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Wells Fargo Bank Building
400 East Broadway
Suite 409
Bismarck, ND 58501-4071

701.328.2950 · Phone
701.328.3934 · Fax
800.472.2670 · Toll Free
711 · TDD Relay
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North Dakota Protection & Advocacy Project

What is Supported Decision-making?

A “Decision” … How do YOU make one?

Who do You talk to?


Do you ask for help from a parent or sibling, from a friend, from someone with expertise in that field?


You want to know your options, consider the pros and cons and, then, make the best “choice.” You are asking for support to make a decision.


All people need and use support to make important life decisions.


“Supported Decision-making” is a model…
allowing older adults and people with disabilities to work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals to help them make significant decisions and to stay in charge of their own lives.


With this support, the person then makes the decision themselves.


While this model may not work for everyone…it can be an alternative to guardianship. It is flexible. It can change with the needs of the individual.


Supported Decision-making empowers people with disabilities and the elderly to use available support to make their own choices so they can live more independent and self-directed lives.


A Supported Decision-making model is being considered for implementation in North Dakota as an educational project or as a project leading to a state statute. The Protection and Advocacy Project received a grant, funded by the ND State Council on Developmental Disabilities, to coordinate the project.


A Steering Committee composed of ten members is coordinating and collaborating on this project. They represent a cross section of the population – from young people to the elderly, those working with individuals with various types of disabilities, and those who represent agencies with diverse agendas. Information and resources are being collected from across the country to start the process of developing a plan to best meet the needs of people in our state.

Recognizing the importance of many ideas and viewpoints, we are also requesting input from anyone who would like to contribute their thoughts or expertise to this project. In the next few months a series of Interactive Video Network (IVN) presentations and conversations, as well as community presentations, will be offered to provide awareness and collect more input.

Supported Decision-making can provide more opportunities for independence. Many people with disabilities can manage their own affairs with assistance and guidance from a supporter whom they trust.

For more information contact:

Judy DeWitz, Project Director
Supported Decision-making Project
Protection & Advocacy Project
701-328-2950 or 800-472-2670

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