Self-Determination Program



Are you curious about Regional Center’s Self-Determination Program and how it might improve your child’s services and supports? Learn all about who is eligible, the benefits of a person-centered plan, and how to take advantage of this program.

What is the Self-Determination Program?

Regional Center’s Self-Determination Program (SDP) gives people with disabilities more freedom to choose the services and supports that help them meet their goals. The participant is given an individualized budget and uses it to decide what services they’d like and who should provide them. (Note that providers don’t need to be Regional Center vendors and can even be family members). For more on how SDP works with ABA, other public benefits, and more, check out these clips of our conversation with Independent Facilitator and owner of Empower Person-Centered Planning Sandra McElwee.



What is the Self-Determination Program?

How does Self-Determination help with unmet needs?

Why do I need to attend a person-centered planning meeting?

Related Parent Questions

How do I get started with the Self-Determination Program?
Let your Regional Center service coordinator know that you are interested in transitioning to the Self-Determination Program. Contact your Regional Center to find and attend an orientation.
How do I make a Self-Determination Program budget and plan?
Participants have three options for support in creating their Self-Determination plan: hire a facilitator, use your Regional Center service coordinator, or manage it yourself.
Who is eligible for the Self-Determination Program?
Those who have a developmental disability and receive services from a Regional Center are eligible for SDP, but children who are enrolled in the Early Start Program are not eligible.
Can I add my child’s social-recreational services and therapies to their Self-Determination budget?
Families will likely need approval to add social-recreational services and therapies to their budget unless they are shifting around less than 10% of the total. If you aren’t currently using SDP, you can request an IPP meeting to access these services.
Should I enroll my child in the Self-Determination Program?
The Self-Determination Program (SDP) gives people with disabilities more freedom, control, and responsibility to choose the services and supports that help them meet their goals and be fully included in their community.

Latest Resources


Promise Image
Each piece of content has been rigorously researched, edited, and vetted to bring you the latest and most up-to-date information. Learn more about our content and research process here.
A Navigator is your Partner at each turn
Every Undivided Navigator has years of experience supporting families raising kids with disabilities or parenting their own. Partner with an Undivided Navigator for a free Kickstart to learn first hand what support feels like!
Identify near-term goals and priorities
Develop a vision for your child and family
Map out strategies to execute near- and long-term goals
“It’s so helpful to have one place that you can go to get many answers.”–Leeza Woodbury, with Navigator Kelly since 2020
*Currently offering Navigator Kickstarts to residents of California