Feigenholtz law ensures more rights to adults with disabilities

SPRINGFIELD – Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will have a less restrictive alternative to guardianship to support their daily living, thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) that was signed into law Friday.

“Adults with disabilities deserve the opportunity to make decisions in how they live their daily lives when possible,” Feigenholtz said. “This law helps many people with disabilities build confidence and become better self-advocates.”

House Bill 3849 lays the groundwork for adults with disabilities to enter into supported decision-making agreements: a model of assistance for people with disabilities that offers support for decisions about health care, life choices and financial matters while maximizing autonomy.

Many people with disabilities do not need a guardian, but would benefit from assistance when making certain complex or weighty decisions. A supported decision-making agreement allows people to identify a supporter to help them interpret information, weigh options and communicate their decisions.

“People living with disabilities should be able to make their independent choices regarding their financial and personal life decisions. This new law will serve that purpose, allowing individuals to make their own choices while including support and guidance they might need,” Feigenholtz said.

The law requires the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission to post training and education materials on its website for individuals with disabilities and their identified supporters.

The new law takes effect February 2022.