Supported Decision Making in Action throughout the LifeSpan -TASH Conference
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Still We Rise for Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion,” shows the resilience of individuals with disabilities and their families across the lifespan. Conference attendees will celebrate their passion for disability rights, civil rights, and human rights while exploring inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs.
Supported Decision Making (SDM) is being embraced throughout the country to help people gain and/or maintain control of their life. Used with both children and adults living with disabilities, it is a process whereby people get the assistance they need and want to understand the situations and choices they face, so they can make life decisions for themselves. Implementing this approach requires a change in thinking about how life decisions are made and how people are supported - starting with the acknowledgement that all people need and get help making decisions in the natural course of life - starting as early as possible. This session will look at the emerging trends and practices around supported decision-making (SDM) as an alternative to guardianship and as a strategy for helping people become better decision-makers over their life time. Presenters will share stories of how this has worked to assist children and adults with developmental disabilities retain and regain individual rights and life control from the professional, legal and family perspectives.
Tina Campanella and Morgan K. Whitlatch