Self-Determination Program

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California's Self-Determination Program

The Department of Developmental Services is developing a new program, called the Self-Determination Program that will let participants have more control over selecting their services and supports. One of the ways this can be done is by giving participants (or their parents or legal representatives) a specific budget to purchase the services and supports that they need to make their person centered plan work better for them. Participants may choose their services and pick which providers deliver those services. Participants are responsible for staying within their annual budget.

The Self-Determination Program is based on beliefs that people --

  • Plan their own lives and make their own decisions
  • Determine how funding is spent for their services and supports
  • Plan and choose their own formal and informal supports
  • Take responsibility for the decisions made
  • Validate those decisions through maintaining ongoing control

The five principles of self-determination are --

  • Freedom to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supports, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;
  • Authority to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;
  • Support, including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;
  • Responsibility, which includes the opportunity to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and,
  • Confirmation, in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the service that they rely on.

For more detailed information about this program, please go directly to the DDS website at

For updates on the status of the program, please go to the DDS website at  

If you want to be notified as updates on this program become available, please email and ask to be included on the notification list.

Self-Determination Intro Video

Click links below to view SG/PRC's "What is Self-Determination?" Info Sheet

For questions about participation in this program, you can also email

 Click here for more information about meetings and trainings about Self-Determination