Promise of Supported Decision-Making


Guardianship is not the only option.

Supported Decision-Making is an alternative model, where people with disabilities keep their rights and their decision-making capacity.  Instead of having a guardian make choices for them, people with disabilities have supporters who help them make their own choices. A person using supported decision-making appoints trusted advisors, such as friends, family, or professionals, to serve as supporters. The supporters help the person with a disability understand, make, and communicate her own choices. 

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Supported Decision-Making will look different for everyone.  The person with a disability and their supporters will think about the tools that can help the person make choices. 

Examples of these tools might be:

  • plain language materials
  • information in visual or audio form
  • extra time to discuss choices
  • creating lists of pros and cons
  • role-playing activities to help the person understand choices
  • bringing a supporter into important appointments to take notes and help the person remember and discuss options
  • opening a joint bank account to manage financial decisions together 

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For more information, see our page on Legal Guardianship.

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