Office of the Ombudsperson

The Office of the Ombudsperson opens on December 1, 2022. Calls and messages will be returned once the office is open.

 

Responsibilities

The Ombudsperson assists regional center clients and their families to access their regional center services available under the Lanterman Act.

This Office can:

  1. Provides information to regional center clients and their families,
  2. Facilitates resolution to disagreements and complaints,
  3. Makes recommendations, and
  4. Compiles and reports data.

The Office of the Ombudsperson cannot:

  1. Decide disputes in favor of one party or another,
  2. Represent someone in the appeal process,
  3. Make a recommendation to a court or hearing officer, or
  4. Overturn a final hearing decision

If you need help with the Self-Determination Program, click here.

Ombudsperson Staff

Katie Hornberger, Acting Ombudsperson

Katie Hornberger’s career has been spent working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Ms. Hornberger was an Early Intervention teacher working toddlers with speech and language delays.  She also taught special education and did in home behavioral intervention for children with Autism.  She was an Educational Consultant vendor for Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center before joining Disability Rights California (DRC) as a Clients’ Rights Advocate in the Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy (OCRA).  Ms. Hornberger served as the advocate assigned to North Los Angeles County and Harbor Regional Center clients before becoming a supervisor.  She handled an assortment of matters including accessing regional center and educational services, pursuing public benefits and Adoption Assistance Program claims, and discrimination cases.  Ms. Hornberger also provided community trainings on a variety of topics.  In 2012, she became the Director of OCRA.  In that role, she managed the program, conducted policy work, participated in committees, and continued to provide community trainings.  Ms. Hornberger also managed the Work Incentives Program Assistance grant for three counties and the statewide Office of Payee Review and Beneficiary Assistance at DRC.  She came to DDS in September 2021 and set up the Office of the Self-Determination Ombudsperson.  She works on appeals process reform and other initiatives at DDS.

Ms. Hornberger holds a B.A. in Sociology, cum laude, from the University of California at Irvine and a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Shanna Holzer, Staff Services Manager II

Shanna brings a wealth of knowledge to her role. She has a degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration. Her experience running a Sexual Assault Crisis Agency enables her to delicately handle stressful situations where people need assistance and support quickly. She also worked with a large vendor as the Program Director for the Family Home Agency division. Ms. Holzer has been working at DDS in the FHA Monitoring division for the past 3 years. She is excited to help ensure people with disabilities have access to services and supports they need in the least restrictive environment.

December Robinson, Associate Government Policy Analyst

December has extensive history working with regional center clients and their families.  She worked at both Lanterman and Fairview Developmental Centers while they were closing and moving residents to the community.   Most recently Ms. Robinson has been working at California Correction Health Care Services in the Nursing Service Section.  She is excited to get back to working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help them resolve problems.

Sangita Prasad, Associate Government Policy Analyst

Sangita has spent her whole career working with people with disabilities.  Ms. Prasad started as an Early Intervention Teacher and was also a classroom aide.  She then began working at South Central Los Angeles Regional Center as a Community Navigator and then was promoted to Navigator-Specialist.  Ms. Prasad is happy to be able to inform and assist families in a new way.

Vacant:

  • Ombudsperson

Resources

Information will be added here when it becomes available.


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Last modified: November 18, 2022