Our History

In 1969, a group of parents concerned with overcrowded institutions and limited service options available for individuals with developmental disabilities sought to pass legislation to improve services. As a result, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act was drafted and passed, which provides the entitlement program in California for people with an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and other conditions that are similar to that of an intellectual disability. This act put in place a state-wide system of regional centers.

In February 1972, Inland Regional Center became the 13th of 21 regional centers to open its doors in contract with the California Department of Developmental Services and began accepting cases to provide the highest quality of comprehensive case management services to individuals with developmental disabilities. With 116 consumers, nine employees, and a budget of $199,000 in 1972, Inland Regional Center has grown to have nearly 600 employees serving more than 30,000 consumers today.

The year 2011 marked Inland Regional Center’s 40th year of serving people with developmental disabilities and their families in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Throughout this period of time, Inland Regional Center has made positive impacts on many lives. We would like to share with you – our friends and our families – some highlights from our 40+ years of service:
August 1971 – Inland Regional Center is incorporated
September 15, 1971 – Robert Edwards is hired as Inland Regional Counties Regional Center, Inc.’s first director
February 1972 – Inland Regional Center opens its doors serving San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties, an area of 44,000 square miles. It is the 13th of 21 regional centers and becomes the first stand alone, community based regional center.
January 15, 1981 – Robert Edwards leaves Inland Regional Center and Verlin Wooley becomes the new director
July 1, 1985 to June 30, 1986 – Inland Regional Center assumed the operation of San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center at the request of the department.
July 1, 1990 – Turned over service of Inyo and Mono counties to Kern Regional Center.
June 1992 – Inland Regional Center becomes a Medi-Cal vendor and begins to bill Medi-Cal for services provided.
December 1995 – Inland Regional Center serves more than 12,000 clients in San Bernardino and Riverside counties with staff of 225 case managers.
June 1996 – Inland Regional Center moves to a new headquarters office in San Bernardino bringing together outstation offices in an effort to offer a more coordinated approach.

This consumer assists the Developmental Center kitchen staff following a busy lunch for no pay.
A true testament to becoming independent, Dan volunteers as part of the security staff at his local church.
Consumers did everything within the confines of the developmental centers including sleeping, eating, and interacting with one another.
IRC Consumers are involved in the community at many levels, including this group who participate with Americorps to use their skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community.

Children were handheld as they traveled through the developmental center corridors.


Stephen shows off his guitar skills and how his musical ability empowers him.