Self-Advocacy Resources

Disclaimer: The resources on the following page are for informational purposes only. These listings are not necessarily comprehensive nor do they imply endorsement by the SCDD or Regional Offices. If you find that any information is incorrect, if you would like to offer feedback or if you know of additional resources that may be helpful to include, please contact us.



ADAPT: Americans Disabled for Attendant Programs Today
Legislative proposals, news releases, organization newsletter and advocacy information related to community inclusion and community supports.

California Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN)
Advocacy and connecting people

Californians for Disability Rights (CDR)
Advocating for access, justice, equality and independence

Center for Independent Living: Mission and History
History of the Center for Independent Living at the University of California, Berkeley, a national leader in helping people with disabilities live independently and become more productive.

Council for Exceptional Children
The largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
National law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and the education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with disabilities, and parents of children with disabilities. Includes legal cases, links, and resources.

Family Adult and Child Therapies

Family and Advocates for Parental Education/FAPE
The Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was created to improve the educational outcomes for children with disabilities.

Empowering families of persons with disabilities.

Gentle Teaching
Non-violent approach to teaching children and adults with special needs.

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
Public policy information and resources related to developmental disabilities.

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the largest provider of legally-based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. NDRN provides training and technical assistance, legal support, and legislative advocacy services.

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North American (RESNA)
An interdisciplinary association dedicated to improving the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology. The organization does this through research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology; and by supporting the people engaged in these activities.

SABE (Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered)
Information, resources and news for self-advocates.

The Arc of California
Online access to facts, resources, advocacy information and news for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities.

Community Development

Center for Neighborhood Technology
Information, resources and programs related to urban community development.


SCDD Back-to-School Resource Guide

Education Week on the Web
Online compilation of timely articles on education in America, including special education section.

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
Self-Determination for Middle and High School Students The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) provides technical assistance and disseminates information focused on areas of national significance for youth with disabilities and their families.

Parent Center Hub
Provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. Their special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22). If you have children with disabilities and don’t know where to turn for assistance, make this your first stop.

Site for accurate, up-to-date information related to advocacy for special education and special education law.

Employment/Reasonable Accommodations

Cornell University, ILR School Employment and Disability Institute
The Employment and Disability Institute conducts research, and provides technical assistance and continuing education on disability and the workplace issues.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Information related to job accommodations, the ADA and employability of people with disabilities.

Federal Government

Center for Disease Control: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Background information on developmental disabilities, as well as links to web sites and related resources. Guide to disability resources on the Internet, organized by site popularity, alphabet, type of disability and state.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Comprehensive information on Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, including coverage, laws, regulations and extensive resource section.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
This web site provides information on buying, owning and selling a home and your rights as a renter, as well as a variety of tools and resources.

Department of Labor
Information on employment for employers and employees.
The U.S. Government’s official web portal offers access to all federal web sites and sponsored resources as well as current statistics, research and information.

HUD: Housing and Urban Development-Housing for People with Disabilities
Home purchase information specifically related to people with disabilities, including laws and regulations, HUD resources and general information.

National Council on Disability (NCD)
NCD: Access to federal policies, programs, practices and procedures related to equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Includes agency information and resources.

Administration for Community Living
Federal agency created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people with disabilities deserve to live how they choose and enjoy full community participation.

Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays retirement, disability and survivors benefits to workers and their families, administers the Supplemental Security Income program and issues Social Security numbers. This web site provides comprehensive information on Social Security benefits and programs and how to access them.

United States Access Board
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities and a leading source of information on accessible design for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and electronic and information technology.

U.S. Department of Education
Access to comprehensive information on education and educational policy in the United States, including special education.

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
An overview of Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

Health and Wellness

American Academy of Pediatrics
Pediatricians’ association dedicated to the health of children and youth

Covered California

Covered California Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal is health coverage, just like the coverage from Covered California health plans. If you qualify for Medi-Cal, your health care will be free or at a lower cost to you and your family. Medi-Cal plans and Covered California plans both offer a similar set of important benefits, called “essential health benefits.” If you qualify for Medi-Cal, you will get a benefits identification card (BIC) in the mail, and you can start using it to get your health care as a new Medi-Cal member. In some cases, after you apply, we may need more information from you to make sure you qualify for Medi-Cal. In those cases, your county’s human services agency may contact you to verify that information.

