Office of Clients' Rights Advocacy (OCRA)
Providing free legal information, advice and representation to regional center clients. We provide the clients’ rights advocate for each regional center. To find out more, keep reading.
The Office of Clients' Rights Advocacy (OCRA) is part of Disability Rights California. The California Department of Developmental Services funds OCRA through a contract. OCRA has been providing advocacy services to regional center consumers, their families, and interested community members since 1999. OCRA provides legal services to consumers of all 21 regional centers throughout California. We have a Clients' Rights Advocate (CRA) designated for each regional center catchment area. The CRA can help with legal problems, conduct trainings, and investigate denials of rights.
To contact your OCRA office, call one of OCRA's toll-free numbers:
Northern California 1-800-390-7032 (TTY 877-669-6023)
Southern California 1-866-833-6712 (TTY 877-669-6023)
Or you can call your advocate directly at the number listed on the staff links page.
Owen is a young adult who attends junior college. He is a very talented computer artist and hopes to eventually get a job in computer graphics and be self-supporting. He was receiving SSI and signed up for the SSI Ticket to Work program with the Department of Rehabilitation. The Ticket to Work program allows recipients to postpone the SSI eligibility redetermination process during the time they are training for the work which will make them self-supporting. There was a typographical error in Owen’s Social Security number on the original DOR application.
After frequently arriving late to his day program, George and his parents wanted to change his transportation vendor. OCRA informed George’s parents of the regional center’s responsibility to provide transportation as written in his IPP. OCRA also informed George’s parents of the right to request a new transportation vendor and to review the referral packets that the regional center was sending to the proposed transportation agencies. George’s parents requested to change the transportation agency and to review the referral packets.
Satoshi is a young child who comes from a monolingual Japanese-speaking family. His parents applied for Medi-Cal on his behalf. The application was denied multiple times due to errors and incorrect information. OCRA appealed all of the notices and contacted the Medi-Cal eligibility worker to correct the errors and misinformation that had triggered the denials of eligibility. Within a week, Satoshi received his notice of eligibility and Medi-Cal card. Satoshi is now able to access the Medi-Cal therapy services he needs.
Hector has Medi-Cal through a managed care plan (MCP). Hector’s doctor requested a speech-generating device for him, which the MCP denied. OCRA researched Hector’s right to have Medi-Cal fund the speech device and advised his mother to file an appeal. OCRA negotiated with the MCP to determine which speech device would be appropriate to meet Hector’s needs. After many conversations with Hector’s educational speech and language pathologist and the MCP hearing representative, the MCP agreed to fund an iPad with the appropriate software to meet Hector’s needs.
Tomas is 61 years old and has profound intellectual disability. He does not speak, but communicates through his behavior. Tomas does not have any family or friends involved in his life and does not have a conservator appointed by the court. Tomas had lived in a developmental center for more than 55 years, since he was five years old. His transfer to a less restrictive community group home setting was well-planned with considerable cross-training between the developmental center staff and the group home to ensure staff understood Tomas’s behavior and could provide appropriate services.
After several years of successfully targeting Spanish-speaking parent groups, the Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy (OCRA) that serves Regional Center of the East Bay (RCEB) consumers turned its attention to the Asian-American community, which is unfortunately underrepresented. OCRA set out with an ambitious goal to work with a local parent support group called Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN) to do three different trainings within a three-month period.