Consumers and Families

Welcome IRC Consumers and Families! This page was designed to help you learn about how Regional Centers operate, how IRC provides services, and the roles Service Coordinators play in your service plan. You will also find definitions for frequently used terms, information about IRC documents/forms, and what to do if you disagree with a decision made by the Regional Center. If you have any questions about the information presented here, please contact IRC’s Community Engagement team.

A Consumer is a child or adult with developmental disabilities who receives Regional Center services.

Frequently Used Terms

Inland Regional Center, along with 20 other Regional Centers in the state of California, was established by the Lanterman Act, a law passed in 1969. The Lanterman Act ensures that people with developmental disabilities receive supports and services to live the most independent and productive lives possible. The Lanterman Act defines which diagnoses make someone eligible for Regional Center services, what types of supports/programs will be provided, how program plans are developed, and much more. Also, frequently used terms like Consumer, CSC, and IPP, come directly from the Lanterman Act.

DDS/Lanterman and Related Laws | Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (PDF) | Consumer’s Guide (EnglishSpanish)

The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act is codified in the California Welfare and Institutions Code. This compilation, prepared by the Legislative Counsel, includes the 2018 revisions to the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act and related laws (Divisions 4.1, 4.5, and 4.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and Title 14 of the Government Code). For the official and most current versions of the Lanterman Act and other California law, please visit the California Legislative Information Website. This edition shows all sections as they are in effect on and after January 1, 2019. The Lanterman Act is printed every two years; DDS is currently out of printed copies of the 2017 Lanterman Act. A PDF of the Lanterman Act may be downloaded and printed for your personal use. If you have questions, please email  – DDS Website, Lanterman and Related Laws.


IRC is committed to establishing collaborative relationships with Consumers and families. Our primary focus is creating service plans that address the individual needs of each Consumer. Though, there may be occasions where the Regional Center and a Consumer/family disagree about eligibility or services. If you disagree with a Regional Center decision you can ask your Service Coordinator, and if appropriate their Program Manager, to meet with you and discuss the decision. This allows everyone involved to make sure that all essential information was considered. If things cannot be resolved during this meeting, Consumers/families have the right to appeal the decision.

The process of appealing decisions regarding services is called Fair Hearings. Below are links to Fair Hearings processes and forms found on the Department of Developmental Services website. If you would like to speak to an IRC Representative about the Fair Hearings process you can contact our Legal Affairs Department.

Early Start Appeals (under age 3) | Fair Hearings (over age 3)

Note: Fair Hearings deal specifically with disagreements regarding eligibility or the type/amount of services in a Consumer’s service plan. If you have a concern or complaint that is not related specifically to a service or eligibility you can contact our Community Engagement team or use the Consumer Complaint Process.

Common Services

Person-centered planning is used when developing a Consumer’s Individual Program Plan (IPP). The IPP outlines the goals developed by the Consumer and their support team, as well as the services and supports they will receive to help those goals. Many of the services/supports listed in the IPP are funded by Inland Regional Center. However, services and supports may also be provided by other agencies such as the Social Security Administration, school districts, county agencies, etc.

All services funded by IRC must be linked to an IPP goal and the Consumer must meet the qualification criteria for that service, as established by the Lanterman Act.

Below you will find a list of the most common services provided by IRC. This list a reference and resource to IRC Consumers and their families. Any service not addressed here may be discussed with an IRC Service Coordinator.

Common Services Listing  |  Lista de Servicios Comunes

Common Services Fact Sheets:
Day Program Options – English
Living Options – English | Spanish
Respite – English | Spanish
Transition – English | Spanish

Program Manager Search Tool

Your IRC Service Coordinator is your best point of contact at the regional center since they are the person most familiar with your case. Though, there may be times where a client, or family, may wish to also seek out the assistance of a Program Manager. This tool can help you contact your Program Manager via email.

Program Manager Search Tool

Our Community Engagement team is also available to help and can be reached at


The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is creating a program to allow Regional Center Consumers more control in developing their service plans and selecting service providers. The Self Determination Program (SDP) gives participants a budget to purchase services and supports from the providers of their choice. SDP participants have a larger role in their service planning and implementation, while receiving assistance from a financial services management provider and an independent facilitator. For detailed information and program updates visit the DDS Self-Determination home page.

Inland Regional Center will initially have 244 spaces for Consumers to participate in SDP, once it is launched by DDS. Interested in the Self-Determination program? Email and notify your Consumer Service Coordinator of your interest.  To determine whether a Consumer has already been added to the Self-Determination Interest list, please visit the Self-Determination Program (SDP) Verification Page.

Self Determination Program (SDP) Ombudsperson:
Katie Hornberger – 1-877-658-9731

Additional Resources:

Click here to register online and start your SDP orientation

Diversity Outreach

At Inland Regional Center, we have a Diversity Outreach Coordinator who designs and implements projects for underserved populations. Those populations, as identified in our Purchase of Service (POS) Data, are the Spanish speaking/Hispanic community and Consumers with Autism. Our Diversity Outreach Coordinator plays a significant role in our disparity data process: facilitating community input meetings, assisting in the design and distribution of marketing materials to underserved populations, and presenting data findings in both English and Spanish. Additionally, she fosters relationships with IRC Service Coordinators to help identify trends in service spending from the case management perspective. She works diligently alongside our Community Engagement Manager to create a greater awareness of services disparities and to increase cultural competency.

To connect with our Diversity Outreach Coordinator or learn more about our disparity programs contact our Community Engagement team at

Employment First Policy

Inland Regional Center (IRC) philosophies include promoting independence, empowering our Consumers, and ensuring they are included in the everyday routines of community life. Consistent with state law and agency core values, IRC has developed an Employment First Policy. IRC’s Employment First Policy states that integrated employment will be the first option for every working age adult and fully supports the principles outlined in Assembly Bill 1041.

Register to Vote!

Inland Regional Center encourages all members of the IRC Community, including our Consumers, to participate in the democratic process and exercise their right to vote. Visit the Secretary of State’s website to register today!

Private Insurance Co-Payments

For many IRC Consumers, January 1, 2018 will be the beginning of a new insurance plan year. Consumers/families who have private insurance and are receiving co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible assistance from Inland Regional Center must submit an Insurance Information Form. This form is for those receiving assistance with behavioral health therapies.

This form will be sent to those receiving assistance, November 1, via mail and must be returned by December 31, 2017. Those who may require assistance with this form should contact their Service Coordinator.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Helpful Information and Resources

Inland Regional Center is taking measures to help minimize potential spread of the Coronavirus, in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This means, that for the time being, our Service Coordinators will not be making in-person visits. Service Coordinators will be in touch with Consumers and families via telephone and email. Other IRC business will also be conducted digitally.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information has been moved to a dedicated page – visit IRC Coronavirus Page


Inland Regional Center is committed to preserving the privacy and confidentiality of the Consumers we serve, in accordance with state and federal law. In some cases, IRC may not be able to provide information requested where confidentiality may be at risk. Please read more about Records Requests on our Accountability page.