WELCOME!

The Disability Thrive Initiative was established by the San Diego Regional Center and the Department of Developmental Services, to develop and share resources to help the disability community navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic required the entire community to work together and innovate to serve Californians with developmental disabilities. The Initiative concluded in December 2021, but these creative, person-centered resources are not limited to the pandemic or alternative services. Here you will find webinars, trainings, and variety of resources to help you navigate during the public health crisis, and beyond.

If you are an individual receiving services (or a family caregiver) with questions about your services, please contact your regional center.

If you are a service provider with questions about delivering or billing for services, please contact your regional center.

For appeals or complaints about regional center decisions, or general questions about disability services in California, contact the Department of Developmental Services.

Together, we can THRIVE!

 

RESOURCES LIBRARY

Advocacy and Self-Determination

Coming soon!

Accessibility

Accessibility trainings and resources to create materials that are easy to use and access for everyone.

Alternative Services

Coming soon!

Communication and Language

Tools for supporting and enhancing communication.

  • Webinar on Removing Barriers to Disability Services through Assistive Technology
    • A webinar on how new assistive technology can create more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate online and in the community. Learn whether assistive technology might be right for you, your loved one, or someone you serve.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • Free Speech-Generating Device
  • PathPoint Assistive Technology Guide
    • Guide for the process of using Person-Centered tools to help plan and prepare for incorporating technology into the daily lives of people with disabilities.
    • PathPoint Assistive Technology Guide
  • The Arc: Tech Recommender
    • “Tech Recommender” finds tech products for people with disabilities based on diagnosis, abilities, needs, and lifestyle.
    • The Arc Tech Recommender
  • Plain Language Association International: What is Plain Language?
  • Plain English Training Video 2021
    • Plain Language Training Video by Disability Rights California (DRC).
    • YouTube Video
  • gov: Plain Language Basics: Online Workshop
  • Documentos Accesibles Para Todos
  • Manual de Lenguaje Claro
Resources

Coming soon!

Disability Rights and Advocacy

Resources for empowering people with disabilities to advocate for their rights and what is important to them.

  • Webinar on Empowering People with Disabilities to Make Informed Life Decisions
  • Webinar on Advocacy: Informed and Empowered
  • TASK
    • Southern California-based special education support for people with disabilities from birth to age 26 and their families.
    • TASK Website
  • Down Syndrome Association Los Angeles (DSALA)
    • Peer support, social programming, information, and other resources for individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the Los Angeles area.
    • DSALA Website
  • Disabled World
    • Health and disability news source with information from worldwide government and educational sources, in addition to original articles and fact sheets covering seniors and disability news.
    • Disabled World Website
  • Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
    • Legal advocacy, training, education, public policy and legislative development for people with disabilities.
    • DREDF Home
    • (English, Spanish)
  • Disability Rights California (DRC)
    • Advocacy for Californians with disabilities, including public policy, research reports, and a helpline for legal questions.
    • DRC Programs
Community Programming Ideas

Coming soon!

Diversity and Inclusion

Methods for promoting diversity and inclusion in the disability community.

Unconscious Bias

  • Webinar on Understanding Unconscious Bias and Embracing Cultural Diversity

Disability and LGBTQ+ Education

  • Webinar on Bridging the gap for the LGBTQ+ and disability communities
    • LGBTQ+ individuals with disabilities often keep silent about their sexuality or identity, due to fear, lack of information, support and/or resources. This webinar addresses tools for empowering people with IDD.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • Respect Ability
  • SAGE
  • Transgender Law Center
    • Resources in the areas of identity documents, immigration, health, employment, prisons/policing, housing, youth, and public accommodations.
    • Transgender Law Center
  • OutRight
    • OutRight ensures human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere through three strategic program areas: Advocacy, Movement Resourcing, and Research.
    • OutRight Website
  • The Trevor Project
  • PFLAG
  • Trans Lifeline

Diversity Disparity

Disability Information and Support

Coming soon!

Person-Centered Services

Trainings, techniques, and toolkits to enhance person-centered practices in individual life planning and organizational culture.

