Advocacy Alert: Arizona House Judiciary to Hear Supported Decision-Making Bill
by Sarah Ruf, Community Relations Specialist
We’re excited to announce that for the first time ever, a supported decision-making bill has gained a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at the Arizona House of Representatives.
You have an opportunity to have your voices heard during the hearing in House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 12 at 8:30 a.m. The hearing will take place in House Hearing Room 4 at the House of Representatives, located at 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
House Bill 2769 addresses supported decision-making, a term that refers to legal agreements that allow a support team designated by a person with a disability to assist in certain life decisions while keeping their personal civil rights as their own guardian in place. It’s sponsored by Representatives Jennifer Longdon and John Allen.
These life decisions can include things like:
· where you want to live
· services, supports and medical care you want to receive
· whom you want to live with
· where you want to work
Ten other states have used this process to give people with disabilities assistance to make decisions and build a team of “supporters” while still allowing the person to make their own choices.
It’s the latest step in a years-long effort to bring this initiative to Arizona. In 2018, the Council awarded $60,000 to a statewide coalition focused on researching local guardianship practices: The Southwest Institute for Families and Children, The Arc of Arizona, and the Arizona Center for Disability Law.
Since then, the coalition produced a data report and fact sheet that pointed out the realities of what is currently a complex process for individuals and families choosing guardianship, limited guardianship or no guardianship when a child with a disability turns 18.
Here is the coalition’s report and the helpful fact sheet from The Arc of Arizona detailing why these efforts are so important.
If you are interested in joining the coalition, contact George Garcia via phone at (602) 235-0354, ext. 801 or via email at [email protected]