U.S. Agencies and National Organizations Promoting Supported Decision-Making

Many leading national organizations and the federal government have taken positions in favor of Supported Decision-Making as an alternative to guardianship.
Below are just a few of the many national organizations and government agencies that endorse the use of Supported Decision-Making.

The American Bar Association

“Resolved that the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal legislatures to amend their guardianship statutes to require that supported decision-making be identified and fully considered as a less restrictive alternative before guardianship is imposed; and urges courts to consider supported decision-making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship….” American Bar Association Resolution 113 at line 1-4.

The ABA PRACTICAL Tool for Lawyers recommends considering less-restrictive options, including Supported Decision-Making.

National Guardianship Association 

“The National Guardianship Association supports ongoing research to determine the effectiveness of supported decision-making models as alternatives to guardianship. Guardianship should be utilized only when lesser restrictive supports are not available. Alternatives to guardianship, including supported decision making, should always be identified and considered whenever possible prior to the commencement of guardianship proceedings.” National Guardianship Association, Position Statement on Guardianship, Surrogate Decision Making and Supported Decision Making, at 2 (2017).

The Arc of the United States

The Arc of the United States has issued a position statement in favor of Supported Decision-Making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.

National Council on Disability

In its 2018 and 2019 reports examining guardianship and alternatives through the lens of federal civil rights laws, the National Council on Disability made recommendations to promote Supported Decision-Making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging issued a 2018 report on “Ensuring Trust: Strengthening State Efforts to Overhaul the Guardianship Process and Protect Older Adults”  That report recommends, among other reforms, state promotion of less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship, including Supported Decision-Making.

National Disability Rights Network

The National Disability Rights Network supports the use of Supported Decision-Making as an alternative to guardianship.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Autistic Self Advocacy Network has been actively promoting Supported Decision-Making for many years.

Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living has been funding work on Supported Decision-Making for many years, including, most recently in 2020, creating the Center for Youth Voice/Youth Choice to promote alternatives to guardianship for youth. CPR is a proud partner in the Center for Youth Voice/Youth Choice.  The Administration for Community Living also funded the National Resource Center on Supported Decision-Making.  The National Resource Center is a project of: Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and their partners, the Burton Blatt Institute of Syracuse University, The Kansas University Life Span Institute, The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, the Autistic Self Advocacy NetworkFamily Voices, and Parent to Parent USA.

Fourth National Guardianship Summit

Delegates at the Fourth National Guardianship Summit approved many recommendations that promote the practice of Supported Decision-Making and encourage courts to consider it as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship. The summit was convened by the National Guardianship Network.

Uniform Law Commission

The Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act (UGCOPAA) is a model law that, among other things, formally recognizes Supported Decision-Making and requires its consideration as a less-restrictive alternative to guardianship.

U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) has a Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities.  That guide recognizes Supported Decision-Making and other less-restrictive decision-making support for adult students in special education.

Social Security Advisory Board

In its 2016 report “Representative Payees: A Call to Action,” the Social Security Advisory Board recommended that Supported Decision-Making be considered as a less-restrictive alternative to appointment of a payee.

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution

This subcommittee had a hearing in September 2021 that included testimony from advocates of Supported Decision-Making on the need for federal reforms.