  • Webinar on Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule (HCBS)
    • Learn how you can adapt your services and build on alternative services to meet all HCBS regulations and listen to real stories about the benefits of HCBS.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLCPCP)
    • Training materials, best practices, and virtual and in-person events for sharing and learning about person-centered planning for people with disabilities, their families, and their services.
    • TLCPCP Website
  • Helen Sanderson Associates
  • Inclusion Press: Resources for Inclusion
    • “PATH,” “Maps,” and “Circles of Friends” tools to assist individuals, families and their support networks with person-centered planning.
    • Inclusion Website
  • The Arc: Future Planning
    • “Build Your Plan” tool is creating a guide for a person with an intellectual or developmental disability to plan how to live the life they want as independently as possible.
    • The Arc Future Planning Website
  • Council for Quality and Leadership (CQL)
    • CQL offers training, accreditation, and certification in person-centered planning for those who support people with intellectual, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities.
    • CQL Website
  • Every Moment Has Potential
    • Online learning for direct support professionals in “Person Centered Active Support:” an approach that enables everyone, no matter their level of disability, to make choices and participate in meaningful activities and social relationships.
    • Every Moment Has Potential Website
  • Easterseals Southern California: Person-Centered Services
  • California Department of Developmental Services (DDS): Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Training & Information
    • Recorded trainings aimed to help individuals with disabilities and those who support them better understand and implement lasting person-centered practices.
    • DDS: HCBS Training & Information
  • Tri-Counties Regional Center: Living Well In My Community
    • Printable PDF guide to help people with disabilities and service providers better understand Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and person-centered practices.
    • Living Well In My Community Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN): The HCBS Settings Rule and You
  • Toolkit for understanding the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule and how it affects people with disabilities.
Family and Children Support

Coming soon!

Self-Determination Program

Understanding the Self-Determination Program and the flexibility it offers individuals, families, and service providers.

  • Webinar on Understanding the Self-Determination Program (SDP)
    • The Self-Determination Program (SDP) was expanded statewide as of July 1. Those enrolled in SDP choose their preferred services and supports, which can be delivered remotely, in-person or in the community based on the individual’s needs.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • California Department of Developmental Services (DDS): Self-Determination Program (SDP)
    • This site is designed to allow individuals interested in the program, participants already in the program and their related support system access to resources to assist in getting enrolled and learning about the SDP. If you are interested in participating in the SDP, reach out to your regional center for more information on how to get started.
    • DDS: Self-Determination Program (SDP)
  • Office of the Self-Determination Program (SDP) Ombudsperson
    • The Ombudsperson assists regional center consumers and Self-Determination participants and their families to participate in the program.
    • Office of the SDP Ombudsperson
  • Local Self-Determination Advisory Committees
    • Self-Determination Advisory Committees (SDAC) give individuals and families a voice in the development and implementation of the Self-Determination Program at each regional center.
    • Local Self-Determination Advisory Committees
  • California Self-Determination Program Forum
    • Facebook group forum hosted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities to share best practices, ask questions and provide answers about the Self-Determination Program.
    • California Self-Determination Program Forum
Person Centered Services

Coming soon!

Children and Families

Connecting individuals and families to support services and resources.

  • Family Resource Centers Network of California
  • Central Directory of Early Intervention Resources
    • Helps parents, family members, service providers, and members of the public find resources for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays.
    • Early Start Central Directory
  • Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Resources for Families, Parents & Caregivers
  • Family, Adult and Child Therapies (FACT)
    • Affordable mental health care treatment with a range of services and supports.
    • FACT Website
Regional Centers

Coming soon!

Community and Hybrid Services

Programming ideas for customizing or individualized services in the community, in-person and remotely.

Home and Community Based Services

  • Webinar on Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule (HCBS)
    • This webinar shows how service providers can adapt disability services and build on alternative services to meet all HCBS regulations. Hear stories about the benefits of this program.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar

Transportation Services

Employment

  • The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
  • The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) Employment Services
Communication and Language

Coming soon!

Disability Services Management

Resources to support service providers and direct support professionals.

  • Webinar on Change Management Strategies for Disability Services to THRIVE
    • Times of uncertainty about the future can inspire innovation for an organization. Disability services have faced many changes since the start of pandemic. Change is hard for any organization, but especially difficult during a public health crisis. Using the key elements of change management, this webinar will give service providers the tools to redefine the future of their services.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • Department of Developmental Services: Direct Support Professionals Wellness Toolkit
  • National Association of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)
Technology use

Coming soon!

