Advocates, please act today in support of S.2848/H.4725: An act relative to supported decision-making (SDM) agreements for certain adults with disabilities.
Please send this letter to your Representative and Senator and ask them to urge their Chair of the House & Senate Ways & Means Committees to pass the SDM bill, S.2848/H.4725, favorably out of the Committees!
The Arc, the Massachusetts Advocates for Supported Decision-Making (MASDM) and countless advocates have been working hard on passing this important bill. We believe the time has come for SDM to be formally recognized in Massachusetts, as it has proven to be a successful alternative to guardianship for certain individuals with disabilities who need assistance in decisions about finances, health, and other issues. This bill would establish a legal framework for SDM in Massachusetts. Passing this bill does not replace guardianship. It is an additional and less restrictive option that seeks to maintain peoples’ rights, dignity, and independence.
In addition, this bill would:
- define SDM and establish roles for those involved
- allow people with disabilities and elders to enter a SDM agreement with people they trust
- create protections against abuse of the model
- require that courts first consider SDM before establishing a guardianship
- establish training for people using SDM
- ensure all youth turning 18 are made aware of the SDM option at IEP meetings