Board Member- California
Yolanda Cruz is the Regional Manager for the Sequoia Office of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD). In this position, she oversees a region that includes seven California Central Valley Counties. Her duties include developing curriculum and providing trainings on the regulations and rights of people with developmental disabilities. Yolanda has been an instructor for twenty years, she has presented her curriculum for court personnel, law enforcement, first responders, legislators, and executive management teams.
The SCDD is guided by their State Plan goals, which includes a Health and Safety goal. Within the Health and Safety goal, the SCDD provides training for law enforcement on people with disabilities. Yolanda has received various certifications related to this goal and its impact on people with disabilities. She has taught the People with Disabilities Learning Domain-37 for various police academies throughout California. She has also collaborated with various Crisis Intervention Training Teams throughout the state where she provided facilitation on working with the developmentally disabled non-verbal population.
Prior to employment with the State Council, Yolanda worked as an Inclusion Specialist. She trained teachers and administrators on strategies for inclusion of children with disabilities in the pre-school and Head Start programs. Yolanda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Services and a Special Education Advocacy Trainers Certification through the University of Southern California - University College of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC-UCEDD). She has also received the POST Academy Instructor Certification Course (AICC), POST Intermediate Instructor Training Course, Autism: Recognition Response and Risk Management for Law Enforcement and Fire/First Responders Certification. Currently, she is in the process of completing the POST Instructor Development Institute Level III (IDI) Course #36 through GTA.