Health and Wellbeing

Supporting mental health, physical health, and overall wellbeing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Resources

Other COVID-19 Resources

Mental Health Resources

  • Webinar on Strengthening Mental Health Through Empathy and Understanding
    • This webinar discusses the importance of strengthening mental health and wellbeing for people with disabilities and offers tools for support.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • Project Connect
    • Telehealth support line for individuals with disabilities, their families, direct support professionals, and others who support individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
    • Project Connect Website
  • CalHope
    • Wherever you are, whenever you need to talk with someone, CalHOPE is here. Connect with CalHOPE by chat or phone.
    • Live Chat – (833) 317-HOPE (4673)
    • CalHope Website
  • 211
    • 211 connects you to expert, caring help. Every call is confidential.
    • 211 Website
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline
    • Free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public.
    • NAMI Helpline
  • Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Wellness Toolkit
    • Information and tools related to health and safety for self-advocates, direct support professionals, and vendors or providers.
    • DDS Resources
  • Mental Health America
    • Mental health education and outreach materials, free online screening tests, peer support, and crisis resources.
    • Mental Health America
    • Teléfono: 703.684.7722
    • Toll Free: 800.969.6642
Technology Access

Coming soon!

Remote and Virtual Services

Innovative ideas and examples for enhancing remote and virtual services.

  • Webinar on Reshaping Our Services and Our Future
    • At the beginning of the pandemic, disability services changed overnight putting technology at the forefront. It became the new way of connecting, accessing work, classes, day programs and even medical appointments. This webinar highlights the lessons learned and benefits of virtual, remote services.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • Webinar on Meeting Individual Needs Through Adaptable Alternative Services
    • Learn more about finding and using new tools to support progress toward individual goals while addressing the demands of “now” through alternative and remote services for people with developmental disabilities.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • The Arc of San Francisco HUB
    • A digital resource for learning, connecting and accessing information and instructional classes created for direct support professionals and people with developmental disabilities.
    • The HUB
  • The Arc Tech Coaching
    • People with developmental disabilities use technology to achieve many goals in life. Select a goal to find coaching resources that support that goal with technology.
    • Tech Coaching
  • Disabilities R Us
    • Online community created by and for people with developmental disabilities, allowing people to connect and make friends from all over the world.
    • Disabilities R Us Main Page
  • Santiago Canyon College Online Classes
    • Free online classes offered to support students with developmental disabilities in reaching their academic, professional, and personal goals. They offer individual courses and certificate options 100% tuition free for California residents.
    • Santiago Canyon College Current Courses
  • Open Culture
    • Free online courses from universities throughout the world with degree and certificate programs accessible to all students.
    • Open Culture
Virtual Service Platforms

Coming soon!

Technology Use and Access

Tools and resources for using technology to deliver or access remote or virtual services.

Webinars

  • Webinar on Unlocking Technology as a Key to Connection and Alternative Services
    • Learn about tools and resources for individualizing and accessing technology during the pandemic for individuals with developmental disabilities.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar

Online Learning Platforms

  • Zoom – Getting Started
    • Guide for getting started with your new Zoom account, including scheduling your first meeting, downloading the Zoom client, and updating your Zoom profile.
    • Getting Started Guide on Zoom Website

Free Software

  • NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) Screen Reader
  • TPGi Colour Contrast Analyser
    • Free color contrast checker that allows you to easily determine the contrast ratio of two colors and optimize text and visual elements for individuals with vision disabilities.
    • Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA)

Lending Library

  • Ability Tools
    • Program for free short-term loans of assistive devices and gadgets throughout California.
    • Device Lending and Demo Centers https://abilitytools.org/services/device-lending-library.php
  • California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition

Low Cost Internet & Phone Services

  • California LifeLine
    • The California LifeLine is a state program that provides discounted home and cell phone services to eligible households.
    • California LifeLine
  • Augsburg University: Free or Low Cost Assistive Technology for Everyone
    • Tools that may help you complete tasks more quickly, easily, or independently, broken down into sub-categories such as Reading, Writing, or Note Taking; all apps and programs are free or cost less than $25.
    • Free or Low Cost Assistive Technology for Everyone

