Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Supported Decision Making

Supported Decision Making (SDM) is the process of assisting a person with disability to make their own decisions, so they can develop and pursue their own goals, make choices about their life and exercise some control over the things that are important to them.

SDM empowers a person with disability and affirms their right to be in charge of their own life.

Support for decision making is generally provided by those a person with disability trusts, and could involve assistance with communication, or providing information in accessible formats, among many other examples.

SDM has a foundation in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Article 12 - Equal Recognition before the law.

Core Principles of Supported Decision Making:

  1. Every person can express their will and preference
  2. A person with disability has the right to make decisions
  3. A person with disability can expect to have access to appropriate support to make decisions

Supported Decision Making Pilot

In a joint initiative, the NSW Trustee and Guardian, the Public Guardian and the  NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) conducted a small scale pilot project in 2013/14 to explore what supported decision making might look like in practice in the NSW context.

The pilot was conducted based on a framework developed by ADHC that acknowledges SDM as an emerging concept in Australia and internationally, and supported decision making as a continuum from independent decision making to substitute decision making.

Detailed information about the structure and findings of the Supported Decision Making Pilot Project.

A brief overview of the current Supported Decision Making projects around NSW.

Handbooks and useful videos for decision makers, supporters and facilitators.


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