Beyond Guardianship Alternatives That Promotes Greater Self Determination

Beyond Guardianship Alternatives That Promotes Greater Self Determination

According to the National Council on Disability (NOD), guardianship is overused and often unnecessarily deprives individuals with disabilities of their rights. In its 201-page Beyond Guardianship, NOD states that guardianship is commonly seen as a “benevolent measure” that involves a state-court determination that an individual lacks the capacity to make decisions with respect to their health, safety, welfare, and/or property. Although guardianship is governed by state law, it entails the removal of rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, individuals who are subject to guardianship are also protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which are laws intended to increase the ability of individuals to live and work in the community, encourage participation in civic life, and to promote self-determination for individuals with disabilities.

The Beyond Guardianship report:

  • explains how guardianship law has evolved;
  • explores due process and other concerns with guardianships;
  • offers an overview of alternatives to guardianship;
  • identifies areas for further study;
  • includes a review of existing scholarship on the topic as well as the results of a qualitative study of individuals with experience in guardianship and its alternatives; and
  • offers major findings and recommendations to Congress, the Administration, and to state and local government.

Access the summary of the report, including the full version in Word, at:

Access the PDF of the report at the National Council on Disability, at: