A developmental disability is a disability which occurs before an individual reaches 18 years of age, is expected to continue indefinitely and constitutes a substantial handicap. Developmental disabilities include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and disabling conditions closely related to intellectual disability or requiring similar treatment to that required for individuals with intellectual disability.

Intellectual disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical skills, which are apparent prior to the age of 18.

The definition of intellectual disability above does not stand alone; the definition must be applied within a context based on five assumptions:

  1. Limitations in present functioning must be considered within the context of community environments typical of the individual’s age peers and culture;
  2. Valid assessment considers cultural and linguistic diversity as well as differences in communication, sensory, motor, and behavioral factors;
  3. Within the individual, limitations often coexist with strengths;
  4. An important purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supports; and
  5. With appropriate personalized supports over a sustained period, the life functioning of the person with intellectual disability generally will improve

*Source: American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Becoming Independent offers a variety of services.  Please refer to our Programs page for a full list.

BI was established in 1967.

The programs currently offered support adults over the age of 18.

Close to 1,000 men and women are supported by Becoming Independent.

Most of our funding is received from the State of California, through the North Bay Regional Center. Other funds result from fundraising activities, including events, grants and donation campaigns. See our financials for more information.

Most of the individuals entering our programs are referred by the North Bay Regional Center and/or the Department of Rehabilitation. If individuals do not qualify for funding from these sources, and are able to private pay, they can arrange for an informational interview by contacting us at 707.524.6600 or [email protected].

Becoming Independent offers services in both Sonoma and Marin County.

Please see our contact page for more information.

Please download this PDF for information on the HCBS Final Rule.


Contact Us