Supported Decision-Making Agreements in Texas
This comment will explain how supported decision-making agreements function in practice and assess the extent that the method has been successful in Texas since the state adopted the technique as a statutory alternative to guardianship in 2015. First, this comment will reflect on the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s, when the rights of individuals with disabilities were expanded and the Supreme Court of the United States recognized their right to community-based supports and services. Next, this comment will address guardianship and guardianship reform in Texas, and how policy initiatives led to the legislature formally recognizing Supported Decision-Making Agreements in 2015. Then, this comment will assess whether Supported Decision-Making Agreements are actually effective in protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities by applying a person-centered standard. In doing this, this comment will compare and contrast Texas’ Supported Decision-Making Agreement statute to those adopted by several other states since 2015. Lastly, this comment will propose several solutions for improving the functionality and effectiveness of supported decision-making in protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.