Department of Health Care Services

The mission of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is to provide Californians with access to affordable, high-quality health care, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use disorder services, and long-term services and supports. Our vision is to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians.

Among the programs administered by DHCS, some of which are mandated by the federal government and others required by state law, are California Children’s Services; Child Health and Disability Prevention program; the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program; the Newborn Hearing Screening Program; the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (PACT) program; Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Every Woman Counts, and Coordinated Care Management. DHCS also administers programs for underserved Californians, including farm workers and American Indian communities.

Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health
Research tool for collecting demographic and other health related data about this population, and making state-by-state comparisons.

Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Early Start

Families whose infants or toddlers have a developmental delay or disability or an established risk condition with a high probability of resulting in a delay may be eligible to receive an “Early Start” in California. Teams of service coordinators, healthcare providers, early intervention specialists, therapists, and parent resource specialists evaluate and assess infants or toddlers and provide appropriate early intervention and family support services for young children from birth to three years of age.

Human Services Research Institute (HRSI)
The Human Services Research Institute was established in 1976 to help states and the federal government enhance services and supports to people with mental illness and people with mental retardation. They also are working to develop alternatives to congregate care facilities.


Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. This is a public health insurance program which provides needed health care services for low-income individuals including families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, foster care, pregnant women, and low income people with specific diseases such as tuberculosis, breast cancer or HIV/AIDS. Medi-Cal is financed equally by the State and federal government.


Monkeypox Information – One-Pager

National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University The National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) was created to help health and mental health programs design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems.

National Institute of Mental Health
Information on mental health issues, services and advocacy

Resources for Healthcare Providers

This project is funded by a grant from the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) as part of its Wellness Initiative. The Digest is guided by an advisory committee of physicians with specialized expertise in developmental disabilities and implemented by the UCSD CME. The primary goal of this site is to improve the health of persons with developmental disabilities.
-Information on Specific Disabling Conditions
-Issues Related to Developmental Disabilities
-Health Care Providers
-Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Supported Decision Making (SDM)

Historical Archive

Disability History Museum
The Disability History Museum has no bricks and mortar. The virtual museum is home to a searchable, theme-based digital collection of documents and images related to disability history in the United States. Artifacts are drawn from public and private collections around the country.

Disability Social History Project
A community history project that outlines important events in disability history, topical exhibits, special projects and resources.

The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement
The UC Berkeley’s web site on the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement includes a collection of primary sources exploring the social and political history of the disability movement from the 1960s to the present. Includes oral history.

Housing and Community Supports

Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
TAC is a national non-profit organization that advances proven solutions to the housing and community support needs of vulnerable low-income people with significant and long-term disabilities.

International Nonprofit/Leadership Development

The Council on Quality and Leadership
An international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the quality of services and supports to people with disabilities. This is accomplished through its accreditation services, training programs, and research division.

Laws and Regulations

Consumer Guide to The Lanterman Act

Consumer Guide to The Lanterman Act (Spanish)

Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act and Related Laws

Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act and Related Laws (Spanish)

Lanterman Supplement

Lanterman Supplement (Spanish)

Legal Advocacy

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Legal advocacy for the civil rights and human dignity of people with mental disability.

Disability Rights California (DRC)
Advancing legal and service rights of persons with disabilities: advocacy, information, training.

National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
Provides extensive information on health care law affecting low-income people. The site is updated daily with health law news, legislative analysis, and health law Internet links.


ABILITY Magazine
ABILITY Magazine features the latest information for people with disabilities on health, new technologies, the ADA, employment opportunities, human interest stories, travel, leisure, and more.

Center for an Accessible Society
The Center for an Accessible Society’s goal is to focus public attention on disability and independent living issues.

Disability Grapevine
Daily online newspaper, delivered via e-mail, devoted to disability news and commentary. Presented by the Institute for Cultural Research for People with Disabilities (ICRPWD).

National Center on Disability & Journalism
Site devoted to educating journalists and educators about disability reporting issues.

Regional Centers

Association of Regional Center Agencies
Association of regional centers – advancing Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act


American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
AAIDD: The professional association run by and for professionals who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Disability Statistics Cornell University
The purpose of Disability Statistics Cornell University is to produce and disseminate statistical information on disability and the status of people with disabilities in American society, and establish and monitor indicators of how conditions are changing over time to meet their health, housing, economic and social needs.

