What is Supported Decision-Making?
Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to make their own decisions with the support of people they trust.
We all use Supported Decision-Making (SDM) every day to get advice from family and friends.
We may ask for help deciding what laptop to buy or whether to repair our car.
A person with a disability (“decision-maker”) can formalize how they use SDM in an agreement. They can say what things they want support with, like money, health, education, or housing. They can also say who they want to support them (“supporters”) and how they do and do not want to be supported. This is called a Supported Decision-Making Agreement (SDMA).
For example, a decision-maker named Carla asks her uncle to be her supporter and help her decide where to live. Carla and her uncle agree that he will help her make a list of things she wants in an apartment, find a realtor, visit apartments, and set up automatic rent payments. Carla also asks her uncle for help telling the landlord about repairs. Once the SDM Bill becomes law, Carla will be able to use her SDMA to authorize her uncle to communicate her decisions to her landlord.
Meet Florida's SDM Pioneers
SDM is already improving the lives of people with disabilities in Florida.
Watch SDM Stories
These videos feature decision-makers and their supporters, across the United States, discussing how they work together using SDM.