Enhancing Decision-Making Supports and Expanding the Community of Practice in DC

Sharing the LifeCourse Framework: Decision-Making Supports

Graphic: Integrated Supports Star, LifeCourse frameworkDepartment on Disability Services (DDS) continues to infuse the the LifeCourse principle of Integrated Supports and the Supports Star into multiple community discussions and training to help the community think broadly about the kinds of supports people need to have a good life. The DC CoP works with DC’s Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS), which is part of a national organization designed to improve judicial processes, protect individual rights, and ensure guardian accountability/ fiduciary standards, and provide for less restrictive decision-making options. The CoP will be conducting training for guardians and court staff four times over the next two months, that includes information on community-based supports for people, incorporating the Supports Star. This is in addition to advocacy with the WINGS steering committee to include modified LifeCourse Framework tools as part of the Court’s public education materials. two months. We also continue to advocate with the WINGS steering committee to include modified LifeCourse Framework tools as part of the Court’s public education materials.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser included the Citizens with Intellectual Disabilities Civil Rights Restoration Act of 2015 in her legislative package for the coming year. The bill does two things. First, it will repeal and replace D.C. Law 2-137, with legislation that would end civil commitment. Current DC law requires the civil commitment of adults with at least moderate intellectual disabilities to be able to access certain residential supports and services.

Next, the legislation formally recognizes supported decision-making for people with disabilities and creates a Supported Decision-Making Agreement. Supported decision-making is a mechanism whereby unpaid supporters may help a person with disability to gather, understand and consider relevant information about the decision in question, assist the person to weigh pros and cons, predict likely outcomes and consequences or evaluate the available options. Supported decision-making is an important less restrictive alternative to guardianship for people who are able to make decisions with supports in place from their family. The CoP has partnered with others on learning about Supported Decision Making and community based alternatives to guardianship and commitment that keep decision-making in the hands of people with I/DD and their families.

Meeting and Working Together Across Projects and Initiatives

The D.C. CoP continues to bring groups together to share and learn from each other about the many initiatives in the District and how each can support each other. During the December 2015 CoP State meeting, the agenda included an overall update on the many activities, outreach, training and technical assistance efforts of the CoP, the Citizens with Intellectual Disabilities Civil Rights Restoration Act (public hearing to be held at the end of January 2016), DC’s Olmstead Plan, a No Wrong Door discussion, a time for families to share concerns and ideas. Several new family members participated, including multiple families from D.C.’s monolingual communities.

Stay tuned for the next few meetings. The upcoming meetings will include a meeting all about the LifeCourse and Person Centered Thinking, then a gathering dedicated to the CoP and Employment follows!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *