The Center for Public Representation (CPR) is a national legal advocacy center for people with disabilities. Founded in the mid-1970s, CPR uses legal strategies, advocacy, and policy to promote the integration and full community participation of people with disabilities and all others who are devalued in today’s society.
Our Supported Decision-Making (SDM) Initiative seeks to advance a viable alternative to the antiquated system of guardianship and ensure people with disabilities can exercise choice in all aspects of their lives. Under the SDM model, individuals select supporters – friends, family members, peers – to help them make decisions. SDM offers an effective approach that can help the estimated 1.5 million Americans under guardianship reclaim their voice.
On both the national and international fronts, CPR is working with disability rights lawyers, advocates, and experts to promote SDM in ways that honor individuals’ choices, advance their self-determination, maximize their independence, and provide safeguards to prevent abuse.
In Massachusetts, CPR launched the first SDM demonstration in the nation in 2014. We have since expanded the program, and multiple pilots are now underway across the state. CPR provides training and technical assistance on SDM statewide, and we have been working with advocates and lawmakers on an SDM bill, now pending before the Massachusetts Legislature. In addition, we are collaborating on an SDM pilot in Georgia.
CPR also leads the State Team Community of Practice for the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice, a national resource center that seeks to promote alternatives to guardianship for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
CPR is grateful to the individuals and foundations who support our work to advance this important initiative on behalf of people with disabilities. In particular, we acknowledge the following organizations: