Community Living and Supported Decision-Making

Community Living and Supported Decision-Making

This project is a five-year longitudinal study to collect data on decision-making supports and methods, degree of self-determination and other personal and contextual factors of interest on a personal level and inclusive of environmental factors on a cohort of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by the District of Columbia Department of Disability Services (DDS).

The project seeks to fill the gap in research and literature and is based on two hypotheses: that restrictive decision-making methods deny self-determination and, as a result, people subjected to those methods have less quality of life outcomes, including less community integration; and that  supportive decision-making methods - which focus on providing people with help understanding the situations and choices they face, so they can make their own decisions - increase self-determination and improve life outcomes, including community integration.

The results of the study will be used to recommend changes in policy and practice with the target population across age (youth in transition, working age adults, aging population) to improve less restrictive supported decision-making approaches to enhance self-determination and community living and participation to meet the goals of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA, and the Olmstead Community Integration mandate. Further, the study will result in a robust knowledge translation program targeting policymakers, providers, persons with disabilities, and their families about the influence and impact of supported decision-making on self-determination and community living and participation quality of life outcomes.

This is a collaboration between the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, the Quality Trust and the Council for Quality and Leadership.

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Michael Wehmeyer 
Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Rm. 518
University of Kansas
1122 W. Campus Rd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101

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