Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices, Securing Safety

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Supported decision-making (SDM), which was recently endorsed by the National Guardianship Association as both an alternative to guardianship and a preferred method within guardianship, can increase self-determination and improve both life outcomes and life satisfaction for older adults of all abilities. This presentation will present the theoretical, research, and practical aspects of SDM and how it can be applied.

Supported Decision-Making: Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices, Securing Safety Presentation

Tina Campanella, MA, Chief Executive Officer, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
Jonathan Martinis, JD, Legal Director, Syracuse University
Hosted by: American Society on Aging (ASA) Conference


  1. The audience will learn the theories and research underpinning Supported Decision-Making – a decision-making method where people are provided with the information and assistance they need and want to understand the situations and choices they face, so they can make their own decisions
  2. The audience will learn how Supported Decision-Making can improve self-determination, life outcomes, and life satisfaction across the life course.
  3. The audience will learn about past, present, and future research measuring the positive effect Supported Decision-Making has on self-determination, life outcomes, and life satisfaction.
  4. Through presentation and participation, the audience will learn practical uses for Supported Decision-Making and how it can be applied in specific situations.


Preliminary research has indicated that Supported Decision-Making can increase self-determination and improve life outcomes for people of a wide range of abilities and ages. Outcomes presented will include developments in law (cases approving or applying SDM); legislation (laws and policies directing the use of SDM methods); research (preliminary results of efforts to measure the effects of Supported Decision-Making); and publication (research and other articles on Supported Decision-Making). The presenters have appeared at conference across the nation to discuss this issue and, as Principal Investigator and Project Director of the federally-funded National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making, have sponsored research and been published nationally on this issue.