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Students, Parents and Educators

What is Supported Decision Making for students?
Supported decision-making (SDM) is the process of empowering individuals with disabilities to make decisions on their own as an alternative to guardianship or as a tool within guardianship when they reach turn 18 years old. Students who want to have a good understanding of their educational choices may need support from others to make informed, decisions about their future. A supported decision-making arrangement would be useful students who face complex decisions, students whose first language is not English and students with disabilities. — Read more about SDMA for Students

Ian Miner generously shared his story about how he works, lives, and plays in Anchorage, Alaska. The Council is grateful to Ian for showing us what he has achieved for himself, with the encouragement and advice of his supporters and friends.


  • Teaching Decision Making to Students with Learning Disabilities by Promoting Self-Determination
    Bobbi Barrows; from LD Online, a website on learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences, including attention deficit disorder, ADD / ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, reading difficulties, speech and related disorders. Promoting student self-determination provides an excellent framework within which to teach students how to make effective choices and decisions. Effective choices are those that the student will see as beneficial, and these models of self-determination can be used to teach students to make choices and decisions that (a) are consistent with what is most important to them and (b) enable them to achieve more positive adult outcomes.
  • Transition to Adulthood: A Health Care Guide for Youth and Families From The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a non-profit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN provides support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum while working to change public perception and combat misinformation.
  • MAKING MY WAY THROUGH COLLEGE: A Guide for Students with Disabilities
    Hallas, J., Larson, M., & Fink, D.; from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth).

If you have any questions or want to start a Supported Decision-Making Agreement, contact the Disability Law Center,