BBI Chairman Blanck pens first blog for the Jenny Hatch Justice Project
October 24, 2013
I am honored to present the first guest blog for the Jenny Hatch Justice Project (JHJP). I wholeheartedly endorse the JHJP’s goal of advancing the rights of people with disabilities to make their own choices and determine their paths and directions in life.
I served as an expert witness in the "Justice for Jenny" case, testifying about the importance of choice and self-direction. I highlighted studies showing that people with disabilities who have more autonomous control over their lives have better life outcomes—they live longer and are healthier, are employed at better, inclusive, and higher paying jobs, are more integrated into their communities, and are better able to resist abuse and exploitation. I recommended that Jenny Hatch be given the opportunity to engage in Supported Decision-Making—what Professor Robert Dinerstein describes as "a series of relationships, practices, arrangements, and agreements, of more or less formality and intensity, designed to assist an individuals with a disability to make and communicate to others decisions about the individual's life"—as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.
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