California Department of Developmental Services Class Notice
If you are Deaf and receive services from a Regional Center in California, or if you are Deaf and are eligible to receive services from a Regional Center in California, your rights may be affected by a proposed settlement agreement with the California Department of Developmental Disabilities.
If the Court approves this settlement, then DDS will do the following things:
- Hire a statewide deaf specialist with knowledge about providing services and supports to deaf people.
- Work with experts to help them make good decisions about how to support deaf people.
- Provide funding to each regional center to hire a deaf services specialist to better serve deaf consumers.
- Make services for deaf consumers a priority for specific grant funding during the 2022–2023 fiscal year.
- Create a webpage with information about deaf services.
- Send a reminder to Regional Centers of the ADA’s requirements for the provision of effective communication to individuals who are deaf.
DDS will also work with Regional Centers to:
- Offer communication assessments to deaf people.
- Hire a deaf specialist at each regional center to help deaf consumers.
- Offer specialized training to regional center staff and to professionals who serve deaf people.
- Conduct outreach and work with local agencies that have experience providing services to deaf people.
- Develop a housemate matching system for deaf consumers.
In exchange for these actions, all Settlement Class Members will give up the right to sue DDS under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or California Government Code section 11135 based on its failure to make sure that Deaf consumers receive services in sign language or another method that is effective for them.
If you are Deaf and receive or qualify for services from DDS, you have a right to object to this Agreement. Information on how to object is in the Class Notice.
The Agreement will not become effective unless the Court approves it. The Court will hold a hearing to determine whether to approve this Agreement on September 15, 2023 at 10:00am Pacific Time by Zoom. You can attend the Zoom hearing at this link: https://cand-uscourts.zoomgov.com/j/1612108939?pwd=RFlsVmV0ZlFYb1ovQzRNTVlXNzcydz09. We will update this page if the date, time, or format of the hearing changes.