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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, July 14, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

Valley Mountain Regional Center Celebrates

Disability Pride Month 2023

As our community continues to recognize the 33rd Anniversary of Disability Pride Month throughout July, it’s important to celebrate the progress made since 1990 and to be honest with ourselves about the work still needed to achieve the purpose of a long list of major civil rights policies for people with disabilities. A few of these significant public policies include the 1963 Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Act, the 1969 Lanterman Act, the 1973 Rehab Act with the 1977 Sec 504 addition, the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (IDEA), and in 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act.

These important moments in time when the disability movement achieved access to equity in various parts of their lives, did not result in equity but rather the opportunity to demand equal rights under the law. While employment of people with disabilities hits an all time high (Disability Scoop March 2023) it is still only at around 21% and some experts caution the numbers are still low for IDD community. High school graduation rates continue to increase for students with disabilities and increased slightly higher than the non-disabled student’s graduation rates (US Dept of Education 2020), however, the rates are still around 15% lower. And finally, the Home and Community Based Waiver program has transformed many community services, but we still see people with disabilities segregated at home due to health fears of their families or their own, or because their service provider has still not fully recovered to rebuild their service capacity due to severe shortages in the workforce.

So this year like every other year, celebrate the victories, but then push, roll, walk, or run forward to break down barriers to access full participation in American society. Happy Disability Pride Month to you all.


The Director's Travels

The July 17, 2023 board communication on the director's activities...

A Big THANK YOU to ALL that Have Already Agreed to be a Sponsor!




LIFE (Learning Institute for Functional Education)


VMRC Board of Directors Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 6:00 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

Announcing Our Provider Community's Third Professional Conference, Moving Forward


We are so excited to announce that our local provider coalition, the Coalition of Local Agency Service Providers (CLASP), has been hard at work to put together their third provider conference. This one will be called “Moving Forward” 2023 and will be their first major provider conference in three years. This is an opportunity for our provider community to come together to learn about policy issues and innovations in providing person-centered services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families.

The event includes one of the national thought leaders on Person-Centered Thinking, Carol Blessing of Cornell University and John Raffaele and Joe Macbeth from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, talking about the important role of Direct Support Professionals in connecting people with disabilities to their communities. We were also very excited to learn that one of our most popular speakers on creative approaches to person-center supports for people with complex needs, Lynn Seagle, will be one of the featured morning keynotes and our DDS Director Nancy Bargmann will cap off our morning with a lunch keynote.

CLASP does so much to support the provider community and it’s an honor to work with these leaders who have dedicated their careers to serving people with IDD and their families in our region. This conference is an excellent example of how our providers focus on continuous improvements in service delivery in our community. Special thanks to Candice Bright and Liz Herrera Knapp for their leadership in making this happen.

Conference Landing Page
Conference Registration
Sponsorship Information

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Service Coordinators participated in the Notice of Action, Inactivation and and Mutual Consent Process. This training occurred in person and virtually and is part of our Service Coordinator training series. Tracy Vaughn led the training with assistance from Jason Toepel and Julie De Diego. 

UC Davis Resources

UC Davis offers both in person and virtual Sibling sessions. There is a virtual session starting in August. The next in person event is scheduled for August. Scan the QR codes for more information or visit their events website at

UC Davis MIND Institute is Coming Up! 

The 2023 MIND Summer Institute of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities is scheduled for July 28th. Please visit the website for more information and to register.


ICYMI: Sparks of all kinds were flying in the Neighborhood last week! In addition to celebrating the 4th of July holiday, we shared a great resource called “Sparking Healthy Connections” from Zero to Three. This video series (also available in Spanish) is ideal to share with families of children birth to five years old to support them in promoting their child’s development and having conversations with their pediatricians. 


The List of Trainings Approved for Reimbursement for Early Start Service Providers continues to be open for your suggestions. Complete this submission form to have an opportunity you know about considered for approval. The Definitions for DDS Training Reimbursement Topics and Delivery Formats are available here.

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

Community Services Update


Brian Bennett, Director of Community Services

VMRC is actively seeking the following service types:

Social Recreation Opportunity

Made possible by a Grant from the Department of Developmental Services

Emergency Services Update


Aaron McDonald, Emergency Response and Safety Specialist


We have seen an extreme increase in in high temperatures this week. This weekend will be EXTEREMLY hot, with many areas of California experiencing heat above 100 degrees for multiple days and into next week. The Governor’s office has shared a list of cooling centers in each county, where people can go to get relief from high temperatures:

Additional information is available on the Department of Developmental Services Emergency Preparedness website:

Drowning prevention information is available here: . Increased temperatures lead to increased energy usage that can lead to unplanned power outages, please see guide below to be prepared should the power go out.

The DEI Corner


Mark Crear, DEI Manger

North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

Californians with Disabilities Win Big with the Creation of the

State’s Employment First Office!

The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), along with a coalition of disability advocate partners including California APSE, Disability Rights California, IRI Mentorworks (Integrated Resources Institute), PathPoint, and Progressive Employment Concepts, Inc, championed what began as a proposal to the legislature and ended in the successful creation of the Employment First Office.

Read the complete news release here:

SCDD is a proud sponsor of this important event! Get a team together and join us!

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