Everyone has the right to make decisions about their lives. This is something that we take for granted every day when we make big and small decisions about things that affect us. People with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else, however many people with disabilities have not had the same opportunities to make decisions and to develop the skills and knowledge to direct their own lives. This is where Supported Decision Making comes in.
Supported Decision-Making (SDM) allows individuals with disabilities to make choices about their own lives with support from a team of people they choose. It is a practical way for a person with a disability to make sure that they are at the center of making their own decisions and are heard by those around them. Supported Decision Making is something we all use! If the decision is important to us, we might take longer to decide. We might ask other people for ideas or information, or to help us make up our mind by talking about the options. There may be times in our lives when we need more support to make decisions, particularly when we have to make major decisions.
When using supported decision making, the Individual with disabilities chooses people they know and trust to be part of a support network to help with decision-making. This could be a family member, friend, service provider or someone else chosen by the person.
Individuals have a right to make choices! With the passing of The Dustin Gary Act, Louisiana now offers that opportunity to individuals with disabilities as an alternative to tutorship and interdiction.
If you are interested in more information or would like a training, contact The Arc of Louisiana at 225-383-1033.