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Advocacy and Your Rights

Advocacy efforts protect the civil, legal and service rights of persons with developmental disabilities.


To make sure that persons with developmental disabilities have the same legal rights and responsibilities given all other individuals by the United States Constitution and laws and the Constitution and laws of the State of California.

What to Expect from the Regional Center

Advocacy for, and protection of, the civil, legal, and service rights of persons with developmental disabilities.

Information about advocacy services available through the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)Disability Rights California and regional center Peer Advocates.  Information about the complaint and appeal processes.

Your Rights

To treatment and habilitation supports and services in the least restrictive environment.

  • • To dignity, privacy, and humane care.
  • • To participate in an appropriate program of publicly supported education, regardless of severity of disability.
  • • To prompt medical care and treatment.
  • • To religious freedom and practice.
  • • To social interaction and participation in community activities.
  • • To physical exercise and recreational activities.
  • • To be free from harm, including unnecessary physical restraint or isolation, excessive medication, abuse or neglect.
  • • To be free from hazardous procedures.
  • • To make choices in your own life.

Disability Rights California

Disability Rights California works through advocacy, training, litigation, legislation and investigations to advance and protect the rights of Californians with disabilities.  A Clients’ Rights Advocate from this organization is employed at each regional center. The Clients’ Rights Advocate is a person trained to help protect the rights of people with developmental disabilities.

Who can get clients’ rights advocacy services?

Any person with a disability, family member, or interested person may ask a Clients’ Rights Advocate about the rights of a person with a developmental disability. The Clients’ Rights Advocate will answer your question or refer you to another resource.

Your Clients’ Rights Advocate:

  • • Can consult with and help people who have developmental disabilities and their families get services.
  • • Can directly represent people with developmental disabilities in administrative hearings.
  • • Can provide training about rights to consumers, their families, regional center service providers, and interested community groups.
  • • Can investigate complaints about the denial of any right to which a consumer is entitled, if the complaint involves a facility.
  • • Can assure compliance with the law involving denial of rights in a facility.

What service issues or agencies can my Clients’ Rights Advocate help me with?

Schools, Social Security, Medi-Cal, Neglect, Rehabilitation, Mental Health Discrimination, Regional Centers, In-Home Services, Private Insurance, Guardianship, Abuse, Day Care, Criminal Matters, Personal Autonomy, Conservatorship and Alternatives, Other miscellaneous areas of law.

If you have a complaint against any service agency, including the regional center or public schools, and would like advice and consultation, telephone TCRC’s Clients’ Rights Advocates:

Andrew Gonzalez, Clients’ Rights Advocate/Attorney

Gina Gheno, Assistant Clients’ Rights Advocate

Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy
201 N Calle Cesar Chavez Ste. 202 SB, CA 93103
Phone 805-308-8950 Fax 805-308-8949