Who we are

We began in 2016 as a consortium of Hunter/CUNY, the NY Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, The Arc Westchester, and Disability Rights New York (DRNY), funded by the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) as 5-year pilot project. Because of delays caused by Covid-19, from 2021-2022, we were funded for a final “bridge year” by the Ford Foundation, the FAR Fund, and the Taft  Foundation.

The goals of the DDPC grant were to

  • Educate stakeholders about the emerging practice of supported decision-making (SDM)
  • Develop and pilot a process by which people with I/DD can avoid guardianship or, if already subject to guardianship, have their rights restored
  • Develop an evidentiary base for Supported Decision-Making Agreement (SDMA) legislation
  • Create a plan for long term sustainability

The results of the DDPC funded pilot were:

  • SDM is now widely recognized, including by the courts, AAIDD, ARC US (and NY), National Council on Disability (NCD), American Bar Association, Administration for Community Living (ACL), Social Security Administration, National Guardianship Association, etc., as a “less restrictive alternative to guardianship”
  • The SDM facilitation process was piloted, refined and evaluated, with more than 100 Decision-Makers with signed SDMAs and more in the pipeline
  • Based on the success of the pilot and incorporating the Principles for Supported Decision-Making Legislation developed by SDMNY out of its experience, The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) drafted an SDMA bill that was passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the Governor on July 26, 2022
  • The SDMNY plan for sustainability has been incorporated into a new 3-year implementation grant from OPWDD.