Legislative Analyst’s Office Report: Evaluating California’s System for Serving Infants and Toddlers With Special Needs

Executive Summary

California Serves More Than 40,000 Infants and Toddlers With Special Needs. In 2015‑16, California provided early intervention services to about 41,000 infants and toddlers with special needs. These infants and toddlers either have a disability (such as a visual or hearing impairment) or a significant developmental delay (such as not beginning to speak or walk when expected). The state’s early intervention system provides these infants and toddlers with services such as speech therapy and home visits focused on helping parents promote their child’s development. Parts of California’s early intervention system date back more than 35 years. During this time, the state has not regularly, or even periodically, evaluated this system. In this report, we provide a comprehensive assessment of the system.

For the full report, please visit the LAO’s website.

Statement from NBRC on the Wine Country Fires

STATEMENT FROM NORTH BAY REGIONAL CENTER ON THE WINE COUNTRY FIRES

In the aftermath of one of the most destructive, damaging and expensive fires in our state’s history, North Bay Regional Center would be remiss in not acknowledging the tireless efforts of our fire fighters, first responders and other emergency and public safety personnel. Their efforts helped ensure the health and safety of some of the most vulnerable people we serve in Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

In addition to those in public service, we also appreciate the efforts of North Bay service provider community, staff from Sonoma Developmental Center and other direct support professionals who worked tirelessly around the clock to help with evacuation and placement of those residing in both the community and at Sonoma Developmental Center. Thanks to these joint efforts, along with strong support from the California Health and Human Services Agency and Department of Developmental Services, as the fires raged on we were collectively moving people quickly and safely into facilities and locations where they received ongoing and continuous medical and rehabilitative support.

Regarding the direct impact to North Bay Regional Center, we are happy to report that out of the over 9,000 people we serve in our three counties, we have received notification of only loss of one life due to natural causes in the transition. Outside of the one person served, all others are safe and accounted for. Out of those we serve, 23 people lost their homes, a majority of them from the Santa Rosa area. Of our 225 NBRC staff, we had no major injuries or loss of life, but sad to report that two employees and three of our NBRC volunteer board members lost their homes. Among our service providers, we are happy to share there was no loss of life or vendor structures (care homes, day program sites, etc.)

At this time, the state and local jurisdictions are still in the process of tabulating property damage and losses. To date, reported statistics have 14,000 residential homes destroyed or partially destroyed, 728 commercial properties destroyed and estimated financial loss totaling over $9 bilion in the over 210,000 acres burned. For regular updates on the Wine Country fires and other information about NBRC, please subscribe to our updates and follow us on Facebook.

We remain committed to the lives of people with developmental disabilities and the recovery of our region. There will be much rebuilding and growth that will rise from the ashes of this recent tragedy, but in the meantime we have work to do. We have 23 people served and many others who were indirectly impacted by the fires who need permanent, stable housing again and replacement of their personal care items.

Please direct any financial donations and tax-deductible gifts towards “Friends of North Bay Regional Center” a private, 501(c)3 organization supporting direct assistance to people with developmental disabilities in Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Developmental Services Update – Respite Cap Lifted as of 1/1/2018 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SERVICES  
Due to recent changes in the law, you may be eligible for more respite hours as of January 1, 2018.  Your Regional Center encourages you to speak with your Service Coordinator to find out more and begin planning now.

INFORMACION IMPORTANTE ACERCA DE SERVICIOS
Debido a recientes cambios en la ley, usted puede ser elegible para más horas de relevo (respite) a partir del 01 de Enero de 2018.  Your Regional Center le anima a hablar con su Coordinador de servicios para obtener más información y comenzar a planificar ahora.

State of Emergency Billing Instructions for NBRC Vendors posted

Dear Vendor Community,

It is our sincere hope that this memo finds you on the road to recovery after such a horrific sequence of events these past few weeks. In a time of such disaster, it was amazing to see our communities pull together to take care of each other.

North Bay Regional Center will honor State of Emergency (SOE) billing for the month of October 2017. This memo: SOE Billing information 10-2017 will provide guidance for October SOE billing for Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties.

