February 14, 2018

ABA to host program for judges on supported decision-making being an alternative to guardianship

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2018 — The protection and ability for people with disabilities to lead self-determined lives will be the focus of the American Bar Association program, “Supported Decision -Making as a Less Restrictive Alternative to Guardianship: What Judges Need to Know,” in a Feb. 15 webinar.

Supported Decision Making as a Less Restrictive Alternative to Guardianship: What Judges Need to Know presented by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice (Disability Rights Committee)

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2-3:30 p.m.


Recent news of Senate Bill 19 — the Uniform Guardianship Act, which spotlights how the guardianship system has failed the country’s most vulnerable citizens — has ushered in more backing for a supported decision-making system, which allows support for an individual’s decision.

Legal experts and judges in the field will discuss how judges can glean from this new process, where an individual with disabilities can choose a trusted person or persons to actively support them in making decisions. Though guardianship does involve a third party making decisions, supported decision making supports the individual’s “own” decisions.

Speakers include: Robert Fleischner, assistant director, Center of Public Representation; Kristin Booth Glen, retired judge and dean emerita, CUNY School of Law; Nathan L. Hecht, chief justice, Texas State Supreme Court and Frances M. Doherty, judge, Second Judicial Court of Nevada.

Discussion will include:

  • Why supported decision making has gained recognition as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship

  • Recent support for court supported decision-making systems

  • Historical and recent updates to Texas and Delaware’s laws recognizing supported decision- making agreements

In August 2017, the ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution on supported decision-making and its use as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.

The event is co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights, ABA Judicial Division, and the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings.

This event is open to members of the media. For press credentialing, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at Betsy.Adeboyejo@americanbar.org.

To register for the live webinar, click here.

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing nearly 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and civil liberties issues and ensures that the protection of individual rights remain a focus of legal and policy discussion.

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

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