Shared Responsibility: Empowering Parents and Clients with I/DD through Inland Regional Center Resources

Dr. CJ Cook, DBABlog

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

A collaborative effort between parents, clients, and service providers is crucial in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Inland Regional Center (IRC) stands as a beacon of hope and support, offering various resources and platforms to foster independence, growth, and inclusion for those with I/DD. However, to maximize the benefits of these resources, a shared responsibility among parents, clients, and IRC is essential.

Understanding Shared Responsibility

Shared responsibility involves active participation from all parties involved in the care and development of individuals with I/DD. It is a collaborative approach where parents and clients take an active role in seeking information, utilizing resources, and engaging with the services provided by IRC. This partnership is built on mutual respect, open communication, and a commitment to the well-being and progress of the client.

The Role of Parents

Parents are often the primary advocates for their children with I/DD. Their role encompasses:

  1. Advocacy and Empowerment: Parents are the voice of their children, ensuring their needs and preferences are communicated and met. By staying informed about the latest programs, services, and opportunities available through IRC, parents can advocate effectively for their child’s rights and needs.
  2. Active Participation: Attending workshops, training sessions, and support groups offered by IRC can empower parents with the knowledge and skills necessary to support their child’s development. Engaging with other parents and professionals fosters a supportive community and shared learning.
  3. Information Seeking: Proactively seeking information about IRC’s services, upcoming events, and policy changes ensures that parents are well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of I/DD services. Utilizing IRC’s website, newsletters, and social media channels can provide valuable insights and updates.

The Role of Clients

Clients with I/DD can also play a significant role in their own development:

  1. Self-Advocacy: Encouraging clients to express their preferences, goals, and concerns is vital. Self-advocacy fosters independence and helps clients take ownership of their personal growth and development.
  2. Engagement in Services: Actively participating in programs, therapies, and activities provided by IRC can enhance clients’ skills and social interactions. Engaging with peers and professionals in a supportive environment contributes to overall well-being.
  3. Utilizing Resources: Clients should be encouraged to explore and utilize the resources available to them, whether it’s through assistive technology, recreational programs, Client Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings, or educational opportunities provided by IRC.

The Role of Inland Regional Center

IRC is dedicated to supporting individuals with I/DD and their families through comprehensive services and resources. The center’s responsibilities include:

  1. Providing Comprehensive Information: IRC offers a wealth of information on their website, including program details, eligibility criteria, and upcoming events. Ensuring that this information is accessible and up-to-date is crucial for effective service delivery.
  2. Facilitating Communication: Open lines of communication between IRC, parents, and clients are essential. Regular updates through newsletters, emails, and social media platforms help keep everyone informed and engaged.
  3. Offering Support and Training: IRC conducts various training sessions, workshops, and support groups to empower parents and clients. These programs are designed to enhance skills, provide emotional support, and create a network of resources for families.

Embracing the Platforms Provided by IRC

In today’s digital age, IRC leverages multiple platforms to disseminate information and connect with families:

  1. Website: The IRC website is a comprehensive resource hub offering detailed information about services, programs, and events. It is an essential tool for parents and clients to stay informed and access necessary resources.
  2. Social Media: IRC’s social media channels provide real-time updates, event announcements, and valuable content related to I/DD. Engaging with these platforms allows families to stay connected and informed.
  3. Newsletters and Emails: Quarterly newsletters and emails from IRC keep families updated on the latest news, policy changes, and upcoming opportunities. Subscribing to these communications ensures that important information is never missed.

The Consequences of “No One Told Me” Despite IRC’s Wealth of Resources

In the realm of supporting individuals with I/DD, IRC is distinguished by its extensive array of resources and information platforms. Despite these efforts, the phrase “No one told me” can still surface, revealing a lack of shared responsibility that can stifle collaboration and hinder progress.


Shared responsibility is essential for empowering parents and clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through the resources provided by the Inland Regional Center (IRC). By fostering a collaborative approach where parents, clients, and IRC actively participate, seek information, and engage with available services, we can ensure the best outcomes for individuals with I/DD. Clear communication, mutual respect, and a commitment to shared goals are key to maximizing the benefits of IRC’s extensive resources. Together, we can create a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes independence, growth, and well-being for all.

Posted by:

Dr. CJ Cook, DBA

As Program Administrator, CJ is responsible for the proactive oversight of various units within IRC, including Community Management, Service Access and Equity, and Training and Development. CJ's oversight extends to Language Access and Cultural Competency (LACC), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), equity in the Purchase of Service (POS), and the National Core Indicator (NCI) project. Furthermore, CJ is tasked with managing the IRC's Performance Contract with DDS and overseeing Emergency Services.

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