2016 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.
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Friday, December 2 • 8:20am - 9:10am
Supported Decision Making as an Alternative to Guardianships: What We Have Learned So Far. LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

People with disabilities are routinely subjected to guardianship, which deprives them of their right to make decisions about their own lives. For young people with disabilities who are transitioning out of high school, they are labeled as incompetent or incapacitated and placed under guardianship, often for their lifetime, and the specific time in their lives when they most need support in practicing their decision making skills. Yet for young and older adults, guardianships are imposed without any opportunity for the person to contest this label of incompetency or the guardianship itself. Supported decision making is being advanced as an alternative to guardianship that provides people with disabilities the support they may need while retaining their right to legal capacity and decision-making authority over their own lives. One presenter was involved in introducing SDM as an alternative to guardianship as part of the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and has worked with different countries in developing SDM pilots and legislation. The presenters all have been involved in research involving people with and without guardians as well as pilot projects which restored people from guardianship and prevented other people from having guardians in the first place. This presentation will discuss these pilot project as well as a research project in Syracuse, NY, which involved five people with intellectual disabilities who live their lives without guardians, but who choose to have their "circles of friends" provide help in decision making, when they need it. This presentation also will discuss a recent project in Israel where the Parliament enacted one of the worldŸ??s most comprehensive supported decision making laws based on a project which restored legal capacity of 25 people who had been under guardianship. Finally, this presentation will provide suggestions for self-advocates and advocates who want to promote SDM in their states and localities. (1) Participants will understand and be able to critique existing guardianship laws as interfering with the right of people with disabilities to make decisions about their own lives. (2) Participants will learn how to respond to those who advocate for guardianship with specific examples of why guardianship should be replaced by a system that does not label people as incompetent and lacking in capacity with supported decision-making models. (3) After the session, participants will be able to develop strategies in their local jurisdiction to challenge the continued use of guardianship laws, particularly by educators as part of the transition planning for students with disabilities leaving high school. (4) After the session, participants will know where to find resources to support them in developing supported decision making alternatives to guardianship in their states or cities.


Friday December 2, 2016 8:20am - 9:10am CST
Wabash Cannonball 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103