In October 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 468 into law creating a statewide Self-Determination Program that offers people receiving services a voluntary alternative to the traditional system and more control over the services they receive and the individuals who support them.

What is self-determination?

A voluntary program that provides participants with an Individual Budget they can use to purchase the services and supports needed to implement their Individual Program Plan (IPP).

What kind of services can I get through Self-Determination?

You or your family member can set up a wide range of services that help you meet your IPP goals. These could include many services that you currently receive from your regional center, however, you are not required to use agencies that are vendored with your regional center.  You can also choose unique services and supports that are not traditionally funded by your regional center to help you meet your IPP goals.  You can also access some suspended services such as social and recreation programs, camp, non-medical therapies, and respite.

What will be my responsibility in the Self-Determination Program?

You and your family will need to be very active in creating the plan for your future. You and/or your family will get an orientation and training from your regional center and local organizations.  Then, with assistance from an Independent Facilitator if you choose, you will develop a person-centered plan.  You will select services and supports to help you implement that plan and meet your IPP goals.  You will work with a Fiscal Manager to help direct the funds contained in your Individual Budget and ensure you have enough left to implement your IPP throughout the year.  You will need to monitor and supervise the staff and agencies you have hired.

How is my individual budget set?

Your Individual Budget will be the same as the amount of dollars that was spent by the regional center on your services during the past 12 months. This amount can be increased or decreased by the IPP team if they determine it is needed because of a change in circumstances or resources.

How can I learn more about or sign up for the Self-Determination Program?

It will take several years for the self-determination program to be fully running. For the first three years as the program is phased in, there will be a limit of 2,500 participants.  At your next IPP meeting, ask your regional center service coordinator to note on your IPP that you are interested in participating in self-determination when it is available.

**Special thanks to the Autism Society of Los Angeles for providing this helpful guide on Self Determination**