Information is Power: Services for People with Disabilities

The Office of Clients Rights Advocacy (OCRA) is proud to announce a free conference aimed to educate the Latino community about services available to their family member with a developmental disability.

 

2020 Information is Power: Services for People with Disabilities

Please join DRC’s Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy for a Spanish Webinar SeriesInformation is Power:
Services for People with Developmental Disabilities July 23, 2020 to September 3, 2020
This FREE training is for Latino families receiving regional center services
and will only be available in Spanish.
Latinos on Alert!

What You will Learn: Be aware of the changes in services and laws that are occurring on a daily basis. Public agencies like regional centers, school districts, Social Security, and other state agencies offer services that can improve the lives of your loved one with disabilities. This will help you learn the services and rights of your children with disabilities.

Come and learn!
Information is the power you need to break down barriers.

REGISTER TODAY

Webinar Topics

Information is Power Public Forum

Keynote Speaker: Gabriela Teissier – Univision News Anchor/Host, A Primera Hora

 

Date: July 23, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description:

Join OCRA to kick off this exciting webinar series. You will hear from Carmen Almora, a parent with an adult child with a developmental disability served by the North Los Angeles County Regional Center. She will share her experience working with OCRA to better access services for her son. You will also hear from our Keynote Speaker Gabriela Teissier, a reporter from Univision who will discuss how she manages being both a parent of a child with autism and a public figure. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and learn from other Spanish speaking families during this public forum.

Speakers:

Carmen Almora - Parent of Regional Center Client

Keynote Speaker:
Gabriela Teissier - Univision News Anchor/Host, A Primera Hora

DRC leadership/staff:
Eva Casas-Sarmiento - Managing Attorney, OCRA
Katie Hornberger - OCRA Director
Elizabeth Barrios - Board of Directors, DRC
Andrew J. Imparato - Executive Director, DRC

Register Here

In-Home Supportive Services Assessments (IHSS) - Morning Webinar

Date: July 30, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description:

Learn how to prepare for in-home assessments with the County and how to document the need for more hours or for protective supervision hours.  

Speakers:

OCRA Staff:
Marisol Cruz
Aimee Delgado

Register Here

In-Home Supportive Services Assessments (IHSS) - Evening Webinar (Repeat of Morning Webinar)

Date: July 30, 2020

Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Description:

This training will review how to prepare for in-home assessments with the County and how to document the need for more hours or for protective supervision hours.   

Speakers:

OCRA Staff:
Marisol Cruz
Aimee Delgado

Register Here

Prepare for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Hearings

Date: August 6, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description:

Learn practical tips about how to prepare for an IHSS hearing, including: timelines and how to put together an evidence packet to submit at a hearing.

Speakers:

OCRA Staff:
Mario Espinoza
Yulahlia Hernandez 

Register Here

Planning for Individual Education Plan (IEP) Meetings

Date: August 13, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description

This presentation will be an overview of your basic rights to special education services.

You will also learn about:

  • The Individual Education Plan (IEP) process.
  • Important timelines for getting the special education services your child needs from school districts.
  • Practical tips to prepare for an IEP meeting.

Speakers:

OCRA Staff:
Mario Espinoza
Celeste Palmer

Register Here

Services for Transition-Aged Youth

Date: August 20, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description:

Learn how different agencies (school districts, Department of Rehabilitation, regional centers) can help young people with disabilities as they move into adult life. The training will also review pre-employment transition services available to students with disabilities as well as their right to competitive integrated employment.

Speakers

DRC Staff:
Gabriela Torres
Lucia Mirande

ORCA Staff:
Yulahlia Hernandez 

Register Here

Individual Program Plans (IPP): Steps for asking for Regional Center Services

Date: August 27, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description:

Learn the importance of the regional center Individual Program Plan (IPP) process. We will also explain the different kinds of regional center services available to children and adults such as respite, behavior therapy.   

Speakers:

OCRA Staff:
Jennifer Alfaro
Sonia Tostado

Register Here

Overview of Social Security Benefits

Date: September 3, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Description:

Learn about basic requirements for getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and how the SSI amounts are determined.

You will also learn about:

  • Reporting requirements, deeming, in-kind income and how working affects the amount of SSI you get. 
  • SSI overpayments and what you can do when you disagree with an overpayment.
  • Recent changes to the public charge rules that may apply to people who want to become permanent legal residents.

Speakers:

OCRA Staff:
Aimee Delgado

Register Here

Learn about our conference speakers:

Keynote Speaker: Gabriela Teissier - Univision News Anchor/Host, A Primera Hora

Photo of Gabriela TeissierL.A. Press Club “Best News Anchor” Gabriela Teissier serves as news anchor and host of Univision LA’s morning show A Primera Hora and morning daily talk show Tu Voz en Los Angeles on Univision Radio. She has been recognized by the Mexican government for empowering the lives of Mexican nationals and by the California Senate for her contributions to the betterment of her community. She is passionate about reporting environmental, educational and social issues.

