SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING
British Columbia has a long-standing legal process that allows a person to maintain their legal rights rather than giving someone else the power to make all of their decisions.
It’s called a Representation Agreement and enables adults to receive decision-making support without having to go to court or be declared incapable. A Representation Agreement is a legal plan signed by a person with a disability to grant authority to people they choose to assist them in managing their affairs.
A good life includes honouring the choices of people. This means recognizing their tastes, preferences, and values; it also means acknowledging their ability to discriminate, to select, and to choose. We know how determined all people with or without a disability can be in expressing their approval or disapproval. Most people are aware of their limitations and express prudent judgment in the face of them. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware, understands, or accepts the capability of people living with a developmental disability.
While some people assume people with disabilities are incapable of opinions or making decisions, that is not accurate. We believe that people are fully capable of making their intentions known, but they may need support from others. Once a person’s ability to make choices is recognized, we can turn our attention to providing support to ensure their wishes are respected.