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Decision supporters need to recognize that all people have a right to take chances. This is called the dignity of risk. This can be a challenge for many supporters, because it includes allowing someone to make a decision that they may not agree with.
Dignity of risk is every person’s right to live an ordinary, valued life, with possibility to grow by doing new things. Dignity of risk includes learning from your mistakes. It recognizes that learning and risk taking is an inherent part of being a person.
People with disability should be able to grow and experience new things, to experience autonomy and the risks associated with these things, in the same way as people that do not have a disability.
Imagine for a moment, what your life might look like if you were never in a position to do anything that had a risk attached.
Many people with disability are denied their dignity of risk. They are prevented from undertaking new experiences or doing things with even the slightest risk involved. It is often done in the name of their best interest - that is protecting them from anything bad that could happen. Duty of care by service providers is also cited as a reason to prevent a person with disability from enjoying this dignity.
While there is a need to protect people that are vulnerable, there is also increasing recognition that a life without risk is a risk in itself. Over-protection creates helplessness, which in turn increases vulnerabilities. People denied the dignity of risk are denied the opportunity to live a fulfilled life. With this comes increased rates of depression, isolation and dependence. The practice of risk enablement, or safe risk, is growing.
If things don’t turn out the way you had hoped it may be called a ‘bad’ decision.
No decisions are bad if you learn from them.
You can learn from all decisions.
When things go wrong we have experiences and we grow.
We grow because something different or unexpected has happened.
After something doesn’t happen the way you hoped it would ask
The chance that a decision might not turn out the way you hoped is not a reason to not make the decision.
You can learn from things that don’t go well.
This will help you to make more decisions in the future