Supported Decision Making Principles

Supported Decision Making Principles First Nations

Paul – Why Supported Decision Making is Important

Paul is supported by a couple of great communication partners to reflect on some signficant decisions he’s been supported to make.

Shewani Talks about Supported Decision Making

Shewani talks about what’s needed to build decision making capability for people who have complex communication accesss needs

Matt’s Story

Matt uses his device and communication support to talk about being able to direct his life because his decisions are supported.

Ann’s Story

Ann reflects on the importance and value of her daughter having choice and control in her life through being supported with her decision making.

A more inclusive way forward

Dr Michelle Browning sets the scene for a series of videos about supported decision making. We are all connected to each other, and that connection is important for our wellbeing and survival. This idea of connection and interdependence is challenging how we think about decision making.

What is supported decision making?

Michelle defines what we’re talking about. Supported decision making is the process of providing practical assistance with decision making.

Aims of supported decision making

Check out the two very important aims of supported decision making.

Decision support is a right

Hear about the legal and human rights context of supported decision making.

Rethinking capacity

“Different decision-making abilities can be turned into decision-making capabilities with appropriate decision making supports.” Michael Bach and Lana Kerzner 2010


A different starting point

Hear how the social model of disability changes the starting point for thinking about supported decision making.

Assuming decision making ability

Assuming decision making ability is one of the foundational beliefs of supported decision making.


In a series of three videos, Dr Michelle Browning talks about the importance of minimising our influence as decision supporters over the decision making process. Check out ‘Neutrality’, Bias and Conflict of Interest’ and ‘Strategies for reducing Bias’.

Bias and conflict of interest

Because of our biases we can never be entirely neutral as decision supporters. But if we are committed to minimising our influence, we can use strategies to reduce the impact of our biases.

Strategies for reducing bias

There are a range of strategies you can use to try and reduce bias and minimise your influence over any supported decision-making process.

Tim Stainton – Supported Decision Making and Citizenship

Supported decision making is a means by which we can express who we are, engage in our community and be fully included as citizens.

Tim Stainton – The Origins of Supported Decision Making in Canada

The push and change for supported decision making with people who have high support needs came from a group of parents in British Columbia.

WAiS Supported Decision Making Project

This video sets the scene for a series of four more videos which identify the themes of supported decision making – getting to know someone, providing good assistance, supporting decision making and good communication. Find the videos and resource book on the ‘Support me to make and act on my decisions’ page.

Supporting Decisions

Leanne and others talk about important principles which underpin effective supported decision making practice.

The elements of support to build decision making capability

Leanne speaks about the elements of support which build decision making capability.

Supported decision making education

Susan and Michelle speak about building engagement with and providing learning opportunities about supported decision making to supporters.

Learning from the experience of supported decision making

Marissa and Michelle speak about using a model of supported decision making with people with complex communication access needs.

Organisational considerations

Leanne and Su-Hsien talk about why supported decision making matters for organisations which support people with disability.

Pathways (NDIS) for building decision making capability

This resource provides information and tips for strengthening a goal to build decision making capability in a person’s NDIS plan.

Supporting Decisions

Learn about the principles which underpin good support for decision making.

Supported Decision Making and Positive Behaviour Support

Sally Robinson talks about Supported Decision Making in the context of Positive Behaviour Support.

Author: Sally Robinson