Information on Lanterman

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FFF Opposes Proposed Closure of Lanterman

Apr 22, 2010 --- Fairview Families and Friends (FFF) of Fairview Developmental Center strongly opposes the California Department of Developmental Services recommendation to close Lanterman Developmental Center in Pomona.

The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act of California provides for an array of services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The service system established by this law guarantees the right to medical care and treatment and habilitation services for the disabled. The Lanterman Developmental Center, like the other remaining state-owned and staffed developmental centers, is an integral component of this system.

Lanterman provides 24-hour residential care for people with developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Down syndrome, autism and other lifelong conditions. The nearly 400 residents at the facility rely on the professional care and expertise of the Lanterman staff for their well-being. Many residents have lived at the Center for decades and developed valuable relationships with fellow residents and staff. Staying at Lanterman allows these individuals the opportunity to maintain connections to their friends and community in the security of familiar surroundings, and permits them access to health-care professionals who have the training and expertise specific to treating developmentally disabled people.

Current economic challenges in California have greatly affected the availability and quality of services and supports available in the community setting, with both reductions in and eliminations of vital services including dental care, respite care, transportation, and physical and occupational therapies. It is imprudent and reckless to transfer several hundred individuals with complex health-care needs into a fragile community system where the appropriate and optimal care is not readily available.