National & State Scan: California

  • The lead agency in with oversight of policy and services for children and youth with an ASD is the Department of Developmental Services; other state agencies contributing to the work and services include the Department of Education Office of Career Technical Education and the Department of Rehabilitation
  • State-level commission or workgroup pertaining to ASDs: In 2005 the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism was established with strong bipartisan support. The goal was to have a direct impact on the needs of children and adults with an ASD. The legislation created a 16 member commission representing parents of children with autism, the public and private sectors, educators, physicians, and public health officials. In 2006 the commission established three task forces, including: Early Identification & Intervention; Education & Professional Development; and Transitional Services & Supports. In 2010 the next iteration of the commission was formed under the leadership of the State Senate President. The Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders is charged with looking at four specific areas and making recommendations, namely: Early Identification and Treatment, Insurance Coverage, Employment, and Housing
  • Notable state-level transition-related activities specific to students with disabilities include: The California Transition Alliance, a professional community to share resources and advocate for successful transition to adult life; Success Defined Project through the UC Davis MIND Institute in partnership with the California Health Incentives Improvement Project (CHIIP) provides training, mentoring for young adults with developmental disabilities as they explore options for post-secondary education or purposeful work and community living
  • Unique resources and opportunities for individuals with an ASD include: 21 Regional Centers that are operated by nonprofit private corporations contracted with the Department of Developmental Services to provide services and supports to individuals and families such as community education, and lifelong individualized planning and resource coordination; Open the Doors to College supported through the University of California Los Angeles Tarjan Center, a collaboration between representatives from higher education, the developmental disabilities service system, K-12 education, rehabilitation, and parents and students to address and advocate for postsecondary education for students with developmental disabilities ()
  • The percentage of youth with special health care needs who received the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including adult health care, work, and independence, as reported in 2009/10 for CA, 37.4% (n=297)