What is Regional Center?
The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) describes Regional Centers as “nonprofit private corporations that contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities.” Although each Regional Center is run independently and may vary slightly in operating policy and funded services and supports, the scope and parameters of Regional Center services and responsibilities are codified in California law by the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act, and also by Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which governs early intervention services from ages 0 to 3. Eligible consumers throughout the state are generally assigned to Regional Centers based on their county. Within Los Angeles County, consumers are assigned by zip code, and DDS offers a searchable zip-code look-up tool on their website.
For more information about what to expect from Regional Center services, check out our article Regional Center Eligibility and Services: Early Intervention (0–36 months).