2018 - Cher Nicholson assisted decision making workshops, Jan & Feb
Intensive Supported Decision Making Training

Six Day Intensive Supported Decision Making Training

Trainer: Cher Nicholson, Co Trainer: Debbie Knowles


Week 1          29th, 30th, 31st January  2018 (3 days)

Week 2          5th, 6th, 7th February 2018  (3 days)

Venue: Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway

Cost: €1,200        (Does not include overnight accommodation)

Limited Number of places: 15


Ireland is about to fully commence the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 which will legally introduce supported decision-making. This course is designed to develop a deeper understanding of what Supported Decision-Making is and on how to progress the important work of respecting the autonomy and self-determination of people who require support. Supported Decision-Making enables people to be in the driving seat of their own lives, in determining choices in a wide range of everyday actions. It also supports future planning in a truly person centred way based on each persons individual preferences and choices – in the words of the Convention on the Rights of Person's with Disabilities - on each persons will and preferences.


The course offers a unique opportunity to participate in an intensive six day course on Supported Decision Making that will support real implementation of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Person's with Disabilities and the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015. The training gives you the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and experiential learning required.


The training is based on the presumption of capacity and acts on the “expressed wish” building towards the will and preference of the decision-maker rather than in a “best interest” approach. It promotes the Dignity of Risk that is needed for people with disabilities to lead real lives and experience life outside of a service delivery model. The course trains supporters to establish and facilitate social support systems that support people with disabilities to make their own decisions. 


This approach aims to build capacity in the family and friends of the person who act as Supporters, who learn to support decision-making rather than to make the decisions for the person. Fundamental to the model is that supports are in place to enable people with disabilities to take their rightful place as citizens in the community and enjoy their right to partake in all aspects of their lives. This approach encourages a team around the person to enable decisions to be acted upon and not to be dependent on finances or whether there is a disability service to supply the action that is needed. The team around the Decision Maker works to promote natural community responses that all members of the community enjoy. 


The approach trains people who have an existing relationship with people with disabilities as Facilitators and unpaid Supporters. The training is expected to build capacity in the Supported Decision Making Process and to influence service provider organisations to implement “expressed wish” Decision Making for the people they support. This training will demonstrate a different model of support.


There has been international interest in the model by people who are exploring Supported Decision Making. The model has been shortlisted for Innovative Best Practise with Zero Project in Geneva and can be seen on their website as an example of World Best Practise in enacting Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Person's with Disabilities. 


The training will include guest speakers and modelling and experiential learning with the support and aid of peer consultants who will support the demonstration of the use of the skills to gain their expressed wishes in the area of Health, Accommodation, Lifestyle and Finance. 


Each participant must attend all sessions otherwise they will not receive accreditation. The fee includes, tuition and materials, tea/coffee and lunch.


To learn more about the implementation of supported decision-making see the following evaluation reports that review this work:


Office of the Public Guardian South Australia - http://www.opa.sa.gov.au/resources/supported_decision_making


Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner  (HCSCC) - http://www.hcscc.sa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/HCSCC-SDM-Project-2015-Evaluation-Report1.pdf