What We Do | Advocacy

Advocacy is what we do at CDSA. Our public policy platform promotes sustainable access to high-quality services and supports for Californians with disabilities and their families. We represent our members with policymakers like the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and legislative offices. In collaboration with other state and national coalitions, CDSA pursues system-wide solutions in several key areas.

State budget2024-02-26T22:58:42+00:00

The IDD service delivery system in California has been chronically underfunded. As a result, Californians with IDD and their families have experienced cuts to program hours, high support staff turnover, waiting lists, and closed services. We advocate for a budget that supports quality, sustainable services for people with IDD and allows for innovation as the service system changes. Our members stay educated and engaged throughout the budget cycle. CDSA has led virtually every rate increase proposal for decades, including the rate model implementation, 2020-21 temporary rate increases and ABX 2-1 that supported increases in wages and benefits for program staff.

State legislation2024-02-26T22:59:20+00:00

Guided by our Public Policy Committee, CDSA works with legislators to enhance, improve, and sustain the services our members deliver. We track dozens of bills each year, targeting those that could impact regional center services and monitoring others that affect Californians with IDD. Our members’ voices are heard in our conversations with legislators and staff, our testimony at hearings, and our responses to proposed bills. CDSA works with a law and lobbying firm that supports our legislative strategy and strengthens our presence in the Capitol. To further broaden our impact, we also work alongside state organizations in the Lanterman Coalition to align our policy goals with other stakeholders in the IDD service system.

Federal policy2024-02-26T22:59:49+00:00

CDSA keeps members prepared for the impact of federal changes to the system and engaged with DDS during the process of interpreting and applying federal rules. Membership in national associations like ANCOR and ACCSES keeps CDSA plugged in at the federal level. These connections strengthen our public policy strategy. We make sure our members have the opportunity and resources to act on pending federal legislative and regulatory changes that impact IDD services in California.


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

Member representation2024-02-26T23:02:37+00:00

Disability services face unique operational challenges. We are familiar with our members’ organizational models and plans, difficulties with state departments, and what they need within their service communities. We seek answers from government agencies and subject matter experts. CDSA also identifies operational issues that impact members, both to advocate on policies and to inform members about implementation and ongoing guidelines.

As a CDSA member, my agency can have a wider sphere of influence. If we are all poking and prodding the same policymakers, we’re less efficient and effective. But together, this collective can do so much more. – John Brauer, President & Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons

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