Service Access and Equity (SAE)
Inland Regional Center (IRC) is mandated by The Lanterman Act, an important and beautiful piece of legislation that resulted from advocacy efforts driven by a group of parents seeking change. The Lanterman Act states that “people with developmental disabilities and their families have a right to get the services and supports they need to live like people without disabilities.” Equity and inclusion are at the heart of such efforts. IRC continuously strives to connect with the community and takes pride in creating projects and collaborations to continue working towards equity, inclusion, and cultural proficiency.
Our service access and equity (SAE) efforts are focused on four major areas, clients of Hispanic ethnicity, clients with a primary diagnosis of Autism, clients whose primary language is Spanish, and clients of Black/African American ethnicity. IRC's SAE efforts are inclusive and available to all families; however, specific projects are culturally and linguistically geared toward closing the disparity gap among underserved populations.
The 2019/2020 data shows that IRC had 15,988 clients of Hispanic Ethnicity, 26.1% did not have IRC services which equals to 4,167 clients. When compared to data from 2018/2019, there was a client growth of 197 new clients in one year and the disparity gap increased by 0.8%. The 2019/2020 data shows that IRC had 12,474 clients with a primary diagnosis of Autism, 29.6% did not have IRC services which equals to 3,690 clients. When compared to data from 2018/2019, there was a client growth of 1,143 new clients in one year and the disparity gap increased by 0.1%. Although there was a small increase in disparity, we would like to shine light on what a success this is in relation to closing the disparity gap, particularly because of the growth of over 1,100 clients in one year. The 2019/2020 data shows that IRC had 7,721 clients whose primary language is Spanish, 21.5% did not have IRC services which equals to 1,658 clients. When compared to data from 2018/2019, there was a client growth of 117 new clients in one year and the disparity gap decreased by 0.9%. The 2019/2020 data shows that IRC had 4,003 clients of Black/African American ethnicity, 23.2% did not have IRC services which equals to 929 clients. When compared to data from 2018/2019, there was a client growth of 48 new clients in one year and the disparity gap decreased by 0.1%.
IRC acknowledges the needs and challenges in relation to service access and equity, so what is being done to address it?
Community-Based Organizations (CBO)
Community Based Organizations are partnering with IRC to promote equity and help close the disparity gap that exists in the utilization of services. The CBO programs available to the IRC community were made possible through SAE grants awarded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Here is a brief description of each CBO and their 2021/2022 projects:
Cultural Awareness and Diversity
Cultural Competency – A Tool for Equity
In December of 2020 IRC applied for a SAE grant from DDS for a project named “Cultural Competency – A Tool for Equity.” This project was approved in the Spring of 2021 and was launched June 1, 2021. This project allows IRC to put together cultural proficiency trainings and offer them to the different groups of individuals that surround a client’s life, such as parents, IRC staff, service providers, and the community. The goal of this project is to surround our clients with culturally proficient individuals and raise awareness of the importance of cultural proficiency when providing services or engaging our clients.
Cultural Specialist Collaborations
More information related to legislation that impacts the DD community can be found here:
- Blog: IRC Attends Virtual Grassroots Day
- Article: Legislature, Governor Approve Major Funding for DD System!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
IRC's Disparity Link team and the Cultural Specialist put together a list of frequently asked questions. This list of questions comes from CSC experiences with clients and outreach events where the Cultural Specialist connects with active and potential IRC families. FAQs can be accessed below:
Quote of the month:
“Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity”