Self and Family Advocacy

CEDD works to strengthen advocacy skills for people with DD and their families, promoting the inclusion, integration, productivity, and human rights of people with DD and working towards creating a community that is enriched by their full and active participation and contributions. We have several advocacy projects underway, including projects in the Latino, African-American, and Asian communities. These projects involve strategic outreach into underserved communities through partnering with community leaders and organizations to engender disability awareness and the importance of early intervention. They include support groups, networking, training, and website resources, with many resources in both English and Spanish.

Resource Center

CEDD and long-time community partner, the WarmLine Family Resource Center, staff and operate the MIND Institute Resource Center.  We work to make it welcoming and user-friendly for people with disabilities and their family members, community advocates, trainees and professionals by providing parent-to-parent support and by creating and supporting connections to resources within the MIND Institute, at the UC Davis Medical Center, and in the community. In addition to in-person and phone support, we offer small-group training and networking opportunities. We have staff who are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Community training

Each year CEDD provides more than 100 training opportunities for consumers, families, service providers, students and professionals to increase their knowledge and skills in the areas of developmental disabilities, early identification, service provision, inclusion and other medical, legal, social and public policy issues related to disabilities.

Promoting Inclusive Preschool

CEDD partners with Sacramento’s Triumph Preschool on the development of a high quality, inclusive, early childhood program. CEDD staff members provide support for children with disabilities and/or challenging behaviors through individualized recommendations, staff training and parent support. Triumph has implemented the Center for Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL) model and is collecting data on the impact of teacher skill and confidence on supporting children with challenging behaviors.  With technical assistance from CEDD, Triumph has become a California Department of Education model site for the support of children with special needs in inclusive early education.

Sibling workshops

Brothers and sisters are in the lives of family members with special needs longer than anyone else.  Despite the important roles they play throughout the lives of their siblings, even the most family-friendly agencies often overlook them.  Sibling workshops are opportunities for school-age siblings of children with disabilities to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context.  Siblings connect with peers, often for the first time, share their experiences and learn from one another.  CEDD offers sibling workshops for three age groups (7-10, 11-13, and 14-18); most of the facilitators are bilingual/bicultural (English and Spanish), and most have a family member with a developmental disability. 

Youth Transition Training and Mentoring Program

CEDD’s transition-support program is designed to strengthen the preparation of high school students with developmental disabilities for adult life in the community.  It includes the exploration of options for post-secondary education, purposeful work or volunteer service, independent living, self-advocacy and meaningful relationships.  The Transition Workgroup includes people with disabilities, family members, educators, and professionals from Alta California Regional Center, Area Boards on Developmental Disabilities, Department of Rehabilitation, the Sacramento Works career center and a range of adult service providers. The group sponsors workshops on pre-transition planning, transition issues and exploring the range of opportunities and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.

Consumer Internship / Career Preparation Program

Work-focused learning experiences are essential for young people to develop informed choices about careers. Our Career Preparation Program provides internship opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities at the CEDD and the MIND Institute. The program provides exposure to career options, the opportunity to engage in volunteer service, training designed to improve job-seeking skills and soft skills, and instruction in the areas of disability disclosure, communicating accommodation needs, benefits planning, and assistive technology.

Assistive Technology

CEDD is working to expand knowledge of and access to appropriate assistive technology (AT) for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. CEDD helped to start the Supported Life Institute’s Communication Technology Education Center(CTEC), which provides no-cost opportunities for hands-on exploration of communication devices and assessment and training in their use. CEDD also facilitates AT Resource Fairs, primarily for people with developmental disabilities, family members, and educators; the focus of the fairs is to share national, state and local resources on AT.

Statewide Initiative for Improving Services for People with Autism

CEDD is working at the systems-change level to increase training opportunities for professionals across the state. CEDD staff facilitated the creation and development of the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN), which consists of representatives from the California Departments of Developmental Services and Education, the Family Resource Center Network and other stakeholders. The network has developed the infrastructure and interagency collaborations to implement a statewide plan for improving services to children and youth with autism, by providing training and support in up-to-date evidence-based practices. The CAPTAIN Network, made up of over 350 professionals from across the state, provides annual training summits for new members, regional networking and planning events, a listserve with updates about new resources and a website that houses training materials and links to local and national resources. For more information, see»

California Early Start Support Network (CES)

CES is a collaborative project of CEDD, the USC UCEDD, the California Infant Development Association, and the California Association of Professors of Early Childhood Special Education. Bi-monthly videoconferencing is used to provide training and support for practitioners providing early intervention services. Part C programs from all across the state participate.

Partnerships with state agencies

CEDD staff participate in various state agency-sponsored advisory groups and interagency collaboratives, and provide technical assistance to various state agencies, including Public Health, Education and Developmental Services on topics related to early childhood development, special education, transition to adulthood, and medical services.