Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Appeal & Complaint Processes
The Department of Developmental Services believes the California developmental services community is best served by the open exchange of information and opinions. DDS is also committed to providing mechanisms for the resolution of problems and complaints when they arise. A number of formal processes have been established for handling appeals and complaints. For questions regarding the appeal and complaint process, contact the DDS directly at (916) 654-1987, or visit the following link to DDS that offers a brief description of each process with a link to additional information: https://www.dds.ca.gov/complaints/
California Employment First policy
CA Employment First Legislation (passed): AB 1041, enacted in October 2013, establishing an Employment First policy for individuals served by the state’s developmental disability system: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_1001-1050/ab_1041_bill_20131009_chaptered.pdf
CA Employment First Legislation (summary): Summary from State Council on Developmental Disabilities on AB 1041, establishing an Employment First policy: http://www.scdd.ca.gov/files/2016/10/English-EFC-flyer.pdf
CA Legislation (passed): AB 287, California’s legislation on Employment First, enacted in October 2009, establishing Employment First Committee, and calling for the establishment of an Employment First Policy: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_287_bill_20091011_chaptered.pdf
CA Blueprint: Department of Rehabilitation, Department of Education, Department of Developmental Services jointly issued document on competitive integrated employment: http://www.chhs.ca.gov/Pages/Competitive-Integrated-Employment-(CIE).aspx
CA Committee on Employment First: Website for State Council on Developmental Disabilities Committee on Employment First: http://www.scdd.ca.gov/employment_first_committee
What is the Regional Center?
North Los Angeles County Regional Center (NLACRC) is one of 21 private, non-profit organizations under contract with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to coordinate and provide community-based services to persons with developmental disabilities (consumers), as well as providing Early Start services for infants and toddlers with certain delays and established risk conditions. NLACRC serves people who live in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and Antelope Valleys.
What is the Department of Rehabilitation?
The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is an employment and independent living resource for people with disabilities.
Top 10 Myths & Facts of Social Security Benefits and Work (October 2014)
Please take a look at this resource developed by Creative Employment Opportunities, Inc. (CEO), which includes a few quick facts and important myths about the impact working can have on Social Security benefits.
Please know: Benefits are important and it is important to know as much as you can about your specific situation. The best way to learn is to receive individualized benefits counseling.
Employment First – A Guide for Self-Advocates and Families (October 2014)
This easy-to-use guide to advocating for Employment First was adapted from the APSE Legislative Toolkit. The links within the document will take you to publications and resources to help you develop better advocacy strategies to make Employment First a reality!
Disability.gov is a comprehensive website with not only an extensive list of employment resources, but also information regarding benefits, civil rights, community life, education, emergency preparedness, health, housing, technology, and transportation for people with disabilities.
View this list of all employment resources disability.gov provides: https://www.disability.gov/?s=&fq=topics_taxonomy:%22Employment%5E%5E%22
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
1.800.526.7234 (Voice) | 1.877.781.9403 (TTY)
Spanish spoken; Spanish materials available
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
ADA National Network
For information on legislation, rights, and resources, visit:
Or call: 1.800.949.4232 (Voice/TTY)
The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. The ADA National Network consists of ten regional ADA National Network Centers located throughout the United States that provides personalized, local assistance to ensure that the ADA is implemented wherever possible. This is not an enforcement or regulatory agency, but a helpful resource supporting the ADA’s mission to “make it possible for everyone with a disability to live a life of freedom and equality.” (Formerly known as the DBTACs, the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers.)
ABLE National Resource Center
The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) is a collaborative whose supporters share the goal of accelerating the design and availability of ABLE accounts for the benefit of individuals with disabilities and their families. ANRC brings together the investment, support and resources of the country’s largest and most influential national disability organizations.
Accessible Community Transportation in Our Nation (Project ACTION)
For information on transportation legislation, customer rights, and information about accessible transportation, visit:
1.800.659.6428; (202) 347-7385 (TDD)
Project ACTION promotes universal access to transportation for people with disabilities under federal law and beyond by partnering with transportation providers, the disability community, and others through the provision of training, technical assistance, applied research, outreach and communication.
Career One-Stop (Web site)
This website is a publicly funded resource for job-seekers (including those with disabilities) and businesses. Job-seekers can search for jobs—from entry level to technical to professional to CEO—locate public workforce services in their area, explore alternative career paths, compare salary data for different occupations, learn which careers are hot, get resume writing tips and job interview strategies, and much more. Employers can identify job-ready workers with the right skills. Disability resources in particular can be found at:
JobAccess and ABILITYJobs
The goal of ABILITYJobs and JobAccess is to enable people with disabilities to enhance their professional lives by providing a dedicated system for finding employment. By posting job opportunities, or searching resumes, employers can find qualified persons with disabilities as well as demonstrate their affirmative action and open door policies.
National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD)
The National Center on Workforce and Disability/Adult (NCWD) provides training, technical assistance, policy analysis, and information to improve access for all in the workforce development system. Areas of expertise include: accommodations and assistive technology, relationships with employers, helping clients with disabilities find jobs, and advising employers as to how to provide job-related supports.
