When SDMNY began and we did our first presentation at the NY Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation (then NYSACRA) Conference, we were approached by a provider from Rochester who told us she knew a young man for whom SDM would be perfect—and she was so right! At the time, our only site was in NYC so she and a colleague came downstate to be trained as facilitators, then began working with Bobby with Joan Cornachio remotely mentoring.
Bobby is an amazing young man and a powerful self-advocate who reluctantly had been placed under guardianship at 20 because, as his family says, they didn’t know there were alternatives. When they learned about SDM and SDMNY, they embraced it enthusiastically and Bobby signed his SDMA almost two years ago. His mom, Tracy and at the time his guardian, petitioned for the guardianship to be terminated with representation by one of our partners Disability Rights New York (DRNY). Like just about everything else, the case was delayed by the pandemic. This week the Surrogate’s Court in Monroe County issued his decision. He found that:
the implemented Supported Decision-Making Agreement serves as a less restrictive alternative to the….guardianship dated April 11, 2006 [and is] no longer necessary or in [Bobby’s] best interest and should be terminated.
The Court continued:
ORDERED: that [Bobby] is hearby granted full legal capacityand declared fully able to care for his personal needs…
We love Bobby, who has become such an important member of the SDMNY community—appearing with Tracy in this clip
from our video Why SDM?, joining our Advisory Council, and recently participating in SDMNY’s training for mediators with the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution—and we are so proud of him. We’re looking forward to a number of additional restorations soon and feel it’s fitting that Bobby is our very first.
A VERY BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO BOBBY, HIS FAMILY AND SUPPORTERS, HIS FACILITATOR MAUREEN PHILLIPS, AND THANKS TO OUR FRIENDS AND PARTNERS AT DRNY!