Participant Rights and Responsibilities

Every one of us has rights and responsibilities. Part of independent living involves understanding YOUR individual rights and responsibilities. One way to become familiar with your rights is to understand the Lanterman Act which is a California law that promises services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

What is Right?

Rights are opportunities that each individual shares equally. Under the law, every individual has the same rights. The Lanterman Act outlines the following rights: You have the right to dignity and humane care. You have a right to privacy. You have a right to participate in an appropriate program of public education. You have a right to prompt medical care and treatment.
You have a right to religious freedom and practice. You have a right to social interaction and participation in community activities. You have a right to physical exercise and recreation. You have a right to be free from harm. You have a right to be free from hazardous procedures. You have a right to get services and supports in the least restrictive environment.

What is Responsibility?

You have the responsibility to treat others with the same respect and care that you expect. You have the responsibility to be an active and positive member of your community. You have the responsibility to communicate honestly. You have the responsibility to communicate with others if you or others are being treated with disrespect or are being abused. You have the responsibility to actively participate in and help develop your Individual Support Plan (ISP), Supported Living Services (SLS), and Tailored Day Services; Personal Support Plan(PSP). You have the responsibility to follow all state and federal laws.

Self Advocacy

The goal of the SDCLS program is to ensure participants are able to advocate for themselves. In other words, you choose and decide what is best for you and what you want to do. Self-advocacy means that you take part in all of the decisions concerning your life. Examples of self-advocacy are:

  • Deciding whether you want to live alone or with a roommate.
  • Deciding what to cook at meal time.
  • Deciding what clothes you want to buy and wear.
  • Deciding which social activities you want to attend.
  • Deciding where you would like to work.
  • Deciding what staff you want to work with.

Self-advocacy also means that you communicate for yourself. Examples of effective communication are:

  • Telling others how you are being treated.
  • Telling others how you feel about your job.
  • Participating in decisions in your community.
  • Requesting a meeting or review if you feel that you are being treated unfairly.
  • Requesting a different staff person to work with you if you feel like your current staff person is not a good match.