Monday, June 8, 2009

Regional Centers Denying services

Seems like everything I say, write and think about lately starts with "in the current economic climate..." but the truth is little has changed for my kid at school or in the regional center. For five years, Regional Center has denied Augmentative Communication services and devices for my child at home. This year, they may provide them. It seems like they should have all along, under the Lanterman Act. That is also what Protection and Advocacy described in a Q&A for families. 

A friend and local advocate shared this thought with me:

"Now more than ever the process involves getting the denial in writing and then appealing it.  Every family is being asked to take a cut in services and only those that appeal are even getting consideration.  It's wrong, very wrong, but that is how the RC is operating currently.  Complaints to the Client's Rights Advocate at Disability Rights California (formerly PAI), should be copied to the case manager, the supervisor of the unit, and, in Concord, Ella Liggins, the Associate Director of Consumer Services.  In the main office in Oakland,  Pam Thomas is the Director of Consumer Services, and the Executive Director of RCEB is Jim Burton.  I recognize that it is a few extra copies to send but until the RC gets the message that parents are not going to stand for unreasonable cuts, it may be necessary.  Another critical part of this process is to be certain that all services are written in the IPP.  While this sounds like a given, many parents have discussed services with the case manager and they have never been transferred to the IPP. It sounds simple but it is not always done."