Supported Decision MakingInformation and Resources
What is Supported Decision Making?
Supporting a person in making decisions without removing their rights.
Supported Decision Making is about helping people with disabilities make as many decisions about their own lives as possible. Conservatorship allows someone else to make decisions for you. Right now, many Tennesseans do not know there are other options for help in making decisions. The Council is working to educate Tennesseans with disabilities, their families and professionals who support them about less restrictive alternatives like supported decision making.
Read more from the national level at: www.supporteddecisionmaking.org.
Why is Supported Decision Making important for people with disabilities?
Individuals and families do not always know about the range of options for helping people with decisions. For example, you can write Powers of Attorney that cover specific areas (like financial, medical decisions) without going to court. You can work with your school district to grant permission for a parent to attend IEP meetings without obtaining conservatorship after you turn 18.
It’s worth exploring your unique needs and finding what works best for you!
Want to read more? Download our one-pager on Supported Decision Making.
Check out this video made by our partners at The Arc Tennessee, who participate in the Supported Decision Making workgroup along with the Council and many other disability organizations in TN. The video features a number of graduates and family members of graduates of our Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute.
How do I use Supported Decision Making in my life?
- Use this LifeCourse tool for decision making (adapted from the previous 'Stoplight tool') to help identify which types of decisions you or a person with a disability may want or need help making.
- This tool was developed by the University of Missouri (UMKC) Kansas City University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, which the Tennessee Council partnered closely with through our Supporting Families Community of Practice initiative. You can also use this LifeCourse Supports Star for Decision Making to brainstorm types of supports someone can use to help them in making choices.
- Use this booklet written in plain language, designed for self-advocates, to learn about supported decision making, developed by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN).
- Use this short background paper called “Setting the Wheels in Motion” for using Supported Decision Making, including step-by-step guides for self-advocates and their supporters.
Council Training Resources
With the help of national experts, the Council has developed expertise and training about Supported Decision Making. Contact Lauren Pearcy (firstname.lastname@example.org; 615.741.5019) if you are interested in learning more!
Learn more on your own by watching this Transition Tennessee Webinar on Supported Decision Making featuring Lauren Pearcy, Council Public Policy Director and Carrie Guiden, The Arc Tennessee Executive Director. You can also watch this Transition Tennessee video featuring national legal expert Jonathan Martinis talking about supported decision making.
Tennessee recently enacted legislation to advance Supported Decision Making. Read an explanation of what the law does and does not do here.
Supported Decision Making Workgroup
The TN Council on Developmental Disabilities is part of a Supported Decision Making Workgroup, comprised of 8 disability organizations in Tennessee working together on this topic: TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Arc Tennessee, Disability Rights TN, TN Statewide Independent Living Council, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Family Voices TN, the TN Disability Coalition, and STEP (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents – TN).
This Page Last Updated: December 17, 2018 at 2:11 PM