SB 683 will increase transparency and accountability in two important ways for the state’s 21 regional centers.
- Require regional center websites to conform to a standardized format developed by the State Department of Developmental Services (DDS) with stakeholder input.
- Require regional centers to provide any quantitative data available to the public in a machine readable format.
The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Act) requires the State Department of Developmental Services to contract with private nonprofit corporations for the establishment of regional centers to provide services and support to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Existing law requires the department and regional centers to annually collaborate to compile specified data relating to their regional center and to post the data specific to that regional center on its internet website.
The California Public Records Act provides that public records of a state or local agency are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency. Every person has a right to inspect any public record, except as provided in the act. A state agency is defined as every state office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, and commission.
Regional centers are independent, nonprofit agencies that are the official point of entry to the state’s service system for people with developmental disabilities and their families. For over 300,000 Californians with developmental disabilities, their regional center is where service starts.
Unfortunately, adverse incidents occasionally occur that result in strained relationships between consumers/families and the regional center. While such incidents may be rare, their occurrence can erode trust among consumers and family members. In order for consumers to receive maximum benefit from the Act, the relationship between consumers/families and regional center staff must be strong, with open lines of communication.
SB 683 will provide people with developmental disabilities and their families more transparency from their regional centers by increasing accountability, laying the foundation for a strong relationship based on trust that will benefit the consumer.
The bill will help address more consumer access to information on the internet. It will require DDS to determine an appropriate standardized internet website format and to provide those requirements to the regional centers on or before June 30, 2020, as well as, by January 1, 2021 provide quantitative data that is available to the public in a machine readable format upon request.
Regional centers are critical partners in ensuring that persons with developmental disabilities receive the services to which they are entitled.
Consumers of regional center services and consumers’ family members need access to appropriate information. SB 683 is a modest measure that will help ensure there is accountability and transparency at all regional centers.
Disability Voices United