Legal Decision Making Tools (Guardianship and more)


Understanding the legal decision making options available to individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) is essential to The Council's mission of supporting inclusive communities.  

We are here to help families understand available resources so they can make informed decisions regarding:

  • Supported Decision Making Model
  • Power of Attorney (POA) Documents
  • Legal Guardianship and Conservatorship

A natural time to start exploring these resources starts at age fourteen (14) and continues throughout adulthood. 

Information and guidance to figure out the best option for an individual's needs is available by contacting us for consultation.  

The Council also holds regular trainings on these topics.

A great place to start exploring legal decision making needs is to defline the areas where an individual needs assistance.  Check out this worksheet: When Do I Want Support to help guide conversations about an individual's needs. 

Are you interested to learn the process to file a guardianship petition with the courts in Kentucky? 

Here is an informational video tutorial on the steps required to initiate a guardianship petition with the court in Kentucky.  This video was made possible by a grant from the Louisville Bar Foundation.
Still have questions?  Call us at 502-584-1239.

What is Supported Decision-Making?

Supported Decision-Making is a process of supporting and accommodating an adult with a disability through a trusted network to enable the adult to make life decisions, including decisions regarding the services, support and medical care they want to receive without impeding their self-determination.

Benefits of Supported Decision-Making

Research demonstrates self-determination and the right to make life choices are key elements for a meaningful and independent life. SDM has been shown to increase self-determination in individuals with disabilities. These same individuals have:

  • Higher employment at increased wages and more community integration
  • Increased health, welfare and safety

Texas was the first state to recognize Supported Decision-Making as a substitute for guardianship in 2015, and Delaware passed legislation the summer of 2016. The State of Massachusetts has initiated a pilot study of SDM. North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland are also exploring the value of Supported Decision-Making within their communities.

For more information about SDM, click here to link to the ACLU's Supported Decision-Making Resource Library.