A Virtual Conference on California’s
Self Determination Program

Friday, November, 3, 2023
8:30 am – 4:30 pm PT


People with disabilities have the right to direct our own lives and futures. And the Self-Determination Program is key to a meaningful future for people with developmental disabilities. But our rights and good futures are never guaranteed. They have to be fought for. Join us for a day of discussion and advocacy around the Self-Determination Program (SDP). We’ll learn about how the program can help us build a better future for ourselves and all people with disabilities and advocate together to break down the barriers to participation. This conference will build individual connections between participants, families, independent facilitators, FMSs, service providers, and regional centers while shaping a larger movement to ensure our right to a Self-Determination Program that works for us.


How is this conference different?

In past conferences, we have laid a strong groundwork by empowering our community with knowledge about the Self-Determination Program. Past conferences have prepared attendees to step confidently into the program and how to combat the barriers many encounter within the program. Our vision this year is even bigger and bolder than ever before.

Here’s the tough truth: while our right to the Self-Determination Program is protected by state law, that doesn’t guarantee the program’s success. If we want this program to work for us, we need to fight for it. This year, we’re focusing on securing the future of the Self-Determination Program for many years to come. We will use what we’ve learned together, from our previous gatherings and years of lived experience in the SDP, to spark a movement that ensures:

  • Our Right to Choice and Control over our own lives is not only recognized, but respected by all
  • Our Right to Equitable Treatment regardless of race, location, or disability is truly upheld
  • Our Right to a Self-Determination Program that is free from bureaucracy and barriers

Whenever we talk about the SDP, we have to remember its principles: freedom, authority, support, responsibility, and confirmation. Our program must live up to those principles, both now and in the future. That means we have to be good stewards of this program right now, and good strategists when we’re thinking about its future. After all, this program is about us.

What will this conference include?

  • keynote speeches by leaders in California
  • testimonials from SDP participants
  • panels of self-determination experts
  • numerous breakout sessions focusing on solutions and strategies to breaking through barriers in the SDP
  • SDP Expo where you can virtually visit dozens of exhibitors including independent facilitators, FMSs, service providers, advocates, and others
  • “Wonder Rooms” where you can network and virtually meet other SDP participants, family members, and professionals from throughout California.

How will this conference be held?

This conference will be held virtually, on the innovative Whova Platform, an easy-to-use app and website that allows you to: link to all sessions (which will be held on Zoom); link directly to all exhibitors; connect with other conference attendees through private messaging; and even play some self-determined games!

Who is this conference for?

Everyone! But particularly:

  • People with disabilities served by regional centers
  • Family member of people served by regional centers
  • Independent facilitators, person-centered planners, SDP transition supports
  • Financial management services staff
  • Service providers, agencies, direct support professionals
  • Regional center staff, service coordinators, participant choice specialists
  • Advocates, attorneys
  • Anyone else interested in the success of the SDP!

We welcome everyone who’s invested in the SDP to join us: self-advocates, family members, and professionals.

Will the conference be recorded?

Yes. The keynote speeches and all breakout sessions will be recorded. All conference attendees will be sent links to view the recordings after the conference ends.


Registration costs

Individuals served by regional
centers, their family members,
and their direct care staff:
Early Bird –
By Sept 19:  $60
After Sept 19: $85
Professionals, such as regional
center staff, IFs, FMSs, advocates,
service providers, and others:
Early Bird –
By Sept 19:

After Sept 19: $200


All registrations include:

  • Links to attend all main sessions and 16 breakouts
  • Access to the SDP Expo with dozens of exhibitors
  • Access to the Wonder Rooms to network with others
  • After the conference, access to recordings of all sessions and 16 breakouts
  • Note that this year, Thinking Outside the Box, DVU’s “Bible” on the SDP, will be available for purchase, but is not included with participant registrations


Helpful Instructions

How to register for ticket paid for by a FMS >>

How to register for ticket paid for by a Regional Center  >>

Register by September 19 to take advantage of Early Bird discounts.





Payments accepted

  • Regional center POS for people not in the SDP: Our vendor number is #PH2437
  • Current SDP Participants – We can invoice your FMS
  • Credit and debit cards


Follow us on social media for updates!


Expo Exhibitors

Network & build relationships with the Self-Determination Program community.

Exhibitors will have a digital booth that shares a profile, logo, and information, as well as live chat with attendees.

Cost: $300 (includes admission for one person to the conference)




Conference Sponsorships

Support the Self Determination Program community and become a Conference Sponsor!!