The Laws

The Lanterman Act

The Lanterman Act is a California state law which establishes the rights of persons with developmental disabilities to services and supports they need and choose so that they can lead independent, productive and normal lives in the community. The California Department of Developmental Services is responsible for delivering services under this law. The Golden Gate Regional Center is the agency which provides services in San Francisco. (For more information about the Golden Gate Regional Center, see the Agencies page of this website.)

Individuals who are eligible for services under the Lanterman Act are those:

  • with developmental disabilities;
  • who are high risk of giving birth to a child with a developmental disability;
  • infants who have a high risk of becoming developmentally disabled.

Under the Lanterman Act, developmental disabilities include:

  • mental retardation;
  • cerebral palsy;
  • autism; and
  • other disabling conditions which either are related to mental retardation or that require treatment similar to that required for mentally retarded individuals.

In San Francisco, children of all ages (and adults) who are eligible under the Lanterman Act are served by the Golden Gate Regional Center.

For more information on the Lanterman Act:

The Act

A link to the text of the Lanterman Act.

Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Consumer's Guide to the Lanterman Act

This guide is designed for consumers of DDS services. It is very simply and clearly written and provides good basic information about the Lanterman Act.

Rights Under the Lanterman Act

This is a Protection and Advocacy (PAI) publication and is a comprehensive guide to the Lanterman Act. You may also want to visit PAI's website to see what other resources and publications they offer.

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