Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act

The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act or Lanterman Act provides services which help people with developmental disabilities to have a more independent life. The specific rights include services which promote liberty, support in natural community settings, medical care, freedom to practice religion, recreation, freedom from harm, and choices in one’s own life.

This was preceded by the Lanterman Mental Retardation Services Act which was proposed in 1969. This California law was proposed in 1977 by Frank D. Lanterman, an Assembly Member. To be eligible, an individual must have a “substantial disability” which is having functional limitations in at least three areas of major life activity.

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