Supported Decision-Making

Disability Justice, Health Justice, Special Education, Supported Decision Making

A young woman with down syndrome smiles while working at a grocery store.

Since 1995, the estimated number of older adults and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) under guardianship in the U.S. has tripled, from 500,000 to 1.5 million, and the actual number may be much higher. Supported Decision Making (SDM) is a widely recognized alternative to guardianship that provides individuals with IDD the dignity and autonomy to make their own decisions, with the support of a trusted caregiver or team of caregivers. To afford those with IDD the greatest access to self-determination, NYLPI works directly with individuals with IDD, their families/caregivers — and the agencies and schools that support them — to increase awareness of their rights and improve their access to SDM services. Through both in-person and remote group trainings and one-on-one consultations, NYLPI educates and provides legal support to hundreds of people every year, free of cost.

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