Stupid Questions, Unfortunately

Questions like “Are rights important?” and “Are rights worth anything if you can’t exercise them?” sound silly, but they define and limit the lives of people under guardianship – who can’t be their future because someone else controls it. This Talk will inform and inspire people to seek out alternatives to guardianship that encourage and empower them to be and shape their futures!

After this session, participants will be able to: (a) Explain how guardianship limits the lives of people with disabilities – with a focus on how guardianship can take away people’s legal right to make decisions as basic as where to live, whether to work and who to see; (b) Identify and understand less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship – with a focus on Supported Decision-Making, where people with disabilities use trusted friends, advocates and family members to give them the help they need and want to understand the situations they face and decisions they must make; (c) Explain how people who have more control over their lives have better life outcomes – with a focus on studies showing that people who exercise greater self-determination have more community integration, are better employed and enjoy a higher quality of life; and (d) Understand how to access and use less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship across the life and experiential span – with a focus on using Supported Decision-Making in areas such as Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, Health Care and end-of-life planning.