Part 3 in the Supported Decision-Making Three Part Webinar Series

May 22, 2014

Presented by

Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities

Burton Blatt Institute

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Supported Decision-Making: The Next Level of Policy Development

May 22, 2014, 1 – 2:30pm EST

In the summer of 2013, a young woman named Jenny Hatch won a landmark legal battle protecting her right to make her own life decisions using supported decision-making instead of being subjected to guardianship. Nationwide, people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities continue to be placed under guardianship, losing their rights to make basic, fundamental decisions like where to live, what to do and who to see. Supported decision-making (SDM) is an effective, less restrictive alternative to guardianship that uses trusted friends, family members and advocates to give people with disabilities the help they need and want to understand the situations they face and the choices they must make, so they can make their own decisions. SDM shows great promise for increasing self-determination and improving quality of life outcomes.

What are the implications of the Jenny Hatch decision for future Olmstead litigation and settlement agreements? Should SDM and the development of decision-making capacity be a part of Special Education transition planning? Should guardianship laws be changed to identify or embrace SDM as a less restrictive option? A panel of experts will discuss policy development options to accelerate systems change at a local, state, and federal level.

Webinar Materials

 May 22, 2014 Webinar Audio Recording


Sharon Lewis, Commissioner, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
US Department of Health & Human Services

Allison Wohl, Executive Director, Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination
National Down Syndrome Society

Barbara Brent, Director of State Policy
National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Sue Swenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
US Department of Education


Ari Ne’eman is the President and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an advocacy organization run by and for Autistic adults seeking to increase the representation of Autistic people across society. He is an Autistic adult and a leading advocate in the neurodiversity and self-advocacy movements. In 2009, President Obama nominated Ari to the National Council on Disability. He worked to shut down the New York University Child Study Center’s “Ransom Notes” campaign and also led other successful disability community responses to offensive advertisements, including the response to the Autism Speaks "I am Autism" fundraising video. Ari serves as a member of the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence, and as a board member of TASH. He previously served as a public member to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, Vice Chair of the New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force, a member of the New Jersey Special Education Review Commission, and was the first ever Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. Ari has received the HSC Foundation "Advocates in Disability" Award, and the Expanding Horizons Award from United Cerebral Palsy. In his policy work, Ari has worked on a wide variety of disability rights related legislation relating to education, transition, employment, rights protection and other areas.


Tina Campanella, Chief Executive Officer, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities


More information about the Jenny Hatch Justice Project

The Jenny Hatch Justice Project (JHJP) established by Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, who represented Jenny at her trial, invites you to participate in a three part webinar series in March, April, and May 2014 to increase your awareness and understanding of SDM and the implications for policy and practice at a community, state, and national level.

If you missed Part 1, "Lessons Learned from the Canadian Experience: Supported Decision-Making Models" on March 26, you can listen to the audio version, review the PowerPoints, and read the transcript here.

If you missed Part 2, "Introduction to Supported Decision Making" on April 30, you can listen to the audio version, review the PowerPoints, and read the transcript here.

If you missed Part 3, "Supported Decision-Making: The Next Level of Policy Development" on May 22, you can listen to the audio version and read the transcript here.


Quality Trust, BBI & ASAN logos