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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, June 2, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

Our Implicit Bias Application to DDS

This week we turned in our latest version of the Implicit Bias plan and the annual report of the Service Access public hearings to the Department of Developmental Services. As a reminder, the Implicit Bias plan requirement was first put forward by DDS and since VMRC had already invested time and money into a DEI program that included Implicit Bias, and DDS was unable to secure a provider to give the training, we applied to certify our work with the University of the Pacific as a qualified contractor for Implicit Bias and Cultural Competence training. After the first submission DDS did not approve the university’s program and had a series of questions. We followed up the questions with answers, but the department still did not approve the submission.

As many of you know our regional center has spent years working with Georgetown University and UOP working with 100% of our staff in face to face and online classes to study issues related to working with our consumers from diverse backgrounds and colleagues of diverse backgrounds to ensure our regional center is a welcoming place for all and to make sure we are person-centered in our interactions with consumers and families and with one another. We have just submitted another request to certify our training program and we are hopeful this one will be approved. Nevertheless, certification is not the goal, but rather long-term systems change that results in empathetic interactions with each other and a habit of seeking first to understand then to be understood. To learn more about our Person-Centered Think efforts click here, and to view our Implicit Bias efforts check it out here.

Big "DICE" Event Coming to Lodi Soon

Today our television commercials start back up on channel 3, KCRA, to promote our next big event from the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Collaborative, The Disability Industry Career Expo (DICE). If you or someone you know has not registered yet to participate, please click on the link or use the QR code to register. Our collaboration is fully committed to trying everything we can to increase the workforce of Direct Support Professionals supporting people with disabilities and their families.


The Director's Travels

The June 5, 2023 board communication on the director's activities...

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2023 Communitas Award Recipient

Presented by the Valley Mountain Regional Center Board of Directors to those who have demonstrated an exemplary and sustained commitment to the principle that people with developmental disabilities should live and work as full fledged members of their home communities.

Eligibility. In order to be eligible, an individual or organization must be physically present in VMRC’s five-county service area and providing support to one or more VMRC consumers during the year preceding the award. For-profit businesses and organizations as well as not-for-profit entities are eligible.

 Current VMRC employees are ineligible for this award.

Past winners include:

Holly White - 2022

Presentation Church - 2021

Janice Leary - 2019

Gina Berlin - 2018

Paul Billodeau - 2017

Dena Hernandez - 2016

David Simerley - 2015

Doreen Bestolarides - 2014

Brad Putz - 2013

Kristi Franzone - 2012

Richard W. Jacobs - 2011

James R. Popplewell -- 2010

Floyd Bohnett - 2009

Elbert Simpson - 2008

Howard G. Cohen Ph. D. - 2007

Donald Roberts - 2006

Heather Brooks - 2005

Ann Cirimele - 2004

Bill Ramos - 2003

Criteria. The organization/individual:

1. Clearly stands out among organizations, volunteers, professionals in the field of developmental disabilities.

2. Demonstrates long-term and sincere commitment to supporting people in real homes, real neighborhoods, and real jobs.

3. Has an impressive record of achievement in helping people become more independent and active participants in their home communities.

We are accepting applications for award recipients. The application deadline is the close of business on Friday, June 23, 2023. Applications will be reviewed and the recipient chosen by the Board of Directors. The award recipient will be presented at the Annual Board Dinner and Award Ceremony on Friday, July 21, 2023.

Click Here to Submit Your Nominee

Upcoming VMRC Public Meetings

VMRC Consumer Services Committee Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 5:15 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

VMRC Executive Committee Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 6:30 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

VMRC Board of Directors Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 6:00 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

Upcoming VMRC Service Provider Meetings

Transportation Forum (Virtual)

Thursday, June 8, 2023, 11:00 AM

Click Here for Zoom Information

Save the Date!

Coalition of Local Agency Service Providers (CLASP) Presents

"Moving Forward"

Professionalism and Education 2023 Conference

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

San Joaquin County Agricultural Center

6 Live CEUs

Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

Contact Candice Bright at

Registration to Come!

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

Virtual Presentations by Congreso Familiar

Dear Community Partners,

We invite you to our upcoming Spanish language presentations.


The presentations that have been recorded are on our YouTube channel which can be found here.


Please share these resources with the families you support.


Saturday, June 10

10 AM - 12 PM

(Pacific Time)


IHSS: How to prepare for

evaluations and reevaluations


This presentation will demonstrate:

·    How to understand the mandatory evaluations

·    Learn to advocate for the recipient

·    How to do a self-assessment

·    Empower to represent yourself

·    Get the tools to understand how hours are assigned to recipients


Click HERE to register

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

We are currently in the process of recruiting input for future training topics around Special Education. If you currently have a child between the ages of 3-22 and they are receiving special education services through their local school district, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below.

