Indiana Reports on Supported Decision Making

The Arc of Indiana, through a grant from the National Resource Center for Supported Decision Making and the Administration for Community Living, has developed a report, Supported Decision Making in Indiana. Guardianship, Civil Rights and the Case for a Less Restrictive Environment which was based on a study that focused mainly on assisting individuals with intellectual or other developmental disabilities in implementing a better alternative to adult guardianship. 

According to the report, “Adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, those who have experienced traumatic brain injuries, and individuals whom due to aging have lost some level of functionality are all at risk of losing all legal, financial and medical authority over their lives due to the implementation of adult guardianship.  Guardianship is inflexible, burdensome, expensive, difficult to reverse, and in cases where it is implemented where it is not needed can tear families apart and have a severe negative impact on adults capable of making life decisions for themselves.”

 “For this reason states have begun to look to the more flexible and individualized supported decision-making (SDM) model as an alternative to adult guardianship for those who are not truly or fully incapacitated. Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, and Washington D.C. have officially begun implementing or examining SDM at varying levels while momentum toward legal recognition in many other states has been gaining traction.”