Office of Disability Employment Policy
U.S. Department of Labor
1.866.633.7365 (Voice) | 1.877.889.5627 (TTY)
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities. Find a wealth of employment-related information on ODEP’s website.
EARN | The Employer Assistance and Resource Network
The Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN) provides federal and private employers with free consulting services and resources to support the recruitment, hiring, and retention of people with disabilities. EARN connects employers with national networks of available job seekers and also provides high quality up-to-date online information and technical assistance to promote the inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workplace. Job-seekers can use EARN’s online tools and resources to find employment opportunities, and be connected with local employment service providers. EARN Employment Specialists are also available to answer job-seekers’ questions (at the telephone number listed above).
Social Security Administration (SSA)
The Social Security Administration’s Work Site provides clarity on matters affecting the employment of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities. Its Ticket to Work Program provides most beneficiaries with more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program SSA issues ticket to eligible beneficiaries who, in turn, may choose to assign those tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational (work) goal. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment.
START-UP/USA stands for Self-Employment Technical Assistance, Resources, & Training. This is a project funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. It provides technical assistance and disseminates resources nationally to individuals with disabilities interested in pursuing self-employment. This includes live web cast series with successful entrepreneurs who share their secrets for success.
Employment Resources and Self-Help Guide for Individuals with Disabilities – Sponsored by Department of Education/Division of Vocation Rehabilitation:
This guidebook provides a wide range of explanations, further information and resources on a variety of disability services, including definitions, both legal and policy definitions about eligibility. It also provides links to job search resources, trainings, tools and sites to almost each aspect of a job search for people with disabilities including specific veteran services.
Ticket to Work Employment Resource Database:
**Through the Social Security Administration (SSA) anyone who receives disability benefits already qualifies for Ticket to Work services, but some of the services found in the database may be accessible to those not receiving Social Security Disability benefits.**
Able to search through a database filtered by state or zip code for Employment Networks ( ENs can help with free career counseling, job placement, and then ongoing support once working) , Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (State VR can help if you want to return to work but need more significant services before you can start) , Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA projects are community-based organizations that work to enable beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed choices about work, and to support working beneficiaries to make a successful transition to financial independence), Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (The Protection & Advocacy (P&A) network is the nation’s largest provider of legally based advocacy service for people with disabilities). The database shows state, multi-state and national providers including both non-profit organizations and federal agencies. http://choosework.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp
***Webinar to learn more about Ticket to Work and the programs they provide.***
***Helpful reading about working while receiving Social Security Disability benefits***
If you are employed and are experiencing difficulty on the job due to your disability, you might consider contacting the following organizations.
1.800.872.2253 (Voice) | 1.800.993.2822 (TTY)
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. If you are concerned about access to a facility that may have been federally funded, you can file a complaint about it with the Access Board under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). Find out more at the website above (look under the “Enforcement” tab) or by contacting the Board via its toll-free voice and TTY lines.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
1.800.669.4000 (Voice) | 1.800.669.6820 (TTY)
The EEOC is a government agency that handles discrimination complaints about employment based on age, sex, race, ethnicity, and disability. The 800 number will connect callers with their local EEOC office, which can discuss complaints.
How to file a Grievance at YIC
YIC is committed to providing a positive environment for everyone and therefore encourages everyone to be respectful of others. Occasionally, a consumer will have a problem that they cannot solve. When this happens, the following process is used to help the consumer resolve the issue:
*YIC provides all consumers with a Consumer Handbook during the YIC Program intake process. The Consumer Grievance Form is included in this Handbook.
1. Within a week of the occurrence, a consumer should go to the staff person they feel most comfortable with who will assist them in documenting and solving the grievance.
2. If the staff person does not resolve the situation to the satisfaction of the consumer, the consumer should ask to speak to the Director or Supervisor. A time for that meeting will be scheduled within 10 program days.
3. The Director or Supervisor will investigate, and provide a solution or explanation within 10 program days.
4. If the problem is still not resolved, the Director or Supervisor may present the problem in writing to the Program Director, who will attempt to reach a final resolution. The Program Director has 10 program days to get back to all parties involved with a resolution or decision.
5. The consumer may decide that they need outside help and will be encouraged and supported to call their case manager or other advocates to get support through the process. This may include a request from the consumer to call an Inter‐Disciplinary Team meeting. If requested, a meeting will be held within 20 program days to resolve the issue.
This procedure, which we believe is important for both consumers and YIC, cannot guarantee that every problem will be resolved to a consumer’s satisfaction. However, YIC values your observations and a consumer should feel free to raise issues of concern, in good faith, without fear of retaliation. At no time will any of the actions taken because of the investigation lead to any form of retaliation against the consumer, including but not limited to barriers to services provided. The Grievance Procedure will be verbally reviewed with each consumer prior to being admitted for services and on an semi-annual basis at the time of the IHSP meetings. At any time, a consumer may review the procedure and be provided with any necessary clarifications.