Making supported decision-making a viable alternative to guardianship in New York requires a number of steps.
First, stakeholders (persons with I/DD, parents and family members, providers, the educational system, judges, lawyers, and the court system, healthcare providers and financial institutions) need to be educated about supported decision-making, how it differs from guardianship, how it enhances self-determination and inclusion, and, perhaps most critically, that it actually works in practice. This latter can best be achieved by our pilot project results, by the stories of people with I/DD successfully making their own decisions with supports, and through their voices and those of their family members and supporters.
Second, governmental agencies with which persons with I/DD and their families interact ( like OPWDD, Department of Health.) need to agree to accept SDMA’s, to deal with designated supporters.