About Supported Decision Making

what is supported decision making

Everyone has the right to make decisions that affect their lives. Supported decision making happens when one person gives another person the support they need to participate in decision making. Support needs are different for everyone and for every decision.

Everyone uses support to make decisions. Sometimes we might need extra support.

This might be:

  • When we are unwell
  • When others make assumptions about our abilities

Supported decision making involves supporting someone through the decision making process. Different people will need different amounts of support for each part of the decision making process. Some people will need a lot of support and some people will only need a little support.

This website has information and questions that may help you make decisions and support decisions.

If you have any questions or would like more information about supported decision making please contact us.

About our team and our projects

Who we are

Helen Connolly: Project Coordinator

Damien Venner: Project Officer

Sarah Sowry: Project Officer

Ivette Gonzalez: Project Officer

What we do

Working with Older People Experiencing Abuse

ADACAS is working as part of the Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) to research how supported decision making and individual advocacy can be used together to support people at risk of or experiencing elder abuse. This project also involves developing training material around this issue for advocacy organizations around Australia so we can all come together to stop elder abuse.

Joint Project between ADACAS and Advocacy for Inclusion

ADACAS has partnered up with Advocacy for Inclusion (AFI) in a joint project to raise awareness about supported decision making at an individual and systemic level.

Respect Know Act

Our Respect, Know, Act (RKA) project will increase support in decision making for people who need to access the ACT’s mainstream health services. This may include people with intellectual impairment, dementia, acquired brain injury or those experiencing mental ill health. Individuals, carers, health professionals and health services have been working together with ADACAS to identify barriers to access, and use Supported Decision Making (SDM) as a tool to enable equitable access.


ADACAS is an independent, not-for-profit, advocacy organization helping people with disabilities, people with mental health conditions, older people and their carers.

Our mission is to assert, promote and protect the rights and responsibilities of people with disabilities, people with a mental illness, people who are older and people who are caregivers.

ADACAS Services


Advocacy is about helping a person to be heard in the decisions that affect their life. Advocacy aims to increase a person’s control over their lives and support them to develop a sense of empowerment and of being valued as an individual. Advocacy focuses on the needs, wishes, and rights, including the protection of confidentiality of the individual.

Support Coordination

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) defines support coordination as: ‘Assistance to strengthen participants’ abilities to coordinate and implement supports and participate more fully in the community’. ADACAS is providing a special model of support coordination using advocacy approaches. This means we will use advocacy skills, strategies, and principles to support you to make decisions about how your plan is implemented and empower you to have control of your NDIS services.

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