Supported decision-making

Most adults make their own legal decisions.
But some people with disabilities have guardians.
A guardian can make legal decisions for a person with disabilities.
Usually, a guardian is a parent or family member.
A judge chooses who will be the guardian for a disabled person.
Guardians can make choices even if the person with a disability doesn’t like it.
This is wrong!

There is something people with disabilities can do instead of getting a guardian.
It is called supported decision-making.
Supported decision-making means you get help making decisions.
But they are still your decisions.
You can choose who helps you make decisions.
These people are called your “supporters.”
Supporters do not make the choices for you.
You still make your own decisions.

If you have a guardian, you might be able to do supported decision-making instead.
Laws about supported decision making are different in every state.
Your Protection & Advocacy Agency (P&A) can help you learn more.
P&A’s help people with disabilities fight for our rights.
They make sure states follow disability laws.
There is a P&A in every state.