How to be eligible for Self-determination?  

The Child /Adult is Officially in Self-determination !

Our Mission Statement

Our goal is to train you, the consumer or parents/guardians, to become independent facilitators of your own program.  The main idea is for you to learn how to find the right services, track progress, its effectiveness, make necessary changes, and control your own program and budget. Therefore, we will develoep those skills and putting that  power in your hands, so you can decide and eventually divert the independent facilitator's funds through more needed services and support programs for the consumer.

What is Self-determination?

sports- self determination

         Self-determination is broadly defined as having abilities and opportunities to steer one’s life in a direction that contributes to a personally satisfying life.  Equipping individuals with the skills, attitudes, and opportunities to play an active and prominent role in their community and planning for their future is now considered a best practice in the field of special education.

        Over the last several decades a new way of planning services for people with disabilities has been developed.  It’s called Person-centered Planning (PCP).  It is a discovery process that helps find the balance between what is important TO the individual and what is important FOR the individual. 

Self-determination refers to the right of a client to make their own decisions and choices.   

         Self-determination is defined as the personal decision to do something or think a certain way.  An example of self-determination is making the decision to run a marathon without asking anyone's opinion. The right of a people to decide upon their own political preference or form of organizing a room, select his/her clothes, without outside influence.

Want to know more about Self- Determination in California?

Why Select  SOS Ayuda Legal as your Independent Facilitator?


SOS Ayuda Legal, under Yo  Domino Mi IEP  is a  team of highly trained professionals who are certified as PCP and Independent Facilitators in the State of California.  We are  Spanish natives, with over 40 years of experience in the field of special education,  child development, applied behavior analysis (ABA), IEP process and educational advocacy,  paralegal, mediation,  program organization, and management.

We have been training, effectively hundreds of families with children with disabilities to understand the law and the step-by-step special education process, and its institutions.  In addition, we have been one of the initial self-determination professionals who, successfully work under the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) pilot families' program.

PCPC The Learning Community Rodgers 2019

Our Professional  Fees

Personal-Centered Plan (PCP)

$2,500 / Flat Rate

  • PCP, Budget , FMS Selection & Spending Plan

Independent Facilitator Services

$87/ Hour

  • Mínimum 10 hours a Month

Note:  A written contract and the  HIPAA Compliance agreement need to be signed by both parties, before providing any services, as it is required by the State of California. 

We Serve the following Regional Centers:

Self determination

Service Providers List Per Regional Center

DDS Transparency & Data

To inform policy and enhance oversight, the Department of  Developmental Services (DDS) collects data from many different parts of the service delivery system, including individuals and families. In this section of the website, you can find Regional Center a list of the service providers for each regional center.  UPDATED Dec 22, 2023.

The DDS's Flowchart for Self-Determination Program

The DDS' Flowchart in Your Language

Click to view the DDS's Self-Determination Program Flowchart in your language:  Spanish, Arabic, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Tagalog, or Vietnamese.

SDP_FlowchartEnglish_08082019 ENGLSIGH

The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities


Californians with developmental disabilities are guaranteed the same full and equal opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as all Americans.

The Council advocates promote and implement policies and practices that achieve self-determination, independence, productivity, and inclusion in all aspects of community life for Californians with developmental disabilities and their families.

What is the State Council on Developmental Disabilities?
The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is established by federal law (Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act) and state law (Lanterman Act at Welfare and Institutions Code, section 4520 et. seq.). SCDD is to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the planning, design, and receipt of the services and supports they need which promote increased independence, productivity, inclusion, and self-determination. Federal law requires SCDD to identify methods to improve and increase services for individuals and their families and to submit these to the federal government in the form of a State Plan. The State Plan is approved by the federal Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). AIDD is the funding source for SCDD and its State Plan Activities. SCDD and its regional offices’ primary work is achieving the State Plan goals, objectives, and strategies.

