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DDS Logo California Department of Developmental Services
1600 Ninth Street
P. O. Box 944202
Sacramento, CA 94244-2020
Info: (916) 654-1690
TTY: (916) 654-2054

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Implementation Updates


Updates on the status of the program will be posted to this page as they become available. If you want to be notified when updates are made, please email sdp@dds.ca.gov and ask to be included on the notification list.

Implementation of the Self-Determination Program is contingent upon approval of federal funding. The Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in consultation with stakeholders, drafted a 1915 (c) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver application that was initially submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on December 31, 2014 and formally resubmitted on September 29, 2015. Once the Waiver is approved, the SDP will be available for up to 2,500 participants during the first three years of the program.

AUGUST 18, 2017

The Department will hold trainings on the Self-Determination Program (SDP) at five locations throughout the state in September 2017 and October 2017.

The training is designed as a train-the-trainer meeting, and will be specific to learning how to conduct a SDP Informational Meeting. The SDP Informational Meeting is required before an individual can be added to the candidate list from which the Department will randomly select the first 2,500 SDP participants. This training is open to regional centers, local consumer or family-run organizations, and community-based organizations interested in voluntarily conducting SDP Informational Meetings in their region. A community-based organization is a public or private organization of demonstrated effectiveness that is representative of a community, or significant segments of a community, and provides educational or related services to individuals in the community.

For more information about these trainings, please see the letter sent to community-based organizations dated August 18, 2017, along with the flyer. Questions about these trainings can be submitted to the Department via email at sdp@dds.ca.gov.

DECEMBER 21, 2015

As noted in previous updates, the Department submitted the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver application for the Self-Determination Program to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in September of this year. As part of its standard waiver review and approval process, CMS sent a letter to the State asking questions about, and requesting more information on, specific sections in the Self-Determination Program Waiver Application. Following the normal process, the Department will work through the Department of Health Care Services to provide written responses to answer CMS' questions and secure approval of the waiver. Questions about this process can be submitted to the Department via email at sdp@dds.ca.gov.

October 9, 2015

The Self-Determination Program Waiver Application was formally resubmitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on September 29, 2015. A summary of the comments received during the public comment period, which ended September 7, 2015, can be found on page 7 of the application.

August 7, 2015

  • At the request of the federal government, new language was added to the Self-Determination Program (SDP) Waiver application describing how homes and settings where SDP participants will reside and receive services meet the requirements of the federal home and community-based settings rules that became effective in March 2014. As a result of this change, the Department is required to repost the Waiver application for at least 30 days. The Waiver application will be formally resubmitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shortly after the public comment period, which ends on September 7, 2015. Comments or requests to review a hardcopy of the application can be submitted via email at sdp@dds.ca.gov, by phone at (916) 653-7710, or in writing to the Department, Attention Community Services Division, 1600 Ninth Street, Room 320, MS 3-8, Sacramento, CA 95814.

» Self-Determination Program Waiver Application 8/7/15

SDP Local Volunteer Advisory Committees

  • All local volunteer advisory committees formed to provide oversight of the SDP have met at least once. California Government Code requires that these meetings to be open to the public and conducted in accordance with all the requirements of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. See the memo that was forwarded to regional center executive directors.

June 5, 2015

The following is an update on activities and information related to implementation of the Self-Determination Program (SDP); specifically, the status of the SDP Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); the establishment of the SDP Local Volunteer Advisory Committees; and, the SDP enrollment process.

SDP Waiver Application Status

As required by law, securing federal funding is necessary to implement the SDP. To that end, an HCBS Waiver application was submitted to CMS on December 31, 2014. Subsequently, CMS asked follow-up questions related to recently enacted federal regulations and policies regarding 1) public input for Waiver applications; and, 2) federal requirements for HCBS settings. The Department, in conjunction with the Department of Health Care Services, has had a number of discussions with CMS and provided follow-up information CMS requested. CMS is currently reviewing the final draft of the plan to address the public input and settings requirements. During a conference call on May 1, 2015, CMS stated their conceptual agreement with the plan. As such, it is anticipated CMS will soon provide direction to move forward with the Wavier application. At that time, the revised Waiver application will be posted on the Department's website for 30 days prior to being formally resubmitted to CMS. Once resubmitted, CMS will have 90 days to take one of three actions on the Waiver application: approve; deny; or request additional information. In the event CMS requests additional information to clarify other portions of the Waiver application, it is feasible that there may be an extended review period beyond the 90 days.

