Can I access both SELPA and Regional Center services?
Both SELPAs and Regional Centers provide Early Start services for children 0–3, which can be somewhat confusing. SELPAs that receive both state and federal funding are considered “dual providers,” and can provide any services a child is eligible for, as can Regional Center (if the child is RC–eligible). If a SELPA receives only federal funding, they can only provide services for children with what the IDEA categorizes as a low-incidence disability — visual impairment, deaf and hard of hearing, and/or orthopedic impairment — but not if the child is already receiving Regional Center services. Services that a SELPA could provide to a child with an eligible low-incidence disability include physical, occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy, as well as assistive technology (AT). If a child has both a low-incidence disability and a cognitive impairment, medical needs, and/or developmental disabilities, Regional Center would provide these services as the payer of last resort.
For more information, see our article How Do We Pay For It All? Undivided’s Guide to Funding Resources.