Cher Nicholson led a pilot study of supported decision making for the Office of the Public Advocate in South Australia. You can read more about that pilot study here and I blogged about it here. The pilot study received a very positive evaluation, and as a detailed model of supported decision making has attracted international interest. Since the pilot study, Cher has continued to develop the model, in particular towards using people from the community to act as supporters. She has been running courses to train others in facilitating supported decision making. Facilitators don’t provide the support themselves, but help people to identify others who could support them to make decisions, to set up agreements over how they will be supported, and help provide support to both parties in the supported decision making process.
Cher’s model of supported decision making has received worldwide interest, as it is an example of supported decision making in accordance with the requirements of Article 12(3) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Cher’s model works with the ‘express will’ of the individual, and helps to support people to make and communicate decisions on a whole range of issues in their lives. The evaluation of the South Australia pilot project was very successful, and found that it enabled some people to successfully apply to come off ‘administration orders’ (a form of property and affairs guardianship used in South Australia).
Cher runs an intensive course training facilitators in the supported decision making model. The course is in Australia, but is open to overseas applicants. The next course runs on the 9th,10th & 11th Sept and 16th,17th & 18th September. It is a course that looks at the role of the facilitation of SDM within the service delivery of PWD. It concentrates on the ability of the facilitator rather than the people they support, as supported decision making is about responding to the needs of people with disabilities. It works with the knowledge and experience of the trainee and builds supported decision making facilitation skills to do that responding. Following the course, Cher provides ongoing support to facilitators via Skype.
If you are interested in hearing more about the course, please get in touch with Cher (contact details are available on her website).