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Youth in Transition Toolkit:

2

In(ter)dependent living

Advocacy and supports

Decision making

Is the youth prepared to make life decisions as independently as possible?

In Minnesota, young adults are granted certain legal rights — such as the right to vote, marry, obtain a credit card, consent to medical treatments, make living arrangements and sign contracts — at age 18. In addition, all educational rights provided to parents or guardians transfer to the youth at age 18. Youth with an IEP and their parents or guardians will receive notices regarding this transfer of rights at least one year in advance.

At age 18, youth are considered competent to make decisions for themselves. Ideally, youth with disabilities receive preparation, opportunities and supports to develop decision making skills over the course of a lifetime. If extra support is needed for decision making as an adult, supported decision making provides an alternative to court-based guardianship. Supported decision making is a person-centered approach that recognizes that everyone, including people with disabilities, needs at least occasional help to make decisions. Supported decision making empowers people to make decisions with the support of trusted family, friends and professionals.

  • Awareness: Understand the concept and importance of decision making.
  • Exploration: Identify personal decision-making needs at home, school and in the community.
  • Preparation: Practice decision making at home, school and in the community.
  • Implementation: Use decision making as independently as possible at home, school and in the community.

Instruction in self-advocacy

Lightbulb LEARN

LEARN: Develop your knowledge

Learn how to support youth in decision making.

Review Disability Hub MN's page on decision making and the PACER Center's parent guide to preparing for the age of majority and transfer of rights (PDF).

Resources DO

DO: Work with youth

Find resources to help youth explore decision making.

 

Decision making - Intro to supported decision making

Intro to supported decision making video with audio descriptions

 

Decision making - Supported decision making

Supported decision making video with audio descriptions

 

Decision making - Guardianship

Guardianship video with audio descriptions

 

Decision making - Conservatorship

Conservatorship video with audio descriptions

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