Napa/Sonoma/Solano Fires – Updates

Last updated: Thursday, November 1, 9:15am
  • Reminder: TODAY is the last day to apply for Disaster Assistance Services for Immigrant Californians.  Please note, Social Security Numbers are NOT required to apply.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued information about services and resources available to immigrants living in areas impacted by wildfires and is asking that the information be distributed widely.

DSS is advising of two important developments and resources for immigrants impacted by the wildfires.

1. Guide to Disaster Assistance Services for Immigrant Californians: CDSS has published a guide to disaster relief services for immigrants, which you can access here.

2. Disaster CalFresh (Disaster SNAP) for Wildfire Survivors: Enrollment only available from Wednesday, October 25 – Wednesday, November 1. Disaster CalFresh (D-CalFresh) is a one-time, one-month food assistance benefit for households impacted by the wildfires in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba Counties. To be eligible, individuals must:

– Have been residing or working in the disaster area at the time of the disaster;
– Purchased or plan to purchase food during the benefit period;
– Have experienced an adverse effect due to the disaster.

Please note that social security numbers are not required to apply. Click here for additional D-CalFresh eligibility information.  Please share this information as appropriate.

  • From the Department of Developmental Services: 10/17/17, 7:30 P.M. – Residents and staff remain at the Dixon Fairgrounds. We are developing a plan to return to SDC and are exploring clean up, repair and remediation options for the grounds and buildings.Local officials determined residents of Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) who were sheltered at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building and Adele Harrison Middle School have been relocated as a precautionary measure. Residents and staff relocated to the Dixon Fairgrounds. This shelter is for SDC residents only. Staff and volunteers are focused on safely supporting each individual during this relocation. There is ample food, water and access to medical attention and necessary medications. DDS has established an information line specific to the Sonoma fires at (916) 261-4149. SDC social workers will be reaching out to families with individual updates.Sonoma Developmental Center Staff – for questions about where to report to work, please call Monica Damsten at (707) 363-4183.Sonoma Developmental Center Families – DDS has established an information line specific to the Sonoma fires at (916) 261-4149. Additionally, Sonoma Developmental Center social workers are in the process of reaching out to families with individual updates.
  • Wildfire updates:The SoCo Fire Relief is trying to reach families that that don’t have insurance and therefore really have lost everything. Some may have even lost their homes and their jobs.The Fire Relief has received a ton of brand new items, as well as gift cards to hand out for families to purchase what they need.They are asking fire victims to email a list of items that they need and the group will try and gather those items for the family.Please share with families and those who need our support during this difficult time…

    More information can be found on their website at: SOCOFIRERELIEF.COM

 

  • Statement from Dixon Police Department regarding residents from Sonoma Developmental Center:

ATTENTION DIXON RESIDENTS

The Dixon Police Department is working in conjunction with Federal, state and local agencies to assist in the care and security of evacuees from the Sonoma area at the Dixon May Fair.

AT THIS TIME THERE IS NO NEED FOR SUPPLIES, PERSONNEL OR RESOURCES FROM THE PUBLIC.

Again, at this time, there is no need for volunteers, clothing, supplies of any kind in this event. Please do NOT come to the May Fair property, access to the property is being restricted to evacuees, medical staff, and other emergency management personnel.

If the situation changes we will advise. Please share this far and wide to make sure we don’t do anything to inhibit the efforts of our emergency management personnel.

 

  • Update from DDS: 10/11/17, 7:30 P.M. – Local officials determined residents of Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) who were sheltered at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building and Adele Harrison Middle School have been relocated as a precautionary measure. Residents and staff relocated to the Dixon Fairgrounds. This shelter is for SDC residents only. Staff and volunteers are focused on safely supporting each individual during this relocation. There is ample food, water and access to medical attention and necessary medications. DDS has established an information line specific to the Sonoma fires at (916) 261-4149. SDC social workers will be reaching out to families with individual updates.Sonoma Developmental Center Staff – for questions about where to report to work, please call Monica Damsten at (707) 363-4183.Sonoma Developmental Center Families – DDS has established an information line specific to the Sonoma fires at (916) 261-4149. Additionally, Sonoma Developmental Center social workers are in the process of reaching out to families with individual updates.The Department and Sonoma Developmental Center staff continue to monitor the situation. Updates will be posted at www.dds.ca.gov as they become available.
  • BREAKING: Evacuation advisories for parts of Sonoma and Healdsburg took effect Wednesday; Napa County evacuated all Calistoga residents.
  • Current Sonoma County road conditions
  • Current Sonoma County evacuation center information

