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Supported Decision Making

The Woodburn School District believes strongly in the values of Supported Decision Making for adult students with disabilities. Those values include: a person’s right to make their own choices, have full control and involvement in decisions that impact them, have access to assistance when wanted or needed, and to use guardianship only when absolutely necessary.

So what is Supported Decision Making? It is a supported process for people to receive assistance from one or more trusted friends, family members, or professionals to help them make choices about their own life. This support may help them understand their individual situations, gather information, evaluate options, or communicate their decision to others so that they can make their own decisions, rather than relying on someone else to make their decisions for them. There is a continuum of support from no assistance to full assistance in making decisions. The amount of support for each decision or type of decision is determined by the person and requires their consent. There may be different processes, people involved, and/or levels of support for different kinds of situations and decisions.

When a person turns 18 years of age, the right to make decisions transfers from the parent to the adult student. Families and students will be given notice of this transfer of rights. Supported Decision Making is an important option that may be considered before turning to more restrictive options, such as guardianship. There are many different types of support options that can be considered and in many different combinations. School staff can support the student and family in learning more about this process. See below for additional information:

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 Congratulations: You Are now an adult! 

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