Information on supported decision making.
Guardianship is a legal tool, which allows a person to make decisions for another person. It removes the civil rights and privileges of a person by assigning control of a person’s life to someone else. Although the state directs a court to “design a guardianship to encourage the development or maintenance of maximum self-reliance and independence of the incapacitated person,” it is not uncommon for courts to create full guardianships, which deprive persons with disabilities of the right to make fundamental decisions about their lives.
The vast majority of people with disabilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities are able to make important decisions with or without the provision of supports and services and should be given the opportunity to avoid or limit guardianship through alternatives, including supported decision-making.