Guardianship Alternatives

What is Supported Decision Making?

Supported decision making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to maintain their decision making skills by choosing supporters to help them make choices. A person using SDM selects trusted mentors, such as friends, family members, or professionals, to serve as supporters.

Supported Decision Making is an alternative to guardianship. Instead of having a guardian make a decision for the person with the disability, Supported Decision Making allows the person with the disability to make his or her own decisions.

SDM encourages independence and self-determination while giving the individual a sense of control over their own choices.

Is Supported Decision Making the Best Alternative?

We ALL use supported decision making daily whether it’s discussing a car purchase with a friend or debating with a family member as to whether or not you should change jobs. Those with developmental disabilities may need help making decisions about housing, health care, relationships, and finances but that does not always mean they need a guardian to make those decisions for them. Although SDM can be a great tool for those with developmental disabilities, every person and situation is different! Tune into the video below for a deeper explanation on SDM.

Alternative Guardianships

There are many types of guardianships that are more specific to the individual needs of a person with developmental disabilities. Whether the individual needs assistance with medical decisions, day-to-day decisions, or with their finances; there is an option for any type of decision that needs support. The following are the types of guardianships in Ohio that can be established, Limited Guardianship, Guardianship of the Person, Guardianship of the Estate, Plenary Guardianship, Emergency Guardianship, Interim Guardianship, Guardian ad litem, and Co-Guardianship.