Supported Decision-Making New York (SDMNY)
In the summer of 2015, the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a five-year, $1.5 million grant “to develop and distribute educational materials and pilot supported decision-making models with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who reside throughout New York State.” In December of that year, the grant was awarded to a consortium of Hunter College/CUNY, the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation (formerly, the New York State Association of Community and Residential Providers, NYSACRA) and The Arc Westchester, in collaboration with Disability Rights New York (DRNY).
Since that time, the Supported Decision-Making New York (SDMNY) project partners are working to inform and educate a wide variety of stakeholders about supporting decision-making, regularly making SDMNY also regularly presentations at statewide conferences and other venues for providers, guardians, self advocates, and the court system. SDMNY has also designed and is implementing two pilot programs. The first, the diversion program, seeks to divert persons with I/DD from guardianship, and the second, the restoration program, aims to restore rights to persons with I/DD currently subject to guardianship. To date, SDMNY has established pilot program sites in New York City, Westchester County, the greater Rochester area, Long Island, and the Capital region, where its trained facilitators are assisting decision-makers (persons with I/DD) to develop supported decision-making agreements (SDMAs) that can help them exercise their right to make their own decisions and to receive the decision-making support they want in order to do so.
Among its many collaborators, SDMNY is working for systems-level change by engaging the NYC Department of Education to include support decision-making in planning for transition-age youth, with the CUNY Theresa Riggio Scholars to make supported decision-making a part of inclusive post-secondary education, and with the New York State Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to ensure that SDMAs will be recognized by actors in the disability service delivery system.