Burton Blatt Institute receives $2.5 Million from National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research for Increasing Supported Decision Making in Community Living

The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI) has received $2.5 Million grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) for a new five-year project on “Understanding and Increasing Supported Decision-Making’s Positive Impact on Community Living and Participation Outcomes.” The funding (grant #90DP0076-01-00) is the only award of its kind in the country.

BBI, in collaboration with the University of Kansas and the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, along with other national disability organizations, aim to significantly add to evidence-based research approaches to supporting individual decision-making that facilitates self-determination and enhanced quality of life outcomes, including community living and participation in daily life, for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Historically, persons with I/DD have been impacted by low expectations about their capacity to make decisions. As a result, they have been placed in substituted decision-making frameworks, such as guardianship, that often decrease self-determination and lead to diminished life outcomes including community integration.

BBI Chairman and University Professor Peter Blanck says “this exciting project will provide new knowledge about the ways that individual decision making positively impacts life outcomes.” To do so, the project team will test interventions using a randomized control trial approach examining whether training individuals with I/DD, their families, and support networks to use a SDM approach, improves life satisfaction and integration in community living and daily life outcomes. The project will be conducted in cooperation with the District of Columbia Department of Disability Services. BBI Director of Research, Dr. Meera Adya, says that the project’s findings are “designed to identify policy and practices across the life course (youth in transition, working age adults, aging population) to enhance self-determination and community living.” The lead collaborators of the newly funded project also are engaged as partners on the ACL-funded National Resource Center for Supported Decision Making (NRC-SDM) (Visit: https://supporteddecisionmaking.org/).

About the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University
BBI is dedicated to inclusive solutions for people with disabilities worldwide. With a staff of more than 50 and offices in Syracuse, NY, Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA, BBI engages in projects on civil and human rights, universal design in the physical and digital worlds, employment, and economic advancement of people with disabilities, in Syracuse, NY, across the US, and around the globe. For more information, visit http://bbi.syr.edu.