- begins before an individual reaches age 18;
- is something that goes on throughout an individual’s life;
- is a substantial disability for the individual; and
- requires assistance in the individual’s daily life.
Developmental disabilities include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. It does not include people who have only physical, learning, or mental health challenges.
Millions of people have developmental disabilities. These conditions touch families of all racial, ethnic, and social backgrounds.
Our residents are clients of the Golden Gate Regional Center, which is one of 21 nonprofit regional centers in the state of California that provides services and support for people with developmental disabilities. The Golden Gate Regional Center covers the Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties. Prospective clients’ families should contact the regional center for information about the process of qualifying for residential services. Further information can be obtained at www.ggrc.org.
The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) provides funding through the regional centers for services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The DDS website at www.dds.ca.gov is a valuable source of information about eligibility criteria for services.
People with developmental disabilities have the same rights and responsibilities as any other U.S. citizen. The Lanterman Act, passed into California law in the 1970s, is a key piece of legislation that defines the rights of the developmentally disabled population. Cornerstone Community Homes fully supports the rights of developmentally disabled people to have an active, choice-filled life at home and in the community. “A Consumer’s Guide to the Lanterman Act” is available on the DDS website.
The rights of developmentally disabled individuals who live in adult residential facilities are also protected by California regulations through the Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division, which can be accessed through the website www.ccld.ca.gov.