Supported Decision-Making as an Alternative to Guardianship

  • Jonathan G. MartinisEmail author
  • Tina M. Campanella
  • Peter Blanck
  • Michael L. Wehmeyer
  • Karrie A. Shogren
Part of the Springer Series on Child and Family Studies book series (SSCFS)


This chapter discusses Supported Decision-Making (SDM), an increasingly recognized paradigm in law, policy, and research occurring when people with disabilities meaningfully engage with trusted friends, family members, and professionals to understand the daily situations and choices they face that they may make their own decisions without the need for a court-appointed guardian and other “substitute” decision-makers. Because SDM aims to empower people to direct their own lives, often it is associated with increases in self-determination, which is related to overall improved life outcomes. This chapter will first discuss issues pertaining to self-determination in the context of how society has historically placed people with intellectual and developmental disabilities into guardianship, which decreases self-determination and can have harmful effects on quality of life. It then overviews of SDM as an alternative to guardianship. Finally, it overviews recent ways that SDM is being implemented and examined in the USA and in other countries.


Supported decision-making Self-determination Guardianship Quality of life 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan G. Martinis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tina M. Campanella
    • 2
  • Peter Blanck
    • 3
  • Michael L. Wehmeyer
    • 4
  • Karrie A. Shogren
    • 4
  1. 1.Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Quality Trust for Individuals with DisabilitiesWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  4. 4.Department of Special EducationUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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