Assistive Technology

  • Webinar on Removing Barriers to Disability Services through Assistive Technology
    • Assistive technology creates more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate online and in the community. Learn all about the uses of assistive technology in this webinar.
    • Disability Thrive Initiative Webinar
  • Pacer Center

PREVIOUS WEBINARS

Alternative Services & Beyond: Resources for the Disability Community to THRIVE

Alternative Services & Beyond: Resources for the Disability Community to THRIVE

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

3:00 – 4:15 pm

Alternative services were developed to safely meet the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities during the pandemic. Many found that they enjoyed the flexibility of these new remote, virtual, and customized services. In the coming months, while alternative services remain an option for individuals and their families, hybrid and traditional in-person programs will return. Learn how to access the many resources and tools available through the Disability Thrive Initiative to make navigating the next phase of disability services easier, including:

  • A Resource Library to support disability services across the lifespan
  • The impact of service flexibility and choices for people with disabilities
  • A vision for making services even more person-centered
Alternative Services & Beyond: Self-Determination Program

Alternative Services & Beyond: Self-Determination Program

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

The Self-Determination Program (SDP) was expanded statewide as of July 1. Those enrolled in SDP choose their preferred services and supports, which can be delivered remotely, in-person or in the community based on the individual’s needs. Providers may find the individualization and flexibility of alternative services to be a useful model for offering SDP options. SDP services have different funding and billing processes from standard regional center services. This webinar will give service providers a better understanding of SDP, including:

 

  • Key differences between Self-Determination, alternative, and traditional services
  • How to modify your service delivery model to integrate SDP
  • What to consider when developing SDP services
Alternative Services & Beyond: Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule

Alternative Services & Beyond: Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

Services are always evolving to better meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Long before the pandemic, the federal government established the Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule (HCBS) aiming to make all disability services more person-centered. Like alternative services, HCBS emphasizes individualization, flexibility, and choice. California is still working on applying HCBS to regional centers and service providers, and alternative services provide a glimpse into new opportunities.

Learn more about HCBS and what it means for the disability community, including:

  • How to build on alternative services to achieve the goals of HCBS
  • Ways that services are adapting and changing for HCBS
  • Resources about HCBS for individuals served and service providers
Advocacy: From Informed to Empowered

Advocacy: From Informed to Empowered

Wednesday, September 8, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

 

The Pandemic set off the alternative services model to increase flexibility, choice, and control for people with disabilities over their supports and services. The disability community has had even more reasons, and opportunities, to get involved in advocacy at every system level starting with their personal service needs.

 

Have you heard the phrase, “nothing about us without us?” Within the disability rights movement this is more than just a saying, it is a call for action. We ALL have rights, and people with disabilities must have a seat at every table where the decisions affecting their lives are made. We invite you to join us and learn from advocates who are creating change both in their own lives and across our state.

 

Join us to hear valuable information about your rights and how to speak for yourself.

 

  • Why education about disability rights is important 
  • Why your voice MATTERS  
  • How to gain confidence and advocate for yourself if your services are not meeting your needs
  • How advocates can actively create systems change
The Changing Role of the Workforce Supporting People with Disabilities

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

The pandemic offered an unprecedented opportunity to innovate and develop person-centered alternative services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Like everything else, the role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP) continues to adapt to the individual needs of those served.

Our FREE webinar will discuss these important changes to workforce supporting people with disabilities, including:

  • Shifting from “providing care” to “supporting independence and community engagement”
  • Developing the workforce through Competency-Based Education rather than just “training”
  • Creating a culture that supports staff recruitment and retention
Reshaping Our Services and Our Future

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

COVID-19 has changed our lives, requiring us to creatively adapt to new ways of thinking about services. The disability community overcame many challenges. Almost overnight, technology became the essential new way of connecting. Now it is time to make a fresh start with all that we have learned. The discoveries we have made offer an even brighter future for person-centered programming.  Let us build on what we have gained and keep all of the voices that emerged during this challenging time strong and THRIVING! 

