About Supported Decision Making

Supported Decision Making (SDM) is a process that helps individuals with disabilities make decisions about their life with the assistance from trusted supporters.  A person using SDM selects trusted advisors such as friends, family members, or professionals, to serve as supporters.  The supporters assist the individual with:


Collecting Information

Processing Information

Coming to a Reasoned Decision


Making an Agreement


Communicating the Decision to Others


Implementing the Decision

Which Areas of My Life Do I Need Help With?

The Nevada Law promotes self-advocacy. The Nevada Law allows persons with a disability to select which areas of their life they might want support in making choices. These areas of life may include:

  • Money
  • Health
  • Medical Appointments
  • Where you live
  • What you do for fun
  • Relationships
  • Support service providers
  • Finding a job
  • Decisions about School
  • Making appointments
  • Legal decisions

These are just some examples.  You may think of new areas not listed above.

Facts You Should Know About Nevada’s SDM Law

  • The law states a supporter cannot make decisions for you or meet with people without you saying it is okay.
  • Supported Decision Making in Nevada is done by an agreement in writing between the individual with a disability, called the principal, and one or more supporters.  The agreement has to be dated and signed by the principal and any supporters at the same time before two adult witnesses. A supporter cannot be a witness.
  • The fact that a person has a Supported Decision Making Agreement cannot be used to argue the individual cannot make his/her own decisions.
  • A service provider “is not subject to civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct for giving effect to a declaration contained within the supported decision-making agreement or for following the direction of a supporter named in the supported decision-making agreement.”  See NRS 162C.320
  • Nevada courts must consider use of the least restrictive method of involvement in a person’s own decision-making.  As a result, Nevada courts will want to know if Supported Decision Making has been considered before allowing a guardianship to be ordered.


How Do You Make A Decision?

This material is presented for educational purposes only. You are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney in any legal matter. The information contained herein does not take the place of legal advice nor is it offered as such by the Self Determination Law Project or the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The information contained herein is based on the law at the time this website was produced. If you have questions about your legal rights, please consult an attorney.

Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

This website is supported by the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities through grant funds from the Federal Department of Health & Human Services; Administration on Community Living grant #1901NVSCDD-01 and 25% matching funds appropriated by the Nevada State Legislature under NRS 232.320, administered through the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors & do not necessarily represent the official views of the NGCDD or any other associated or supporting agency.