 

  • Please consider using the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well Program to check in and let people know your current status.  The Press Democrat says in today’s top story over 500 people are reported missing in Sonoma County.
  • NBRC’s Napa and Santa Rosa offices will be closed again on October 11.  Please continue to use our 24-hour line to reach our on-call coordinator.
  • From NBRC Associate Executive Director Dr. Michi Gates:
    Dear Vendor Community,
    Both NBRC offices will continue to be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, October 11, 2017 due to the fires. We are posting information on our website and Face Book page. In addition DDS will be posting information about the fires impacting Northern California on their website. Our executive team and various other staff are working in spite of the office closures. We continue to monitor your responses to our Everbridge communications to ensure everyone is okay under the circumstances. We have management staff also calling vendors who have not responded to Everbridge to learn whether they are safe. Please do not hesitate to email me if anything is needed.I hope all of you, your families, friends and clients impacted by the fires continue to be safe. I have heard from providers and their staff who are going above and beyond to support clients. Thank you all and let us hope the fires are contained soon.
    Michi A. Gates, Ph.D.
    Associate Executive Director
    North Bay Regional Center
  • From Airbnb: As you may have heard, Airbnb has activated its Disaster Response team in response to the devastating fires affecting (Napa/Sonoma).Airbnb has activated its Open Homes tool for Hosts in Marin, Alameda and Mendocino Counties as well as San Francisco, to support those evacuating from the Tubbs and Atlas Fire. This means that Airbnb hosts in these areas can list their space for free to accommodate evacuees who urgently need shelter. We did not activate this in Napa and Sonoma due to the rapidly changing direction of the fire and it not being clear where in these two counties homes may be affected. This allows victims to get out of the devastation altogether. Mendocino was activated because many in north Sonoma County cannot travel south.
  • NBRC will be closing both Napa and Santa Rosa offices today, October 10 as a precaution for staff and client safety. You can call our 24-hour line to reach the on-call coordinator to reach the appropriate staff during this time.
  • Statement from DDS regarding Sonoma Developmental Center:

All residents of Sonoma Developmental Center have been evacuated safely to either the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building or Adele Harrison Middle School. Staff and volunteers are with residents now. There is ample food, water and access to medical attention and necessary medications.

Sonoma Developmental Center Staff – for questions about where to report to work, please call Monica Damsten at (707) 363-4183.

Sonoma Developmental Center Families – DDS has established an information line specific to the Sonoma fires at (916) 261-4149. Additionally, Sonoma Developmental Center social workers are in the process of reaching out to families with individual updates.

The Department and Sonoma Developmental Center staff continue to monitor the situation. Updates will be posted at www.dds.ca.gov as they become available.

 

Sonoma County law enforcement and people with autism gather to teach each other

JULIE JOHNSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | September 21, 2017

Volunteering from the audience, Andrew Kirk of Sonoma sat on a chair on stage at a Sonoma County church for a demonstration of a hypothetical arrest.

Cotati Police Officer Tyler Wardle held him at gunpoint — using a fake rubber weapon in a day-glow orange — while Petaluma Police Officer Tyler Saldanha pulled his arms behind his back and applied handcuffs.

Read more… 

‘The Good Doctor’ Gets Boost From Real MD With Disability

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — An ABC News “20/20” film crew arrived at Singing River Hospital recently to interview Dr. Tyler Sexton, a staff pediatrician who overcame the odds and became a doctor even with cerebral palsy.

The network is using his inspiring story to help promote a story of their own — a new television series, “The Good Doctor,” that debuts Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. ET.

Read more…

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