The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The NCD advising on several policy areas including; civil rights, cultural diversity, education, emergency management, employment, healthcare, housing long-term supports and services as well as transportation and other issues that directly impact the lives of people with disabilities.
This week NCD published Turning Rights Into Reality: How Guardianship and Alternatives Impact the Autonomy of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The report delves into several critical issues and polices related to guardianship and rights on the continuum of supported decision-making. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and The Arc of the United States jointly concluded that “less restrictive means of decision-making supports should be tried and found to ineffective in ensuring the individual’s decision-making capacity before use of guardianship as an option is considered.” Lack of data on existing guardianships and newly formed guardianships as to the specific nature of the person’s disability is one of the key findings in the report. The challenges associated with data are important in determining how many people with IDD are affected and whether or not a limited or full guardianship is necessary. There are several other key findings and recommendations in the report that, if implemented, are designed to improve the lives and experiences of people with IDD in the systems of guardianship and implementation of less-restrictive alternatives. The report can be found here https://www.ncd.gov/sites/default/files/NCD_Turning-Rights-into-Reality_508_0.pdf
Teresa Anderson, Policy Director, The Arc & UCP Collaboration