Jennifer Alfaro - Clients’ Rights Advocate, OCRA 

Jennifer Alfaro has been with OCRA since 2014. She recently became the Inland Regional Center CRA after 5 years of being a CRA with the Community Integration Team, serving clients living in restrictive settings. Jennifer is the recipient of DRC’s 2015 Advocacy Achievement Award. Before DRC, she gained experience at Public Counsel, Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Children’s Law Center. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles.

Carmen Almora - Parent of Regional Center Client

Carmen Almora is the parent of a 20-year-old client of the North Los Angeles County Regional Center and is a great advocate for her son. She is an active member of her local Spanish support group and provides useful tips to parent that are struggling with securing services through the regional center and/or IHSS. She consistently attends events put on by OCRA.

Elizabeth Barrios - Board of Directors, DRC

Elizabeth Barrios is a parent and a dedicated advocate who is committed to working tirelessly to impact change within underserved communities through advocacy, training, and empowerment. She was also instrumental in creating and co-founding the Integrated Community Collaborative (ICC). A collaboration of Community Groups of Parents and Self-Advocates who help the Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability Community through cultural relevance and integration. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Science from Woodbury University and is the proud mother of 11-year-old Oscar Antonio, who has Down Syndrome, and 9 year-old Diego Antonio.

Mario Espinoza - Clients’ Rights Advocate, OCRA 

Mario Espinoza has worked at OCRA since 2008.  As the Clients’ Rights Advocate who serves Kern County Regional Center clients and their families. Mario believes that empowering our local community of regional center clients with the knowledge and information they need to advocate for themselves gives them and their loved ones a powerful voice. Mario earned a Juris Doctorate from the San Joaquin College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from California State University Bakersfield. 

Aimee Delgado - Clients’ Rights Advocate, OCRA

Aimee Delgado works with San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center clients and their families. Aimee believes the work of OCRA is essential to help clients become successful self-advocates. Over the last ten years, Aimee has developed close relationships with community partners to provide trainings to empower clients and their families. Aimee holds a Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Mount St. Mary’s University.

Yulahlia Hernandez - Clients’ Rights Advocate, OCRA

Yulahlia Hernandez has been the Clients' Rights Advocate for North Bay Regional Center clients for over fifteen years.  She advises clients on a variety of matters including eligibility for public benefits, regional center services and special education. Yulahlia particularly enjoys providing training to Spanish-speaking clients and their families. She enjoys working with clients on their self-advocacy skills. She holds a Juris Doctorate and Public Interest Certificate from Santa Clara University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American history from San Jose State University.

Katie Hornberger - Director, OCRA

Katie Hornberger is the Director of the Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy. Katie has been with OCRA for nearly twenty years, working as a supervisor and as the Clients’ Rights Advocate for clients of both Harbor Regional Center and North Los Angeles County Regional Center. Katie was a special education and early intervention teacher. She was also an in-home behavior therapist for children with Autism. Katie earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California at Irvine and a Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine School of Law. 

Andrew J. Imparato - Executive Director, DRC

Andy Imparato became the Executive Director of DRC on February 3, 2020. Andy joins DRC after a high impact 26-year career in Washington, D.C. working inside and outside government in significant leadership positions, including 17 years as the chief executive of two national disability organizations, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). He graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School in 1990 and was a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College. Andy’s perspective is informed by his lived experience with bipolar disorder.

Lucia Mirande - Client Assistance Program Advocate, DRC

Lucia Mirandé is an Advocate at Disability Rights California working with the Client Assistance Program and the Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security program. Prior to joining Disability Rights California, Lucia worked as a Community Organizer addressing issues of social justice. Lucia earned her Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2005, and is a certified mediator.

Celeste Palmer - Associate Clients’ Rights Advocate, DRC

Celeste Palmer has worked for OCRA for almost 20 years advocating for clients of the Regional Center of the East Bay. Celeste is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz with a major in Latin American Studies and obtained her teaching credential from San Jose State University. Celeste speaks Spanish and feels a strong connection to her clients and their families because she has had to advocate for her own daughter, who has cerebral palsy. 

Eva Casas-Sarmiento -  Managing Attorney, OCRA

Eva Casas-Sarmiento obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. Eva’s entire legal career has been as a disability rights lawyer. Eva always incorporates lots of outreach and training to traditionally underserved communities of color. Eva’s family members with disabilities inspired her to pursue this area of law.

Gabriela Torres - Senior Attorney, DRC

Gabriela Torres is an experienced special education attorney who has represented students and adults with special needs across the state of California in civil actions, administrative lawsuits and in district court appeals. Gabriela obtained her Juris Doctorate degree from California Western School of Law and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Kingston University London. Gabriela is fluent in Spanish and considers herself an environmentalist.

Sonia Tostado - Clients’ Right Advocate, OCRA

Sonia Tostado has 14 years of experience working for the regional center system as a service coordinator. She had the opportunity to assist clients and their families from Early Start to school age children and adults. She has experience as an educational advocate providing support and advice to families in the IEP process. Sonia has a Master’s Degree in Public Health Community Education. Her studies focused on empowering families navigating the legal system to obtain community resources and supports.