History of the Regional Center

What is The Lanterman Act?

The Lanterman Act is part of California’s Welfare and Institutions Code starting with Division 4.1. The term The Lanterman Act is often used to refer to all of California’s laws affecting individuals with developmental disabilities, including the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act, the Early Intervention Act, and regulations in Title 17 and Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, that further explain and implement the requirements of The Lanterman Act. The Lanterman Act is the name commonly used to describe California’s unique set of laws for persons with developmental disabilities, entitling them to receive the services and supports they need in order to live healthy, productive lives in the community. On KTLP.org, we will use the phrase The Lanterman Act to refer to all of these laws and certainly do not intend to exclude other laws or services by using this common name.

The Lanterman Act creates a system where each person with a disability is empowered to participate in choices about where and how they live, learn, work and play. Each person with a developmental disability has an Individual Program Plan (IPP) which specifies the services and supports the person will receive, while also considering the individual’s needs, desires and objectives. Children under the age of three with developmental delays may also be covered by federal and state legislation, which guarantees an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).

Regional Centers (RCs) have been created and are governed by The Lanterman Act<. RCs help to develop the IPP or the IFSP and are responsible for making sure the services are available and for purchasing those services. The Lanterman Act explains how service providers operate and creates an appeals process for persons with disabilities and their families to follow if they are not happy with their services, or with an action taken by their service provider or RC.


Keep The Lanterman Promise 


“We’re here to speak for Justice”  Click here

This is the story of the founding of the California Regional Center Program.     They interview many of the the parents who insisted on something new and different for their loved ones.


Here is a fact sheet on the history of the regional center system:  HistoryOfSystem

What is the Lanterman Act?   Lanterman Act Video 


40th Anniversary Booklet:   40thHistoryBrochure-r2


Who we serve: legislative 2015 info2