The Right to Make Choices: New Resource on Supported Decision-Making

A woman thumbing through a book

Are you a person with a disability? Do you have a right to make choices in your life?
Are you under guardianship? Does your guardian make choices for you that you don’t want?
Do you have the supports that you need to make decisions about where to live, what to do, how to spend money, or when to see a doctor?

Have you been advised to seek guardianship of your child? Are you looking for alternatives to guardianship? Do you wish that there were better alternatives than the ones you’ve seen?

If you’re wondering about any of these questions, our new guide will help. This guide helps people with disabilities understand decision-making laws. You will learn about different kinds of support you can use to make choices. You will also learn about how people in different countries have changed their laws to help people with disabilities make our own choices. Freedom to make our own choices is a human right.

The toolkit comes in two forms, with each form tailored to a different audience:

  • Our Easy Read Edition. The Easy Read version is divided into five parts, each containing one subject discussed in the toolkit: Supported decision-making, guardianship, the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the state of the law on guardianship and supported decision-making in multiple countries, and the glossary explaining the terms we use in the toolkit.
  • A Plain-Text or Families Version for either those with vision-related disabilities or those who would prefer a version without accompanying graphics.

To download the Families Version of The Right to Make Choices: International Laws and Decision-Making by People with Disabilities, click here.

The Easy Read Edition is split into chapters. Each chapter has its own glossary, and there is also a separate glossary with all of the terms from every chapter. Click on the title of any of the chapters below to download it:


ASAN is pleased to announce that it has released a new toolkit discussing supported decision-making (SDM) and guardianship, and the many different laws pertaining to both in the United States and internationally. The toolkit is called “The Right to Make Choices: International Laws and Decision-Making by People with Disabilities.” The toolkit will help self-advocates, policymakers, providers, and families understand how laws can make it easier or more difficult for people with disabilities to exercise the right to manage their own lives.

The toolkit discusses:

  • Supported decision-making and how it increases the independence of people with disabilities;
  • guardianship and how it limits people with disabilities’ choices;
  • the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, a international law that ensures people with disabilities have choices; and
  • The state of the law on guardianship and SDM in the United States, Bulgaria, UK, Sweden, Canada and Israel

We hope that this toolkit will help people understand the laws on the right to make choices, and on how that right can legally be taken away. Understanding these laws will help people with and without disabilities to advocate for the rights of people at risk for being put under a guardianship. It may also help advocates and policymakers identify legal frameworks that enable supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianships. ASAN created this toolkit in support of a future in which all people with disabilities in all countries can get the support they need without having their decision-making rights taken away from them.

We hope that you find our toolkit useful and distribute it widely. Please send any concerns, feedback, or comments on how you plan to use the toolkit to ASAN’s Director of Public Policy, Samantha Crane, at