as well as with the LAC.
Recommendation 5: Outreach to Underserved Communities
RCs should prioritize the enrollment of underserved and Spanish speaking participants. RCs
should increase effective, culturally-competent outreach to these participants. RCs should
include race and ethnicity in SDP enrollment data which is provided in monthly reports to DDS.
Additionally, RCs should provide to their LACs a copy of this report when it is sent to DDS.
Recommendation 6: Collaboration with RC Executive Director & Key Staff
Each LAC should meet with its RC executive director and other key staff involved in the SDP
monthly to discuss meaningful collaboration and preparation of a plan for statewide SDP
expansion. At each LAC meeting, there should be discussion about progress being made and
time allocated for additional planning meetings.
Recommendation 7: Response Timelines for RCs
LACs and RC staff should meet and confer about reasonable timelines for the provision of
annual cost statements, certification of budgets and approval of spending plans and changes
in spending plans. It is recommended that there be a turnaround time implemented of no later
than 10 days for a response by RC staff. RCs should create spreadsheets to identify and track
the specific progress of each participant’s enrollment, to assign responsibility for next steps
and to identify barriers to moving forward to completion of enrollment.
Recommendation 8: LAC Member Enrollment
All LAC members or their family members should be enrolled in the SDP not later than May 31,
Recommendation 9: LAC Meetings More Open
LAC meetings should be more open, accessible, informal and less bureaucratic. All
discussions at meetings should led by LAC members. Meetings should allow for maximum
opportunities for community input to enhance each LAC’s oversight role. Security should be
put in place to prevent “Zoom bombers” from disrupting meetings, but these measures should
not inhibit or limit public participation. LAC meetings should be interpreted and materials
should be provided in all threshold languages (5% or more of the consumers prefer this
language) in each RC’s catchment area.
Recommendation 10: Collaboration with Independent Facilitators and FMS’
LACs should invite independent facilitators and FMS’ to present their experiences in the SDP
enrollment process, including providing examples of successful collaborations with RC staff
and barriers to enrollment. Independent facilitators and FMS’ should be invited to all LAC
meetings. LACs should monitor whether payments to FMS’ and independent facilitators are
made in a timely manner by requiring RC staff to provide a report detailing delays in payments,
if any. If requested by participants, RCs should provide regularly-updated lists of independent
facilitators which are available to provide services. However, RCs should inform participants
that independent facilitator lists are not exclusive.
Recommendation 11: Preparing for the Statewide Expansion
In anticipation of the statewide expansion of the SDP, RCs should send letters to all
consumers and families announcing the expansion not later than May 31, 2021. RCs should
share links to videos and DDS information on the SDP and should create a website and other
opportunities for easy registration for orientations. RCs should individually contact those who
are on the SDP waiting list not later than May 1, 2021, to inform them of the June 7th statewide
rollout. RCs, in collaboration with LACs, should conduct orientation for those interested in
entering the SDP (including those not on the waiting list) beginning as soon as possible with a
range of day and time options before June 1st
It is expected that the outcome of phase one of the SDP will be to complete the enrollment of
as many of those selected to participate who wish to transition before June 1, 2021, and to
serve as models for enrollment after the statewide expansion. It is only with the effort of each
LAC, working together with each RC, that the anticipated outcome be achieved. We look
forward to an exciting period in the history of the SDP and trust that these recommendations,
while not an exhaustive list, will serve as a guide for all LACs to implement the SDP phase-in
between now and June 7, 2021.

March 18, 2021 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

March 4, 2021
The February 18, 2021 did not officially end because we were interfered with on Zoom. This meeting will complete the action and the meeting, see the agenda below.)
Click: New Zoom Link and 
Passcode: 911351

February 18, 2021 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

January 21, 2021 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

November 19, 2020 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

November 19, 2020: DDS Directive Regarding the FMS
The Director of DDS says individuals don’t have to include the FMS fee as part of their budget. This is a temporary change to allow participants to use these fess for different and/or additional SDP services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

October 15, 2020 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)

September 17, 2020 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)
Amendment to the Funding Letter to DDS

August 20, 2020 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)
July Minutes:  (English  |  Spanish)

July 16, 2020 
Agenda:  (English  |  Spanish)
When: 10: am to 11:30 am
Where: Zoom Meeting
Minutes:  (English  |   Spanish)
April Minutes:  (English  |  Spanish)
DRAFT Letter to DDS from Advisory Committee and VMRC
June 29, 2020 Extension Letter from DDS (Spanish Version)

2020 Self-Determination Training Dates Flyer

2020 Self-Determination Training Dates Flyer Spanish

More Resources (Archive Page):