CDSA members have a voice in the decisions impacting their programs. We bring their concerns to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and legislative offices. In collaboration with other state and national coalitions, CDSA and our members work towards system-wide solutions.

State Budget

The state budget is a top priority for CDSA. The IDD service delivery system in California is underfunded by at least $1.8 billion. Our members see what this funding gap means for the people they serve every day – cuts to program hours, support staff turnover, waiting lists, and closed services. We make sure that legislators and the Administration know how their decisions affect service quality and access for people with IDD. Throughout the budget cycle – from January release to May revise and through the negotiations until final adoption in June – our members stay educated about the details of the budget and engaged in the process. We advocate on their behalf for a budget that supports quality, sustainable services for people with IDD and allows for innovation as the system grows and changes. CDSA been a leader in virtually every rate increase proposal for decades, including the 2020-21 temporary rate increases and ABX 2-1 that supported increases in wages and benefits for program staff.


Guided by our Public Policy Committee, CDSA works with legislators to solve the policy issues our members face. We track dozens of bills each year, targeting those that could impact members’ programs and monitoring others that affect quality of life and employment for the clients our members serve. Member voices are heard in our conversations with legislators and staff, our testimony at hearings, and our written materials in support or opposition to proposed bills. To strengthen our presence in the Capitol, we work with a law and lobbying firm that assists with development and execution of legislative strategy. We also work alongside other state organizations in the Lanterman Coalition to align our policy goals with other stakeholders in the IDD system and further broaden our impact.

Federal Impacts

Implementation deadlines are just around the corner for new federal regulations that will have a huge impact on service providers. The state must reach compliance with the Home and Community Based Services “Settings Rule” by March 2022 and has already missed the deadline for Electronic Visit Verification in personal care services. CDSA keeps our members prepared for the impact of federal changes to the system and engaged with DDS during the process of interpreting and applying federal rules.

CDSA is a member of national associations to stay plugged in at the federal level. ACCSES and ANCOR engage nationally in advocacy on behalf of IDD service providers and help us keep our members informed. Our national partnerships also give CDSA members the opportunity to take action on pending federal legislative and regulatory changes.


CDSA monitors announcements on regulations and raises issues on behalf of our members throughout the review process. We make sure our members know when state and federal agencies have proposed changes that would affect IDD services and share opportunities for members themselves to take action in collaboration with our national partners.

Business Issues

Service providers face unique operational challenges, but CDSA members don’t face theirs alone. We stay aware of our members’ current business models and plans, difficulties with state departments, and the support they need within their service communities. We seek answers from government agencies and subject matter experts. Our diverse network of members share advice and experience with each other. CDSA also proactively identifies business issues that impact members, both to advocate on policies and to inform members about implementation and on-going guidelines.

Collaborative Relationships

CDSA maintains interactive communication and working relationships with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). We are active in the Lanterman Coalition of major IDD service stakeholders. Our members work within a complex system, so we collaborate with many other organizations. CDSA continues to seek additional partners to leverage our collective expertise and voice.