Meaningful Outcomes

A young white man with a goatee and a purple graduation robe and cap smiles widely and has his arm around his mother, also smiling and wearing sunglasses

Meaningful Outcomes
That Matter To Us

We all want better lives for ourselves and our family members with developmental disabilities. But how regional centers and schools define better outcomes often differs from the way we think about it.

  • Instead of being segregated and stigmatized, we want to be included and valued
  • Instead of being taught and served in one-size-fits all classrooms and programs, we need instruction and services that are individualized to our needs so that we can realize our potential to learn
  • Instead of having no choices in where we live, whom we live with, and who cares for us, we want to be in control
  • Instead of most us being unemployed and living in poverty, we want to do meaningful work and be compensated appropriately
  • Instead of being victims of astounding rates of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, we want to be safe and treated with respect
  • Instead of living in isolation and without social relationships, we want to be happy and have friends
  • Instead of having preventable chronic health conditions, we want to have healthy and active lifestyles
  • Instead of being ignored when in a crisis, we want a safety net that addresses our mental and physical health needs in an urgent manner

A significant barrier to achieving these better outcomes is that the systems that support us often don’t focus on or measure what matters. We often confuse compliance by a service provider with the progress of the individual they serve. Just because a provider checks a box on a form doesn’t mean that we are making progress. The systems need to take the lead from us, the individuals and families, on whether we are moving forward and what we think is important for our future.

Eden Rapp, a young Asian woman with Down syndrome, working at a cash register in a gift store

DVU board member Eden Rapp working the cash register at a store


Report on the Safety Net

Disability Voices United has written a report on the lack of safety net programs, housing, and supports in the developmental disability system. This report focuses on how individuals served by regional centers can be in a health or behavioral crisis and receive little or inappropriate supports, leaving people and families in desperate situations. The report, which includes a set of recommendations, was delivered through testimony before the California state legislature.

Read the Safety Net Report >>

DVU board member Connie Lapin testifies at a legislative hearing. Text on image reads: Item 4300 Department of Developmental Services (DDS) 4 SAFETY NET SERVICES: GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSALS, TRAILER BILL LANGUAGE PROPOSALS, AND ASSOCIATED ADVOCACY PROPOSALS

Disability Voices United board member Connie Lapin testifies on our Safety Net report before a state Assembly committee