Guardianship is a legal process “allowing a state court to appoint decision-making powers to another person on behalf of an individual based on a determination of impaired decision-making capacity” (Dinerstein, Grewal & Martinis, 2016, p. 436).

Supported decision-making (SDM) is a flexible alternative to guardianship which provides a process that recognizes people with disabilities as persons before the law, providing a pathway to exercise legal capacity by focusing on developing supports to enable autonomous decision-making.

Supported Decision-Making White Paper

The main aim of this white paper is to synthesize published literature that might apply to use of SDM within the United States, describing policy, procedure, and practice approaches of SDM, as well as any pertinent empirical evidence to provide insight and inform stakeholder groups of best practices and benefits of SDM over other forms of legal representation.

About the Supported Decision-Making Project

This project was funded by the New York Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the New York Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and endorsement should not be assumed.