Studies show that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who do NOT have a guardian are more likely to have a paid job, live independently, have friends other than staff or family, go on dates, socialize in the community, and practice the religion of their choice. Consider your alternatives before pursuing guardianship, which is often costly and intended to be permanent.
In the event of a patient's inability to consent to necessary health care, the AHCCA and included form allow for surrogate consent to be given when deemed necessary by licensed physicians.
When a child turns 18, he or she becomes entitled to the legal rights and duties of an adult. Generally, it does not matter whether the person has a disability. At age 18, a person is considered to be capable of making his or her own decisions unless a court has decided that the person is incapacitated. This information sheet describes some of the legal effects of becoming 18, as well as some adult rights that apply even before age 18.
Supported Decision Making can be used in place of more restrictive means, such as guardianship, to preserve a person's autonomy and independence, while still providing the person with support from his or her family, friends, and community. This 35-page document is a comprehensive overview of the Supported Decision Making project.