In this episode of the Inform podcast, we’ll be discussing supported decision making. Dr Jo Watson, a speech pathologist and lecturer at Deakin University joins us to provide some background on support decision making along with some information about the process including the values of circles of support. Dr Watson will also provide some tips and advice about embarking on a process of support decision making.

The key message

Supported decision making is a mechanism for supporting people with disabilities who may be unable to make their will and preference clearly known, to make decision about their lives and live autonomously. According to Dr Watson, there are a number of key ingredients to supported decision making, which she explains in the episode, but the key message is about starting from the place of assuming that everyone can communicate and that everyone can make decisions.

“I think probably the key message is that we need to make the assumption that everyone can communicate and everyone can make decisions, and that it shouldn’t be a test of capacity. It should be a test of, perhaps if we’re going to test anything, the support that is around someone so that’s where the onus needs to be not on the individual’s cognitive capacity to make decisions, but the amount and type of support they need to ensure their will and preference is reflected in decisions that are made about their lives.”

—Dr Jo Watson

Supported decision making resources

Decision-making support: Building Capacity within Victoria from Scope

Ted Inspired Talk given at Financial Counselling Australia Conference 2016 by Dr Jo Watson

‘Listening to those rarely heard’ by Scope

Supported Decision-Making in Victoria: A guide for families and carers

Support My Decision


You can find a transcript of this episode here:

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Thank you for listening to Inform, a production of Independence Australia. If you’re keen to hear more, you can go back and listen to our past episodes at our website:

Stay tuned for the next episode of Inform, coming soon. In the meantime, subscribe for free to be the first to hear about future episodes.

Host and producer: Kirby Fenwick
Managing editor: Alison Crowe

With thanks to Dr Jo Watson

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