Photo Credit: The NY Alliance

If the person has a supported decision-making agreement (SDMA), you should accept it, permit her or his supporters to provide the support[s] described in the SDMA, and honor and respect the choices the person makes with support.

If someone is attempting to bring a guardianship proceeding against the person, and the person has not tried supported decision-making, you should offer it as a less restrictive alternative. Remember that, until a court rules otherwise, every adult is deemed to have full capacity, so if the person with an intellectual or developmental disability is your client, it is your obligation to represent his or her wishes, not what you or others might believe is in his or her best interests.

If the person is currently subject to guardianship and wants to limit or terminate the guardianship and have her or his rights restored, you should consider engaging her or him in a supported decision-making regime which, if successfully completed, should be evidence that guardianship is no longer needed and that the person has the ability, with her or his chosen supports, to make her or his own decisions.