                     California State Council on Developmental Disabilities Representatives

 Orange County Regional Office 

Orange County Map


Main Office
2000 E. Fourth Street, Suite 115
Santa Ana, CA 92705

(714) 558-4404
Fax: (714) 558-4704

CRA/VAS Office
Fairview Developmental Center
2501 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-6179

Scarlett vonThenen
(714) 558-4404

Christine C. Tolbert
(714) 558-4404

Charles Nguyen
Office Technician

(714) 558-4404

 SCDD Los Angeles Office 


Main Office
411 N. Central Avenue, Suite 620
Glendale, CA 91203

(818) 543-4631
Fax: (818) 543-4635

Christofer Arroyo
(818) 543-4631

Jonathan Arevalo-Parrish
QA Coordinator
(818) 543-4631

Marina Bchtikian
Administrative Assistant
(818) 543-4631

Sofia Cervantes
(818) 543-4631

Brianna Reynoso
QA Coordinator
(818) 543-4631

Jenny Villanueva
QA Coordinator
(818) 548-3007


San Diego Imperial Regional Office

                     CONTACT US

Main Office

8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 1015
San Diego, CA 92108-1634

(619) 688-3323
Fax: (619) 688-3296

Mary Ellen Stives

Debbie Marshall

Suzanna Szewiola
Office Technician

Viridiana Salgado
Information & Outreach Intern

San Diego Imperial Regional Office

                 CONTACT US

Main Office
685 East Carnegie Drive, Suite 125
San Bernardino, CA 92408

(909) 890-1259
Fax: (909) 890-1635

CRA/VAS Office
Canyon Springs
69-696 Ramon Road
Cathedral City, CA 92234-3353

Tamica Foots-Rachal

Alejandra Rivera
Associate Governmental Program Analyst (AGPA)

Robbin Puccio
Client's' Rights Advocate (CRA)

Julie Hillstead
Volunteer Advocacy Services (VAS) Coordinator

Carol Nakamura-Robinson
Community Program Specialist II
Quality Assessment Coordinator

Valarie Macias
Office Technician

Personal-Centered Plan


Person-Centered Plan ( PCP)

According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), "person-centered planning (PCP) is a process for selecting and organizing the services and supports that an older adult or person with a disability may need to live in the community. Most important, it is a process that is directed by the person who receives the support."

ACL stated as well that "PCP helps the person construct and articulate a vision for the future, consider various paths, engage in decision-making and problem solving, monitor progress, and make needed adjustments in a timely manner. It highlights individual responsibility, including taking appropriate risks (for example, whether arranging for backup staff is needed). Emergency planning is often part of the process."

As noted by the ACL, "the PCP approach identifies the person’s strengths, goals, medical needs, needs for home- and community-based services, and desired outcomes. The approach also identifies the person’s preferences in areas such as recreation, transportation, friendships, therapies and treatments, housing, vocational training and employment, family relationships, and social activities. Unique factors such as culture and language also are addressed." (Reference: ACL Person-Centered Planning) The PCP builds and describes the person’s vision for their future.     These elements should and need to be included in a written plan for supporting the person, which is developed based on those considerations.

Regional Center Directives - Read before continuing.  Very important

It is very important that consumers and families are aware that on a regular basis DDS is updating REGIONAL CENTER DIRECTIVES, in regard to Self Determination in California.

Please, before you agree and sign a PCP budget or  Spending Plan, review the following information.  Some Regional Centers and  Independent Facilitators are not aware of these DDS updates about  Self Determination.  For more information CLICK HERE

COVID-19 Updated: August 25, 2021

Why is it so important? 

This waiver has been effective since October 1, 2020, and it  was approved to allow participants of the
Self-Determination Program (SDP) to repurpose waived fees for different and/or additional SDP services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

In short,  the state will cover the FMS cost, so the consumer can allocate these funds for additional necessary services.

How to Select the Right Professional to Develop A Succesful Personal-Centered Plan?

It is your Future - Select Right

Self-Determination starts with person-centered planning.  The importance of selecting a PCP professional who knows the RC system, the self-determination process, and the importance of creating a complete, detailed, and personal centered PC plan is crucial.   The initial PCP will serve as the basis of future one. as it is a process of learning how a person wants to live,  preferences, choices, and abilities while involving family, friends, and professionals as personal desire or requires.

