A New Alternative to Guardianship: Supported Decision-Making

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 from 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

In light of guardianship’s restrictive and often permanent effects, advocates across the disability, aging, and legal communities have sought to raise awareness of its alternatives. One particular legal alternative, supported decision-making (SDM), has gained national and international recognition as a best practice and legal tool. Over 30 states have passed or introduced legislation on SDM. SDM is a process by which people select others who they know and trust to assist them in making, communicating, and effectuating decisions. Whereas under guardianship, guardians make decisions for a person, using supported decision-making, a person retains the ability to make decisions for themselves with support. Panelists will approach supported decision-making from different angles, discussing the problems with guardianship and the need to explore alternatives, as well as how supported decision-making works in practice, its importance as a legal alternative to guardianship, and how it can work in our legal system. Learn how SDM can be used by legal advocates now and in the future and the efforts being made to bring SDM to Maryland.



  • Nisa Subasinghe, Department of Juvenile & Family Services, Administrative Office of the Courts