Parents of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), often ask, “What will happen to my son or daughter when I am gone?” How will important decisions about their lives be made? As young people approach adulthood, families often question whether to pursue guardianship. This decision is made more difficult by lack of information. Supported Decision-Making is an approach that encourages individuals with I/DD to make their own life decisions with support from family, friends, and trusted individuals.
It starts with acknowledging that people with I/DD have the right to make their own decisions. Supported Decision-Making allows people with I/DD to receive the support they need and want to understand the situations and choices they face, while keeping their rights. Supported Decision-Making mirrors how all adults make decisions. Practicing self-determination means making your own choices, learning to solve problems, and experiencing the consequences of making choices.
Since 2017, the DD Council has facilitated a Supported Decision-Making Advisory Group made up of representatives from a variety of agencies around the state. This group was the force behind the development of the Supported Decision-Making Position Statement, Supported Decision-Making Brochure, and the creation of this Supported Decision-Making Resource Manual. A special thanks goes out to the members of this group for their time and talents. We hope the following resources will help you as you continue to research this topic.