Additional SDP Implementation Activities and Updates

Federal approval of the Waiver application is just one of the many steps that must be taken prior to implementation of the SDP. Following are key updates:

  • Local Volunteer Advisory Committees — As required by law, each regional center must establish a Local Volunteer Advisory Committee to ensure effective implementation of the SDP and facilitate the sharing of best practices and training materials. Members of these committees are appointed by the regional center and the Regional Office of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). The committee members must include consumers, family members, the regional center clients' rights advocate, other advocates and community leaders, and must reflect the multicultural diversity and geographic profile of the catchment area. Based on an agreement between SCDD, the Association of Regional Center Agencies, Disability Rights California and the Department, each Local Volunteer Advisory Committee will establish their local advisory committee and hold their first meeting no later than July 1, 2015.
  • SDP Enrollment Process — During the first three years of the SDP, enrollment is limited to 2,500 consumers. To guide the selection of these 2,500 consumers, the SDP stakeholder advisory group identified the following steps as necessary for a fair and equitable process.
    • Outreach — Consumers and families must be aware of self-determination as an option. To assist with the provision of widespread outreach and awareness of the SDP, the Department is developing an informational video that features consumers and families currently in the self-determination pilot project as well as those who are interested in the SDP. The informational video, which will be available in multiple languages, will be completed in the summer of 2015.
    • Information — Once aware of SDP, consumers and families must be informed about this new option, including the new opportunities and increased responsibilities. Therefore, interested consumers and families will be required to participate in an informational/pre-enrollment meeting covering topics identified by the Department, including, information regarding the principles of self-determination, the role of the financial management services provider and the development of an individual budget. It is important people have this detailed information prior to being considered for enrollment in the SDP.
    • Selection — Regional centers will forward to the Department the names of those who have participated in an informational/pre-enrollment meeting and are interested in participating in the SDP. To ensure the SDP is available on an equitable basis, the number of participants in each regional center will be based on the relative percentage of total consumers served by all regional centers, minus the remaining self-determination pilot project participants. The Department will then randomly select the participants based on the following demographic factors within each regional center: age, gender, ethnicity and disability diagnosis. Consumers not initially selected will remain on the interest list for potential future openings. A more detailed description of the enrollment process is outlined in the link below.
  • Self-Determination Program Enrollment

December 31, 2014

The Department is pleased to announce that on December 31, 2014, a Home and Community-Based Services Waiver application seeking federal funding for the Self-Determination Program was submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A copy of the Waiver application is available below. We are very appreciative of the significant efforts of the stakeholder advisory group that has been instrumental in assisting the Department in completing the Waiver application, and we look forward to getting continued input from a wide range of sources as we progress toward implementing the program.

As required by law, securing federal funding is necessary in order to implement the Self-Determination Program. CMS has 90 days to take one of three actions on the Waiver application (approve; deny; or request additional information). It is very likely CMS will request additional information to clarify information in the Waiver application which will lead to an extended review period beyond the initial 90 days.

While CMS is reviewing the Waiver application, there is still much work to do including the development of training and informational materials regarding Self-Determination. We'll continue to post progress updates on the Self-Determination Program website as we move toward implementation.

October 21, 2014

The Self-Determination Program advisory group has drafted a proposed list of services and their definitions that will be available in the Self-Determination Program pending federal approval. Follow the links below to view the proposed list of services and a draft of the definitions.

If you would like provide feedback, please email sdp@dds.ca.gov with any suggestions or input.

June 11, 2014

A Self-Determination Program (SDP) advisory group has been formed to assist DDS in shaping the framework of the SDP based on the law that authorizes the program. The advisory group consists of a broad array of stakeholders including consumers, family members, service providers, regional centers, advocacy groups and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

The advisory group meetings began in December 2013. Discussions to date have included determining the preferred option for seeking federal funding and establishing priorities for completing the many steps necessary to implement the program. Priorities established and progress thus far includes:

  • Established training requirements that will be included in the Waiver application. Next steps include the development of training materials and the plan for providing training.
  • Established workgroup to determine the services that will be included in the SDP and Waiver application.
  • Established workgroup to determine the requirements for service provider background checks.
  • Established equitable method for determining the number of SDP participants in each regional center for the first three years.
  • Other priorities that will be addressed soon include:
    • Establishing monitoring and oversight requirements
    • Determining how participants will be selected during the first three years
    • Establishing local advisory committees
Last Updated: 10/5/2017