From Guardianship to Self-Determination: Disrupting the Trajectory for Transition Age Youth Through Supported Decision-Making

As in most communities across the country, parents and guardians of transition age children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oregon are almost always directed to seek legal guardianship when their child turns eighteen. The misperception that guardianship is necessary to protect adults with I/DD is not only communicated by trusted professionals, such as school administrators and educators, medical professionals, and case managers, but also by other parents. By creating opportunities for education, accessible tools, and resources for professionals, parents, and self-advocates about alternatives to guardianship, we aim to decrease the use of guardianship for transitioning youth in Oregon and act as a catalyst for existing grass roots advocacy efforts.

Phase 1

In collaboration with our community partners, and with the support of a sub-grant from the Quality Trust for Individuals with disabilities, we created and implemented a statewide train-the-trainer curriculum and web-based training related to Supported Decision-Making (SDM) in the area of school-to-adult transition. The training will be for services coordinators, personal agents, and transition coordinators, and will provide simple tools for professionals to use in educating parents and young adults about Supported Decision-Making and how it relates to their future independence and self-determination. 

Phase one of this project was completed in August 2019. During phase two, we will seek additional funding from local community organizations to hold train-the-trainer events around the state.

Phase 2

Helping Transition Age Youth Understand Their Legal Rights and Plan for their Future Through Supported Decision-Making

With support from the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, we scheduled three train-the-trainer events in Spring 2020, one each in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties. Because of COVID-19, these events were cancelled and are being offered as interactive virtual training in July and August 2020.

For more information and to apply for the train-the-trainer program, visit our Events page.


Feel free to share these information graphic sheets far and wide. Through this grant project we printed high quantities of these flyers for dissemination. If you would like to request a packet, please contact our office.

Project Partners

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