workingThe mission of CDSA is to advocate for and strengthen member organizations and to ensure public and government support of services for persons with disabilities.


Promoting Values that Drive the Service System

  1. CDSA respects the dignity and diversity of the people served in our member programs. CDSA works in conjunction with consumers, parents and families, the Regional Centers, and other advocacy networks to promote better understanding of the system and the services utilized by the 320,000 individuals with developmental disabilities throughout California.
  2. CDSA recognizes that state and federal law establish two fundamental principles that form the foundation of California’s developmental disabilities system:
    • Every Californian with a developmental disability has the right to be included in his or her community as a full and active participant.
    • Individuals with developmental disabilities in California have the right to determine which services and supports they need to realize their life goals.
  3. Based on the individual program plan (IPP), California’s unique system of services and supports for people with developmental disabilities embodies these fundamental principles. Through the IPP process, the needs of an individual are assessed and services and supports are identified based on the person’s choices, strengths, capabilities, lifestyle and cultural background. The individually tailored services and supports identified in the IPP are guaranteed to that individual (client), as documented in the Lanterman Act enacted in California in 1977.
  4. CDSA member organizations are committed to advancing community participation and greater independence for each and every individual receiving services and supports. CDSA recognizes the importance of building community capacity for accessibility, acceptance, and opportunities for employment, volunteerism, recreation, and fostering of social networks.
  5. CDSA incorporates the following values in our advocacy efforts:
    • Creative options that bring greater opportunities for community integration and inclusion must be encouraged and funded for quality and sustainability.
    • Options/resources must be developed and sustained in response to needs and preferences expressed by clients and selected in collaboration with individuals and their planning teams.
    • All individuals deserve to have support staff that are well-trained, competent and compensated at a level that ensures quality and continuity of services.
    • Because tens of thousands of individuals have made life choices that include many existing service models, changing service modes requires careful planning and will be successful once new service modes have demonstrated their effectiveness and create client demand. Choice and opportunity have no meaning if there are not an adequate number of quality services available in the community.