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30 2021

Supported Decision-Making 101

3:00PM - 4:15PM  

Supported Decision-Making 101: Alternatives to Guardianship and How to Increase Advocacy for SDM


BY POPULAR DEMAND! Supported Decision-Making is a fast growing national initiative for empowering adults with disabilities. This is a “must see” presentation for professionals and educators who work with individuals with disabilities who are approaching or navigating adulthood.


Join Disability Rights Pennsylvania guardianship attorney Elysia Mancini Duerr, Esq., and Supported Decision-Making trainer Amanda Thomas, Ph.D., for a discussion on alternatives to guardianship. Specifically, we will discuss what Supported Decision-Making is and why it can be a better option than guardianship. 


Elysia Mancini Duerr is a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Pennsylvania. As counsel for alleged incapacitated persons, she defends their rights to autonomy and to less restrictive alternatives than guardianship. Elysia also provides technical assistance and training to attorneys, guardians, and healthcare professionals on less restrictive alternatives to guardianship. Elysia is a graduate of Temple University, both for undergraduate school and law school. Elysia looks forward to the day when all disabilities are not only de-stigmatized but embraced.

Amanda Thomas is the Disability Liaison for JFSLV. Prior to beginning this position in July 2021, she started her career as a high school life skills teacher, empowering her students with disabilities to be self-determined and independent. Currently, she serves as Program Manager for Adaptations, a community engagement and social program for adults with disabilities in their 20s and 30s at Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living. Additionally, she teaches a graduate class on Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12 at Lehigh University. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education from Lehigh University and brings more than 13 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and is well-versed in evidence-based practices. Amanda’s passion has been, and always will be, to advocate for opportunities and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. 


We will provide ASL and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART). If you need any other accommodation, please let us know by sending an email to by September 16, 2021.