Photo Credit: The NY Alliance

SDMNY has developed a model to facilitate persons with intellectual disabilities to identify areas in which they need support, trusted persons whom they choose to support them, and the ways in which support will be given. Working with the person with intellectual disabilities (who we call “the decision-maker”) and her/his chosen supporters, the facilitator assists them in creating a Supported Decision-Making Agreement (SDMA)which reflects the terms of their agreement.

SDMAs are not currently legally binding in New York as to private third parties such as healthcare providers, financial institutions, landlords, etc., although of course such parties may accept and honor them voluntarily. Legislation is necessary in order to require third parties to accept SDMAs as they would a Power of Attorney, and to relieve them of potential liability. Such legislation currently exists in Texas and Delaware, and a number of other states are actively considering it. One goal of the SDMNY project is to advocate for passage of such legislation in New York.