This week, we will be sharing information related to Supported Decision Making (SDM). If you missed our latest webinar on supported decision making and transition-age youth with extensive support needs, you can find the recording on the Family Matters website: https://www.fmptic.org/recordings/family-matters-recordings. You will find pertinent information, as well as a ton of great resources below. As a special education teacher, I wish that SDM had been a legal option of decision-making to support my students and their families in Illinois when I first started teaching. As of February 2022- it is! I hope you find this information and resources helpful to you or those involved. Feel free to share these resources with those that you know! Sharing is caring 🙂
We are always here for any questions you have or experiences you may want to share!
What is Supported Decision Making?
Supported decision-making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision-making capacities by choosing supporters to help them make choices.
A supporter is someone who the person using SDM selects to help them in decision making. These are trusted advisors such as friends, family members, or professionals.
Supporters agree to help the person with a disability (principal) understand, consider, and communicate decisions, supporting the individual with a disability to make their own, informed choices.
The Illinois Supported Decision-Making Agreement Act
For adults (18 or older)with intellectual and or developmental disabilities (ID/DD)
Provides legal recognition to SDM agreements
Requires third parties (landlords, service providers, medical professionals, schools, vocational providers) to recognize terms of the SDM agreement(s)
Find more information HERE
What does Supported Decision-Making Look Like?
Finding tools to support a person with a disability to understand, make, and communicate their own choices:
Plain language, Visual and/or Audio Access
Extra time to discuss options
Create a list of pro’s and con’s
Bring a supporter to a appointments to take notes and support the individual to remember and discuss options
Opening a joint bank account to manage financial decisions together
Help the principal gather information on:
Living options, work situations, medical treatment,
relationships, benefits, resources
Communicate information, track services, support appointments
Assist with questions, Support advocacy
Have conversations around final decisions
Supporters may NOT…
Make decisions for the principal
Access any information without consent
Uses information about the principal for any purpose other than supporting the principal
Be paid to be in this role
Supported Decision-Making Process Flowchart
Guardianship vs. Supported Decision-Making: The Basics
Guardianship vs. Supported Decision-Making: Assessment of Needs
Identifying Alternatives to Guardianship Tool
Supported Decision-Making Resources