Independent Living Research Utilization
Information on Olmstead decision and its application, ADA, managed care, health issues and international disability issues. Includes resources, related sites, discussion groups.

Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University: Research on significant public policies related to social sciences.


SCDD 2023 Evaluation of Participant Experience in California’s Self-Determination Program (Full Report)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReader

Center for Self-Determination
The Center for Self-Determination is a working collaboration of individuals and organizations committed to the principles of self-determination and to helping all persons create the lives they want, connected to and with their communities, and pursuing long-term relationships and economic futures.

SCDD 2021 Interim Self-Determination Program Report to the Legislature  

State Agency

California Department of Aging
Oversight agency for programs that serve older adults

California Department of Developmental Services
Agency providing services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities

California Department of Developmental Services – Safety Net
Health and safety information for persons with developmental disabilities

California Department of Education
Agency providing education services

California Department of Rehabilitation
Agency providing rehabilitation and employment services to persons with disabilities

Guide For People With Disabilities: Programs For Low-Cost Internet, Mobile Plans, And Digital Literacy

This guide explains how people with disabilities can receive low-cost internet and cellphone service and covers how to get free or low-cost devices and enroll in programs that foster digital literacy.

Objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources.

Communication Technology Education Center
Augmentative & alternative communication (AAC) services and assistive technology resources

DO-IT Program
“Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology.”

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Network of interdisciplinary Centers advancing public policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. Includes policy information, legislative testimony, special projects and resources.

Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities – UCD – M.I.N.D. Institute (UCEDD)
Providing university-based improvement of knowledge, policies and practices related to persons with disabilities and their families.

Tarjan Center – Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities – UCLA (UCEDD)
Providing university-based improvement of knowledge, policies and practices related to persons with disabilities and their families.

USC Childrens Hospital UCEDD
Providing university-based improvement of knowledge, policies and practices related to persons with disabilities and their families.



  • Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic: Abuse of People with Disabilities: A Silent Epidemic is a public service video produced by the Board Resource Center ( to encourage people with disabilities to speak up about abuse. Molly Kennedy and Kecia Weller are well known peer advocates in California who are taking a stand to stop abuse
  • Anti-Filicide Toolkit

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Early Start Resources

Family Resource Centers Network of California (FRCNCA)
First 5 California 

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Why Work is Better
Directory of Women’s Shelters

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Emergency Preparedness

Below is a selection of resources from Cal OES, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. These resources are intended to assist people with disabilities to become more familiar with disaster and emergency preparedness.

Online Voting Rights Resources

votebox icon

Your Voting Rights


Disability Rights California – Regional Center’s Responsibility to Help People Vote

What if I can’t sign my name?

League of Women Voters Info Page

University of Minnesota IMPACT Magazine on Voting (free online version)

Selection of Past Grants

Get Safe

Get Safe has developed a multi-tiered training program that provides practical information and necessary tools to ensure a safer lifestyle as well as more successful interactions with the complex and often intimidating legal system, from positive encounters with law enforcement to how to handle court proceedings.  Get Safe will provide training seminars for consumers, families, caregivers/service providers, and community professionals, that will teach attendees how to identify, respond and deescalate potentially dangerous and criminal behavior, reducing recidivism rates and adding to the overall safety of the community.

Progressive Employment Concepts  

This project will provide hand on training to staff and clients in the discovery and customized employment process leading to a customized employment outcome for a minimum of two individuals. This project will allow Progressive Employment Concepts to gain the tools needed to have continued success in finding jobs for the individuals we serve, especially those with higher support needs.

Rowell Family Empowerment of Northern California

Through the “Journey to Adulthood” program, RFENC will provide parents of teens and young adults with developmental disabilities training and support to educate their children about their bodies, personal care, safety, and social challenges using two (2) curriculums including , PACER’s national “Journey to Adulthood” and a grant developed training on media safety and peer acceptance.

Team of Adovocates for Special Kids (TASK)
Apps for All

TASKS’s Apps for All program will provide workshops and hands-on experience with assistive  technology for adults, children and their parents and professional.  Through workshops and individualized training, participants will learn about specialized mobile applications and iDevices and the potential communication and social skills benefits that apps can provide to people with developmental disabilities. 

Materiales de Capacitación y Publicaciones en Español




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