Kansas University Secures Grant to Develop National Training on Supported Decision Making

Per a recent announcement, University of Kansas (KU) researchers have secured three grants, in partnership with community stakeholders, to advance supported decision-making, including the development of future training sessions for people with disabilities, family members, and other supporters. Those sessions will then be developed for national use. Community partners on the grants include the Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas, the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities, Families Together, the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, and the Kansas Association for Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities.  Researchers in the KU Center for Developmental Disabilities within the Life Span Institute have secured grants from the Administration for Community Living, Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the WITH Foundation. The one-year grants total $189,000 and are currently underway.

Supported decision-making is not only a way for people with disabilities to advocate for themselves, but may also be a possible alternative to legal guardianship arrangements by focusing on ensuring that people with disabilities maintain their right to make decisions independently while still accessing the supports they need. In addition to expanding rights, research has shown that when individuals with disabilities are active participants in determining their life course, improved educational and adult outcomes follow.

The grants are funding community building and focus groups across Kansas with individuals with disabilities; family members; disability and aging advocates; teachers; legal professionals; medical personnel; and other stakeholders. The goal is to better understand the supports that people with disabilities currently use, what challenges and opportunities exist, and how more people with disabilities can access those supports. Ultimately, researchers will develop online trainings based on their findings.

Source: The University of Kansas

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