The most important part of selecting the right PC Plan professional, if the capacity to listen, work as a team, respect the consumer's desires and goals, and work together in helping the consumer to address these needs, preferences, and desires.

business meeting with mediation

 Charateristics of All Person-Centered Plan Professional

  1. Person-Directed–The plan for the individual is that the person’s vision of what he or she would like to do. The plan is not static but rather it changes as new opportunities and obstacles arise.
  2.  Capacity Building–Planning focuses on the person’s gifts, talents, and skills rather than on deficits. It builds upon the individual’s capacities and affords opportunities that will reasonably encourage individuals to engage in activities that promote a sense of belonging to the community.
  3. Person-Centered–The focus is continually on the person for whom the plan is being developed and not on plugging the person into available slots in a program. The individual’s choices and preferences must be honored.
  4. Network Building–This is the process of bringing people together who care about the person and are committed to helping the person articulate their vision of a desirable future. They learn together and invent new courses of action to make the vision a reality.
  5. Outcome-Based–The plan focuses on increasing any or all of the following experiences which are based on the individual:
    • Growing in relationships or having friends.
    • Contributing or performing functional/meaningful activities.
    • Sharing ordinary places or being part of their own community.
    • Gaining respect or having a valued role that expresses their gifts and talents.
    • Making choices that are meaningful and express individual identity.

      6. Community Accountability – The plan will assure adequate supports when there are issues of health and safety while respecting a                      according to their dignity as fully participating members of the community.

     7.  Strong mediation skills and the capacity to determine when the self-determination of a client is at risk.

The Disability Voice United offers key information about finding the right Self-Determination provider for you,  and what questions to ask.  Click for more information about  Finding the Right Providers

The Individual Budget  & Spending Plan

The Individual Budget

The individual budget is the amount of funding available to you to purchase the services and supports you need to implement your IPP. For current regional center consumers, the budget will equal the total expenditures (not authorized services) made by the regional center on your services during the past 12 months.

Your Individual Budget will not be increased to include the costs for the independent facilitator or the financial management service.

According to The Self-Determination Interchange, "For current regional center consumers, the budget for Self-Determination Program participants will equal the amount the regional center spent on your services during the past 12 months. 

For a participant who is new to the regional center system or does not have 12 months of previous expenditures, the IPP team will determine the services and supports needed and available resources based on the average cost paid by the regional center for a similar person unless the regional center determines that you have unique needs that require a higher or lower cost. " 

                      Click here for more information


 Spending Plan 

The Spending Plan, which identifies the type and amount of all the needed services and supports to achieve your goals and ensure your health and safety. The spending plan must identify the cost of each service, activity, or item that will be purchased with your SDP budget. This includes the cost of the FMS, which is a required service for all SDP participants, and the independent facilitator. In addition to wages, costs for employee benefits, payroll taxes, and insurance must be included when determining the cost of each service. The total spending plan amount cannot exceed the individual budget amount. The spending plan will get attached to the IPP.

For more information on the development of the individual budget, spending plan, and how it can be changed, you can look at the following:

  1. DDS guidance on individual budgets.
  2. DDS  Self-Determination Program – Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Management Service ( FMS )


1. What are Financial Management Services?

Financial Management Services (FMS) helps participants manage their individual budgets by paying bills and managing the payroll for support workers.

2. Does everyone have to have an FMS provider?

Yes. The participant is required to utilize the services of an FMS provider of his or her
choosing. The FMS provider must be a vendor of a regional center to provide any services to consumers.

3. Who pays for the cost of my FMS provider?

The cost of the FMS provider will be paid by the participant out of his or her individual budget.  The SDP offers additional flexibility and options regarding who provides services and supports, including non-vendor providers. As a result, the amount the participant pays for a service could be less under the SDP.

4. In the co-employer model, is it possible for the person receiving services and their family to be part of the interview process and/or develop the interview questions?

Yes. The participant and any person selected and directed by the participant can be as
involved as they choose to be with.

5. Who can be a Financial Management Services Provider?

Any entity or person, except a relative or legal guardian, chosen by the participant and meets the qualifications may be a Financial Management Services provider.

6. As a Self-Determination Program participant, would I pay my providers directly and get reimbursed by the Financial Management Services entity, or would I submit the expenses to the Financial Management Services entity for payment to my providers?

Neither. The Financial Management Services Provider will pay providers directly.

7. For individuals needing 24-hour supportive services, is overtime pay applicable
whether the co-employment model or fiscal employer agent is selected?

Each participant will need to work with their Financial Management Services Provider to determine when overtime pay is appropriate and/or required.

DDS Financial Management Service (FMS) Contact List

Self-Determination Program Service Codes by Budget Category

(949) 326- 6612

Hablamos Español 



600 W Santa Ana Blvd, Suite 206,    Santa Ana, CA 92701

Across from The USCIS Federal Building 

Monday - Friday: 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday - Pre-Pay Appointment ONLY

Sunday: Closed


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