Supported decision-making allows a person with a disability to make choices about their own lives with support from trusted family, friends, or professionals they choose. This is an approach all people use at some point. Supported decision-making might be an important accommodation to ask for if you or someone you know needs additional assistance to gather information, ask questions, evaluate options, or communicate a decision to others.
Sample agreements, flyers, forms and other tools for communicating and implementing Supported decision-making:
Stop, Look, and Listen tool
- Lifecourse tools
- Sample Agreements
Taking charge of my healthcare toolkit
PRACTICAL Tool from the American Bar Association
A resource for professionals who refer individuals and families to supports with decision-making, emphasizing that first look to least restrictive decision-making supports before more restrictive supports). Designed for attorneys, but also useful for other professionals.
New requirements for schools
A 2021 Oregon law requires school districts, at each Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting that talks about after high school (post-secondary) education goals and transition services, to provide information, training, and resources on:
- Supported decision-making;
- Ways for family members and supporters to remain engaged and involved in the youth’s education and outcomes after high school.
Supported decision-making has been best practice for supporting people with disabilities for decades. According to the 2018 report from the National Council on Disability, people who make their own decisions have better outcomes, are more independent and integrated into their communities, better employed, healthier, and better able to recognize and resist abuse.
Oregon law has long required an exploration of less restrictive alternatives before guardianship or conservatorship. More information and training is needed so people know that supported decision-making is one of the less restrictive options that must be explored. Even when a person does have a guardian, it is expected that the person be supported to make their own decisions as much as possible.