2016 Webinar Series 2: From Theory to Practice: Supported Decision-Making and Financial Decisions

Webinar Materials

Supported Decision-Making and Financial Decisions Presentation Handout (PDF)

Supported Decision-Making and Financial Decisions unedited Transcript (PDF)

Supported Decision-Making and Financial Decisions Recording (Blackboard, Video, and Audio)


Lori Smetanka, Executive Director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute


Financial literacy and management are hallmarks of independence and community integration. For older adults, people with disabilities, and others with decision-making challenges, the ability to make well-informed financial decisions is critical and can be the difference between living independent, self-determined lives and guardianship. In this webinar, panelists will discuss ways that older adults and people with disabilities can access supports and services to make financial decisions and manage their money.


Lori Smetanka is the Executive Director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. She served as the Director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center from 2004 to 2016. Prior to assuming that role, Lori served as Law and Policy Specialist for the Consumer Voice, focusing on the long-term care survey and enforcement system, issues important to long-term care residents, including rights, prevention of abuse and neglect, and providing support to state and local long-term care ombudsman programs. She has a J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law.

Michael W. Morris, J.D. has more than 35 years of experience in research, knowledge translation and system change activities advancing community participation and economic self-sufficiency for individuals across the full spectrum of disabilities. He has served frequently as an expert advisor on advancing employment and economic freedom for people with significant disabilities to the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Education, as well as the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and the FDIC.

Mr. Morris has an undergraduate degree in political science, with honors, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a law degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Ga. Morris was the first Joseph P. Kennedy Fellow in Public Policy, and worked for Connecticut Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. as legal counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy.

In 2005, Mr. Morris helped establish the National Disability Institute to advance the social and economic independence of persons with disabilities. In 2008, Morris became Director of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, serving as lead policy expert on assistive technology, asset development, employment, housing, and long-term services and supports. For the past ten years, Mr. Morris has been a part of training and technical assistance activities funded by the US Department of Labor to better engage the workforce development system to meet the needs of job-seekers with disabilities.

Mr. Morris has co-authored two publications for the National Council on Disability: The State of 21st Century Long Term Services and Supports: Financing and Systems Reform for American with Disabilities (2005), and The State of 21st Century Financial Incentives for Americans with Disabilities (2008). In 2014, he co-authored the National Report on the Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities, based on data analyzed from the FINRA Financial Investment Education Foundation. In 2015, he coauthored the report on Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities based on FDIC national survey data.

Mr. Morris lead efforts to pass the Achieving A Better Life Experience Act (ABLE). ABLE account beneficiaries are also the account owners, which leads to new questions about determining financial capability and managing financial resources. Supported decision making should be a method employed to help individuals with disabilities manage their ABLE accounts.