News, Information, & Opportunities for California's Intellectual & Developmental Disability Community
August 14 2017


Join The Arc of Ventura County for this one-day training program that will bring together law enforcement, legal professionals and disability advocates to discuss critical issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). 

The first national effort of its kind, Pathways to Justice will develop important partnerships to build the capacity of the criminal justice system to respond to gaps in existing services for people with I/DD. 

Federal Bill To Increase SSI

Washington, DC Aging and disability advocates celebrate as Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduces The Supplemental Security Restoration Act of 2017.

KEY SSI RESTORATION ACT of 2017 PROVISIONS include the following:
  •  Update general income disregard to $114 per month
  •  Update earned income disregard to $377 per month
  •  Update resource limit to $10,000 ($20,000 for an eligible couple)
  •  Repeal the in-kind support and maintenance provision
  •  Repeal penalties for resource transfers, marriage and state tax credits
Greg deGiere
Director of Policy & Advocacy, The Arc/UCP California Collaboration
The bill has 36 co-sponsors, including Representatives Tony Cardenas, Judy Chu, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal, Adam Schiff, and Mark Takano from California.

Considering Congress' recent attack on entitlement programs such as Medicaid, it is assumed that this bill has an uphill battle.  Nonetheless, the majority of people with I/DD in California receive SSI/SSP benefits, and therefore this effort will be a critical piece of our advocacy efforts.


Increasing Access to Dental Care
by Teresa Anderson, MPH 

Beginning January 1, 2018 the Denti-Cal program will implement full restoration of adult dental benefits.  The state has committed a significant amount of money, from the tobacco tax (proposition 56), toward improving dental services such access to care, increased provider reimbursement and preventive services.  While we know there is along way to go to meet the access and specialized dental services needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in California we view this as an important step to addressing the dental care crisis many in our community face. The state has also invested in increasing access and prioritizing continuity of dental care for children in the Denti-Cal program through the Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI). The DTI includes several pilot projects throughout the state, which aim to increase the use of preventive dental services for children, prevent and treat more early childhood caries, and increase continuity of care for children. 

The Department of Health Care Services has created an e-mail service for interested stakeholders such as advocates, consumers, counties, legislative staff, providers, and state associations to register to receive relevant updates on the Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI). If you are interested in receiving updates and information you can subscribe here

We frequently hear from self-advocates, families and advocates about the challenges of finding a dentist that is accepting new Denti-Cal patients.  The restoration of adult benefits will mean that more people will likely be seeking dental care. If you need assistance finding a dentist the DHCS - Denti-Cal program has a provider referral list on their website: 

The Denti-Cal Beneficiary Services number is also an important resource 1(800) 322-6384 for those needing assistance finding a dentist or inquiring about dental benefits.  Self advocates, families and advocates must continue to make their voice heard in addressing the dental health needs of our community. If you are in a Medi-Cal (Denti-Cal) managed care dental plan and need help accessing dental services first call your dental plan beneficiary services number.  If you experience challenges finding a dentist in your area or a dentist w
Teresa Anderson, Prevention Coordinator
illing to accept new Denti-Cal patients the Department of Managed Care has a help center that can be reached at 1(888) 466-2219 or email 

Teresa Anderson, MPH
The Arc California
Prevention Coordinator


Check Your Prejudice at the Door...
Tim Hornbecker_ Director of Advocacy _ Organizing

...if you want to community organize and advocate!

“What prejudice of mine”, I asked myself after attending a workshop by Dr. Jaideep Singh, co-founder of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), author, and university professor.

 Dr. Singh challenges all of us to look at the dissonance in our own lives. “Three quarters of whites have an implicit (subconscious) pro-White/anti-Black bias. Implicit bias is present in white children as young as 6. Our brains automatically make associations based on our experiences and information we receive – whether we consciously agree or not. Our brain has a mind of its own. Implicit racism (Racism without Racists) affects many white Americans who otherwise possess strong egalitarian values,” according to Dr. Singh. 

The same ‘Racism without Racists’ that the shooter of Michael Brown in Ferguson faced, not supposedly prejudiced but conditioned by society to be afraid of young black boys.

I thought that we have come a long way from the 1960’s and the Selma, Alabama march. But with the increase in the white supremacy movement again, and racist undertones and messages from the last Presidential Election, racism is very much alive! The recent transgender exclusion of people in the military showing a new intolerance! Unbelievable this weekend, the death of Heather Heyer with her last Facebook post, “if you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention.” Murdered by a white supremacist driving through counter protestors to the white Nazi pro rally in Charlottesville, Virginia! 

Dr. Singh talks about implicit prejudice, as well as explicit that we read about every day. He asked if you have ever caught yourself saying, “I’ve never thought of you as Black” or similar statements to try to prove you’re not prejudice to someone of color. Until we become aware of our own prejudices, it is almost impossible or difficult to fight for the rights of others. 

I drive to work in Oakland every day. I’ve never been pulled over by police. Almost all of our staff of color has been at one time or another. Until I sat in a room with Oakland black high school students asking me about my ‘white privilege’, I didn’t even think I had any. I didn’t think I had any prejudice.  Then I thought about my uninterrupted commute to work! One of our self advocates with Autism, about 6’1”, was with me. He said to the students that he’d been bullied and called names. But he feels so bad about the prejudice and discrimination they’ve met, because as a white person he hadn’t had the same. What honesty from a self-advocate! Such dialogues, talking with each other, is the key to fighting prejudice…then joining forces to overcome all of our same issues of housing, education, health care, employment and transportation.      

So as I confront my own dissonance and implicit not explicit prejudice, I ask you to do the same and join the fight against discrimination of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, along with discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

Tim Hornbecker, Director of Advocacy and Community Organizing, The Arc California


Deadline Extended for Early Registration

The early bird deadline for 2017 National Convention has been extended to August 11 - don't miss this limited-time rate!  Register at

This year's convention will be held in sunny San Diego, CA from November 1 - 4. Register to join us as we INNOVATE * COLLABORATE * MOTIVATE and rise to the challenge to protect and promote the rights of people with I/DD across the country. Book your room soon- they are available until October 10 or until the block sells out, whichever comes first!


August 30, 2017
Capitol Rally for AB 279 (local minimum wage reimbursement)
South Steps of State Capitol

October 5-6, 2017
31st Annual Supported Life Conference
"Designing Dreams: Blueprint for a Meaningful Life"
Crowne Plaza Sacramento Northeast

November 2-4, 2017

March 11-13, The Arc & UCP California Public Policy Conference, Sacramento, CA

The Nation

The Atlantic


Los Angeles Daily News

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The Arc of California, 1225 8th Street, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95814.  Office (916) 552-6619, Fax (916) 441-3494