Supported Decision-Making

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a series of relationships, practices, arrangements and agreements designed to assist an individual with a disability to make and communicate to others decisions about their life.

*NEW* Supported Decision-Making: A User’s Guide for People with Disabilities and Their Supporters is now available (updated March 2019)!!! Click below to download your copy today!

To learn more about Supported Decision-Making, or to request a training for your organization, contact Disability Rights Maine at 1.800.452.1948 or fill out our online contact form.

Q: What is Supported Decision-Making?

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing supports to help them make choices. 

Q: What does Supported Decision-Making actually look like?

Supported Decision-Making will look different for everyone. It means finding supports to help a person with a disability understand, make, and communicate their own choices. When using Supported Decision-Making, the person can execute a Supported Decision-Making agreement which identifies their method of decision-making. This document can help doctors, bankers, lawyers, and other third parties to understand and accept the decision of the person with a disability.

Q: What are some examples of tools used in Supported Decision-Making?

Examples of tools might be:

  • Plain language materials or information in visual or audio form
  • Extra time to discuss choices
  • Creating lists of pros and cons
  • Role-playing activities to help the person understand choices
  • Bringing a supporter into important appointments to take notes and help the person remember and discuss their options
  • Bill payment tools such as auto-payments or bill management notification apps

More questions? 

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