Any resident of San Diego or Imperial County believed to have a developmental disability may receive intake services through the San Diego Regional Center. Anyone may refer a person suspected of having a developmental disability. Formal application, however, must be made by an adult applicant, parent, conservator or guardian. Residents of Imperial County apply for services at the Regional Center office in Imperial. Residents of San Diego County apply at the headquarters office of the San Diego Regional Center.
The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act is the law that gives people with developmental disabilities in California the right to services and supports. It allows clients to live a more independent and fulfilling life. The Lanterman Act begins with section 4500 and runs through section 4846 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. The Regional Center services provided are based on state law as described in the Lanterman Act. All purchased services must meet both the needs and the choices of each individual person. §§ 4501, 4512(b).