|Create Date||July 5, 2017|
|Last Updated||July 5, 2017|
This report provides an independent evaluation of the South Australia’s Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) SDM pilot from 2010 to 2012, among the world’s first, which targeted both persons with traumatic brain injuries and intellectual disabilities. The OPA project comprised two phases: phase 1 involved 10 decision-makers (DMs) and phase 2 added 15 more. By project’s end, 26 SDM agreements had been made between DMs and their supporters. The report provides 4 detailed case studies of DMs’ experiences. All but one DM had identified supporters among their friends or family members when entering into SDM agreements, while the project coordinator acted as supporter for the last DM. Anecdotally, DMs reported that their participation lead to increased confidence in their decision-making abilities, more sophisticated decision-making skills and strategies, and greater autonomy in making certain types of decisions not previously made before, among other benefits. DMs also reported anecdotally feeling frustration with both the extent to which they could turn their decisions into realities. Supporters reported anecdotally that maintaining their new support roles at times proved challenging and that their support relationship led to different perceptions of the DMs.
Keywords: South Australia, Office of the Public Advocate, pilot program, independent evaluation, SDM agreements