  • Learn how alternative services have increased accessibility and choice for many participants.
  • Experience a fresh and creative approach to remote and in-person learning 
  • Hear personal stories of how alternative services have nurtured person-centered values and supports. 
Removing Barriers to Disability Services through Assistive Technology

Wednesday, July 14, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

While alternative services have offered new ways of delivering and receiving individualized services, it can also present new communication challenges for some. Fortunately, new assistive technology can create more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate online and in the community. Assistive technology may be a device, equipment, or even software that removes barriers to certain activities, enhances learning, or improves communication, hearing, or mobility. Join our webinar to learn whether assistive technology might be right for you, your loved one, or someone you serve and get tools for:

  • Empowering individuals with disabilities to choose the assistive technology to fit their needs
  • Identifying individual communication barriers and using adaptive technology to improve remote learning
  • Evaluating how technology can help individuals achieve their personal goals
  • Training and supporting someone with their assistive technology
Change Management Strategies for Disability Services to THRIVE

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

Times of uncertainty about the future can inspire innovation for an organization. Disability services have faced many changes since the start of pandemic. Change is hard for any organization, but especially difficult during a public health crisis. How will your organization redefine “normal” in the future and prepare to address the unknown factors? Using the key elements of change management, this webinar will give service providers the tools to:

  • Begin planning for potential future scenarios
  • Manage expectations and resistance to change
  • Facilitate change with direct support staff
  • Engage clients, families, and other stakeholders in planning processes
  • Maximize opportunities for innovation

Presenters

Strengthening Mental Health Through Empathy and Understanding

Wednesday, May 26, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

Changes to COVID-19 restrictions are happening in communities across the state. Californians with developmental disabilities may soon be able to safely participate in more in-person programs. To meet individual needs, organizations who provide disability services can continue to offer remote or alternative services while reengaging site and community programs. Join our FREE webinar to learn how organizations providing transportation, residential, and day services are preparing for the next phase, including:

  • Flexibility for changing service and support needs
  • Safety changes to transportation services
  • Combined site, community, and remote services
Planning for Community Reengagement in the Next Phase of Disability Services

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 pm

Changes to COVID-19 restrictions are happening in communities across the state. Californians with developmental disabilities may soon be able to safely participate in more in-person programs. To meet individual needs, organizations who provide disability services can continue to offer remote or alternative services while reengaging site and community programs. Join our FREE webinar to learn how organizations providing transportation, residential, and day services are preparing for the next phase, including:

  • Flexibility for changing service and support needs
  • Safety changes to transportation services
  • Combined site, community, and remote services
Understanding Unconscious Bias & Embracing Cultural Diversity
The COVID-19 Vaccine and What It Means for the Disability Community

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 3:00 – 4:15 pm

As more people across the state receive immunization, communities will slowly be able to return to normal. Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but information about the vaccine itself might be confusing or raise concerns. Whether you have a disability, have a family member with a disability, or provide services to someone with a disability, you need the facts. In this webinar, we heard directly from doctors about:

  • What happens in your body when you get immunization and possible side effects
  • How the vaccines were developed so quickly in this pandemic
  • Who makes sure the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective
Gain COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Support Strategies
Empowering People with Disabilities to Make Informed Life Decisions

Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 3:00 – 4:15 pm

Thriving during a pandemic is all about balancing risk and priorities. As health and safety measures continue to change, Californians with developmental disabilities have decisions to make about their healthcare and the supports they need to live their best lives. Join the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals for a training on the Informed Decision-Making process to learn:

  • Why having choice is important for people with disabilities, even with risk involved
  • The vital role of direct support professionals and family caregivers in supporting choice
THRIVE Through Person-Centered Planning During the Pandemic

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 3:00 – 4:15 PM

Meeting Individual Needs through Adaptable Alternative Services
Unlocking Technology as a Key to Connection and Alternative Services
Disability Thrive Initiative Launch

     NEED ASSISTANCE?

For Individuals and Caregivers:

Contact your regional center.

For Service Providers and Staff:

Contact your regional center.

For appeals, complaints or general questions about disability services:

Contact the Department of Developmental Services.

Contact the Disability Services Support Center. A person with long hair holding a light bulb. Three speech bubbles saying hi in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Learn more.

Free Alternative Services Support for California’s Disability Community
Email: info@disabilitythriveinitiative.org
Phone: 916-238-8811

PARTNERS:
Presented by

California Disability Services Association Logo.
Easterseals Southern California

In collaboration with

The Arc California
The State Council on Developmental Disabilities
Alliance for Leadership and Education

Funded by

San Diego Regional Center
California Department of Developmental Services