Thank You!!!

The Prism of Reflection—Facilitating Reflective Practices in Early Childhood Work


Dana Cox, RN, MA (Early Childhood Special Education), endorsed in California as a Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (0-5),

and Reflective Practice Mentor

Thursday, July 13, 2023

1:00pm - 2:30pm (PDT)

Virtual Event


Can't attend the event live? 

Register to receive access to the recording!


This workshop will support the development of your reflective practice “toolkit” by looking at the range of ways reflection can occur, and how self-awareness and inquiry play a role in fostering reflection.



We will explore how these practices can be used as a collaborative tool for facilitating both individual and group coaching, consultation, team building, and/or supervisory relationships. The goal of reflection is to elevate confidence, competence, and quality in all systems of support for young children and families.


Learning outcomes include exploration of:


·    Defining what reflection, reflective functioning and reflective practices are.


·    Understanding the variety of reflective frameworks and cycles, these include some of their similarities and differences.


·    Applying the foundations of regulation, relationship, mindfulness, consultative stance, and professional “lenses” into your reflective practices. 


·    Integrating the awareness of feelings/emotions, needs, values, perceptions, beliefs, biases, and the power of a question are the reflective process.


·    Developing a “kaleidoscope” of reflective facilitation, consultation and/or supervision in your early childhood work.

Dana has worked in the field of child health and development for over 35 years, as both a nurse and early childhood special educator, working for 15 years as an early interventionist. She has worked in adult education for most of her career, developing curriculum for pediatric nursing, early childhood, and special education, and serving as an instructor, mentor, and coach. She currently works for WestEd serving both the Supporting Inclusive Early Education (Beginning Together and California Teaching Pyramid) and Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Network projects.


Dana is a continuous learner of reflective practices including participating in the Napa Infant Parent Mental Health Fellowship (2010-11), the first Napa Reflective Supervision, Consultation and Facilitation Academy (2015-16), the Neurosequential Model of Reflection and Supervision (2022-23), the FAN (Facilitating Attuned Interactions) Model. She participated in yearlong Mindful Teacher certification course with the Mindful Schools (2021). She is a parent of 3 adults, including an identical twin son with cerebral palsy, and a 3-year-old grandson.


Non-Member: $55

IDA Agency/Individual Member: $40

IDA Parent/Student/New Clinician Member: $30




IDA CE Hours: Nursing, PT, Speech and Language $15


CDI CE Hours: LCSW, LMFT, LEP, LPCC (you will be invoiced)


ADA Requests: Contact IDA @

with ADA request by July 1, 2023


Limited number of scholarships available


Download the pdf flyer for this event

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

The Family Wellness Project team attended and presented about our project at the Early Start Partners Symposium at Anaheim, CA on June 1, 2023. This is a pilot project with the California Department of Developmental Services offering free counseling to families of consumers 0-5 years old. We also work with parent support groups in the area. Grateful to our hard working team: Westin Perry and Mat Threet. 

VMRC Self Determination Advisory Committee invites you to

Our Annual Meeting

This meeting is open to ALL!!

Join us IN PERSON and share a meal at

VMRC’s Stockton Office OR on join us on Zoom

DATE: Thursday, June 15, 2023

TIME: Meal begins at 5:15pm

Meeting begins at 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

Come see what the

VMRC Self Determination Advisory Committee is about!

Learn more about the

Self Determination Program!



IN PERSON (English) (Spanish)


Meeting ID: 862 5819 7558 Passcode: 979925

(There is no childcare available for this meeting)

Spanish language interpreter services available

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

Dear Community Partners,


Please see this information from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and our community partners:



The State Council on Developmental Disabilities’ website features a Training and Event calendar, where our community can find statewide trainings, webinars, and events to attend, with dates, times, and links.


Trainings coming up:

6/5 IEP Strategies – Part 1

6/12 Estrategias de IEP – Parte 1

6/19 IEP Strategies – Part 2

6/26 Estrategias de IEP – Parte 2


7/10 Understanding Evaluations

7/17 Entendiendo Evaluaciones

7/24 Anti-Bullying Strategies

7/31 Estrategias contra el Bullying


Statewide Training Flyer English

Statewide Training Flyer Spanish

English Flyer

Spanish Flyer

Family Resource Network (FRN) Update

Lisa Culley, Executive Director

Family Resource Network (FRN) is hosting Sibshop in Amador County! Sibshop is an event for youth, 7-14 years old, who have a sibling with a disability. This is time for the sibling to meet other siblings, receive information, play games, eat pizza, and have tons of fun!! Siblings will explore and discuss some of the fun (and not so fun) parts of having a sibling! Sibshop is scheduled for Friday, June 9, 2023, at First 5 Amador in Jackson.

Registration is required, and the registration form can be requested from FRN at 209-472-3674 or

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