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​We envision a future where individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live fully integrated lives within their community. All people will have opportunities to share in all aspects of a full, productive, healthy, personally meaningful and satisfying life.

Think Ability

The Lanterman Act 

The Lanterman Act declares that persons with developmental disabilities have the same legal rights and responsibilities guaranteed all other persons by federal and state constitutions and laws, and charges the regional center with advocacy for, and protection of, these rights.

In addition to persons with intellectual disability, the regional centers are now mandated to serve persons with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, conditions similar to intellectual disability, or conditions that require treatment similar to the treatment required for individuals with intellectual disability. To be eligible for services under the Lanterman Act a Person must also have a "substantial disability."

In 1976, the Lanterman Act was amended to establish the right to treatment and habilitation services for persons with developmental disabilities.

The Lanterman Act was amended in 1998, which called for an advocacy coordinator to be employed at each of the 21 regional centers of California, therefore, making it become a law that those employed through the regional center, would be prohibited from serving on a regional center board of directors, in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

In 2003 the definition of "substantial disability" was prospectively amended to require the existence of significant functional limitations in "three or more of [..] areas of major life activity..",.[1] Previously, to have a "substantial disability" only required the existence of a significant functional limitation in one of the seven areas of major life activity.

Rights of the Disabled under the Act

  • The Lanterman Act protects the rights of people with developmental disabilities by mandating rights including:

  • Services that protect liberty, provided in the least restrictive (most integrated) way

  • Dignity, privacy and humane care

  • Treatment, services and supports in natural community settings, to the greatest extent possible

  • Participation in an appropriate program of publicly supported education regardless of the degree of disability

  • Prompt medical care and treatment

  • Freedom of religion and conscience, and freedom to practice religion

  • Social interaction and participation in community activities

  • Physical exercise and recreation

  • Freedom from harm, including unnecessary physical restraints, isolation, excessive medication, abuse or neglect

  • Freedom from hazardous procedures

  • Choices in one's own life, including where and with whom one chooses to live, relationships with people in the community, how to spend time (including education, employment and leisure), the pursuit of one's chosen personal future, and the planning and implementation of a plan that fits the needs and desires of the individual

  • The opportunity to make decisions and to have information understand to help make informed choices

 Abilities Expo
 Abilities Expo
Oct 29, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall
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