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For information related to this topic that is provided in American Sign Language (ASL), visit our Supported Decision-Making Videos in ASL page.
 

Most people with disabilities can manage their own affairs with assistance and guidance from a person whom they trust and do not need a guardian. There are many alternatives to guardianship that give people with disabilities support to make decisions without taking away their rights.

During the 84th Texas Legislative Session in 2015, legislators passed new laws that made Texas the first state to have laws recognizing supported decision-making agreements as an alternative to guardianship. Supported decision-making allows individuals to make their own decisions and stay in charge of their lives, while receiving the help and assistance they need to do so.

Disability Rights Texas can assist people with disabilities in creating supported decision-making agreements or provide resources for people to create one on their own.

Featured Resources

Guardianship is Not Your Only Option: Supported Decision-Making On-Demand Webinar

Supervising Attorney Dustin Rynders of Disability Rights Texas presents an overview of supported decision-making and other guardianship alternatives. Continue reading Guardianship is Not Your Only Option: Supported Decision-Making On-Demand Webinar

Watch Guardianship is Not Your Only Option: Supported Decision-Making On-Demand Webinar.

Making My Own Choices: An Easy-to-Follow Guide on Supported Decision-Making Agreements

This user-friendly guide includes information and resources to help you understand supported decision-making and complete a supported decision-making agreement. With the guide, you can learn about concepts like self-determination and alternatives to guardianship, follow a step-by-step process to fill out a supported decision-making agreement, and check-out sample forms. Continue reading Making My Own Choices: An Easy-to-Follow Guide on Supported Decision-Making Agreements

Handouts

CMEs and Guardianship in Texas

This guide provides information about Certificates of Medical Examination (CME) in Texas and the need to evaluate supports and services that allow for less restrictive alternatives to guardianship. Continue reading CMEs and Guardianship in Texas

Read more about CMEs and Guardianship in Texas.

Supported Decision-Making Overview

This handout provides answers to many of the frequently asked questions you might have about Supported Decision-Making. It covers who is involved in a Supported Decision-Making Agreement, how a person’s rights are affected, and how it differs from other options, like a Power of Attorney and guardianship. Continue reading Supported Decision-Making Overview

Read more about Supported Decision-Making Overview.

Using Supports and Services as an Alternative to Guardianship

This handout reviews the continuum of guardianship, highlighting supports and services and alternatives to guardianship like supported decision-making. Continue reading Using Supports and Services as an Alternative to Guardianship

Read more about Using Supports and Services as an Alternative to Guardianship.

Publications

Amicus Brief – Guardianship Alternatives and Supports and Services: A Resource for Lawyers

This Amicus Brief, which was submitted by DRTx to the Eighth Court of Appeals, El Paso, Texas, is provided as a resource for lawyers. The brief provides a description of supports and services and alternatives to guardianship mandated by the Texas 2015 reforms. Continue reading Amicus Brief – Guardianship Alternatives and Supports and Services: A Resource for Lawyers

Supported Decision-Making Agreement – Sample Form

The purpose of supported decision-making is to support and accommodate an individual with a disability to make important life decisions – like where to live and work – without impeding the self-determination of the individual with a disability. To enter into a Supported Decision-Making Agreement, an individual with a disability and their supporter can get started by completing a form like the sample included here. Continue reading Supported Decision-Making Agreement – Sample Form

The Right to Make Choices: Supported Decision-Making Comprehensive Toolkit

A range of people may be involved in supporting a person with a disability to make his or her own decisions and develop his or her knowledge, skills and confidence to make decisions. This toolkit is designed to help everyone involved in the supported decision-making process – individuals with disabilities who want support to make their own decisions, supporters, family members, as well as legal and educational professionals and service providers. Continue reading The Right to Make Choices: Supported Decision-Making Comprehensive Toolkit

Supported Decision-Making Release of Confidential Information – Sample Form

When an individual with a disability enters into a Supported Decision-Making Agreement, the individual may authorize the release of confidential information to their supporter. This may be done so the supporter can help the individual understand their confidential information and/or help the individual communicate their decisions. Information could be related to health, education, employment, finances, and more. Continue reading Supported Decision-Making Release of Confidential Information – Sample Form

Changing Your Guardianship Without a Lawyer

While it is usually best to have a lawyer to help you, there are situations where changing your guardianship without a lawyer is possible. Learn about asking for a successor guardian or guardianship restoration, modification, and removal in Texas. Continue reading Changing Your Guardianship Without a Lawyer

Videos

Supported Decision-Making Explainer

Learn about how supported decision-making helps people with disabilities make their own choices and pick who supports them. Continue reading Supported Decision-Making Explainer

Watch Supported Decision-Making Explainer.

Understanding Supported Decision-Making

In this easy-to-understand quick video, learn about supported decision-making as an option to use instead of guardianship. Continue reading Understanding Supported Decision-Making

Watch Understanding Supported Decision-Making.

Supported Decision-Making: Timberly and Tonya

Timberly is an 18-year-old about to graduate from high school. Most parents are told that they should get guardianship over their child with a disability when they turn 18. But Timberly’s mom, Tonya, wanted her daughter to become more independent. And then they found out about supported decision-making. Continue reading Supported Decision-Making: Timberly and Tonya

Watch Supported Decision-Making: Timberly and Tonya.

Supported Decision-Making: Dawn and Belinda

Dawn is 39-years-old and has an intellectual disability. She lives independently. She and her mom, Belinda, have a supported decision-making agreement. Continue reading Supported Decision-Making: Dawn and Belinda

Watch Supported Decision-Making: Dawn and Belinda.