August 2nd, 2016 by Sally Morris
The Arc of Indiana, through a grant from the National Resource Center for Supported Decision Making and the Administration for Community Living, has developed the report, Supported Decision Making in Indiana. Guardianship, Civil Rights and the Case for a Less Restrictive Environment.
The Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary Probate Study Subcommittee will review the issue of Supported Decision Making in the fall of 2016.
Read the full report: Supported Decision Making in Indiana – Guardianship, Civil Rights and the Case for a Less Restrictive Environment.
Supported Decision Making Facts
- All people use Supported Decision Making (SDM) to make important life decisions for such things as financial decisions, buying a house or car, car repairs, education or choices in medical treatments.
- Supported Decision Making empowers individuals with disabilities who are capable of making decisions to use available supports to make their own choices and live a self-directed, independent life.
- Even if a person with a disability needs extra help to make significant life decisions, their right to make their own choices should not be taken away (such as guardianship) without exploring all options and less-restrictive alternatives.
- Supported Decision Making does not replace more formal substitute decision making legal structures, such as Advanced Health Care Directives, Powers of Attorney, or guardianships.
- Supported Decision Making is one more alternative, another tool in the toolbox, and would be the least restrictive option, enabling people to use their own support systems and family to obtain information and make decisions instead of having someone else make decision for them.
- Supported Decision Making agreements formalize the use of these support structures to obtain and assess information to make decisions.
- Supported Decision Making agreements would be less costly to both the State and the consumer by avoiding expensive court process and unnecessary legal fees.
- Under a Supported Decision Making agreement the supporter can:
- Obtain and understand information relevant to his or her decisions.
- Help the individual understand the options, responsibilities, and consequences of his or her decisions.
- Communicate decisions to the appropriate people.
- Assist in, but not make decisions for, the individual that has chosen them for guidance.
- Supported Decision Making legislation has been enacted in Texas and Canada, and is being considered worldwide.