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Supported Decision-Making
What is -
“Supported Decision-Making”?
ND Guardianship Information
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

North Dakota Protection & Advocacy Project

What is Supported Decision-Making?
What Does It Look Like?

Supported Decision-Making is a process for making well-informed, voluntary decisions by methods less restrictive than guardianship or conservatorship. Supported Decision-Making allows individuals to make their own decisions and stay in charge of their lives, while receiving the help and assistance they need.

What Does Supported Decision-Making Look Like?

There are three components to Supported Decision-Making:

All people need and use support to make important life decisions (e.g. where to work, which friends or family members to spend time with, help with medical or financial decisions, etc.). Using the Supported Decision-Making model, older adults and people with disabilities choose someone they trust, often a friend, family member or professional, to serve as their “Supporter.”

The Individual selects a Supporter to help make decision(s),

The Supporter can help the Individual to:

The Individual makes the final decision.

Before selecting a Supporter, the Individual decides what decisions he/she needs assistance with...

A Supported Decision-Making Agreement between the Individual and the Supporter is made in writing using a form which defines what type of assistance the Individual is requesting and what the supporter has permission to do.

The form is signed, dated and requires witnesses or a notary public.
This document can help doctors, bankers, lawyers, and
other third parties to understand and accept the decision
of the person with a disability.

While this model might not work for everyone, Supported Decision-Making is an alternative to guardianship, is flexible, and can change with the needs of the Individual to provide more opportunities for independence. Many people with disabilities can manage their own affairs with assistance and guidance from a Supporter whom they trust.

ND has a statute for Supported Decision-Making passed in the 66th ND Legislative Session. The law becomes effective August 1, 2019.

The next step has started…educational materials and sessions are currently being developed to provide information and assistance to the Individuals, the Supporters, and the Professionals who will be using this tool, allowing people who are elderly or have disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing supports to help them make their own choices.

The Individual is always
at the center of
Supported Decision-Making

For more information contact:
Judy DeWitz, Project Director
Protection & Advocacy
701-328-2950 or 800-472-2670

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