My Choice Virginia: Supported Decision-Making for People with Developmental Disabilities

This project taught people with developmental disabilities (DD) how to use Supported Decision-Making (SDM). SDM makes people’s lives better. With SDM, people with DD have power to make their own choices, lead their own lives and avoid guardianship.

Grantee: The Arc of Northern Virginia

Project Dates: 8/1/2019 - 12/31/2020

Areas of Emphasis: Community Supports

Award: $130,000

Match: $45,025

The Arc of Northern Virginia wanted to study how SDM impacts quality of life. This was a pilot project. 10 people with DD wanted to participate. Of these 10 people, five were under guardianship. The other 5 people were thinking about getting guardianship. Project participants took a survey after the project. Their answers showed that SDM improved their independence and confidence, helped them make better decisions and made their lives better.

The Arc also wanted to teach people about why SDM is helpful. They gave 13 presentations to over 600 people. These presentations were recorded as videos. They are available in the Arc’s SDM Resource Library. These videos received over 200 views during 2020. The Arc also made 7 accessible handouts and six 3-minute webinars. The webinars explain the information in the handouts.