Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship

People with disabilities will experience:

  • Improvement in the awareness, availability, feasibility, and/or desirability of supported decision making models that increase power and choice of individuals and reduce the reliance on surrogate decision making models, like guardianship, which should be the decision making option of last resort.
  • Increased acceptance of and participation in supported decision making models by medical, legal, educational, and social service providers who presently request or even require people have surrogate decision makers appointed in order to access services.
  • The enforcement and expansion of existing requirements that guardians incorporate the expressed interest of the people they support by incorporating supported decision making models into the guardians’ fiduciary duties in order to increase the decision making authority and capacity of people they serve.

DRW utilizes technical assistance, educating policy makers, training, other systemic advocacy, and resource development to advance decision-making supports that uphold choice and respect persons with disabilities.


Individual advocacy and projects listed under this priority are funded by one or more of the federal protection and advocacy grants, including that for developmental disabilities. To the extent lobbying work is done under this priority, it is accomplished with private donations, and not federal dollars.