By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
The Assembly Select Committee on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities works to assist all Californians with developmental disabilities (I/DD) through advocacy and research, and by acting as an information resource as the Legislature develops policies impacting California’s I/DD population, estimated at just under 630,000 in 2017.
As a member of this important committee, Chaired by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Fairfield), I am very pleased that a public hearing was recently held in San Diego to discuss the needs of this region’s I/DD community. These needs include housing, transportation, education, employment, healthcare services and much more.
At the hearing, administrators, including Carlos Flores, Executive Director of the San Diego Regional Center, care providers, advocates and most importantly, I/DD community members, provided insights about their experiences at local Regional Centers directly to lawmakers tasked with making decisions that directly impact their lives. Regional Centers are private non-profits under contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide support services for I/DD individuals. California’s 21 Regional Centers are each governed by a board of directors; half are persons with developmental disabilities or family members, and 25% must be clients. Today’s Regional Centers are a vast improvement over State Hospitals of past decades that merely warehoused the developmentally disabled.
Input is essential in developing policies impacting our most vulnerable citizens and in helping to evaluate the performance of our Regional Centers. This is especially important since the last Developmental Centers will soon close as we move away from institutional living. Policy makers must hear directly from I/DD individuals about how the policies we develop affect them.
If you, or a loved one, are served by one of the state’s Regional Centers, please give us some feedback about how the Centers are doing by completing a survey at: https://idd.assembly.ca.gov/
We need to hear from you!
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.