Make decisions real: Evaluating supported decision making resources

Riley Buchanan1, Brooke Canham1, Lorrain Sequerah1

1Inclusion Australia, Australia

Make Decisions Real is a 3-year, ILC-funded national project run by Inclusion Australia. The project aims to improve access to Supported Decision Making for people with intellectual disability and their supporters by evaluating existing supported decision making resources, developing new resources where gaps exist and delivering workshops for people with intellectual disability to build skills in Supported Decision Making. People with intellectual disability are integral to the project, from the steering committee; the review of existing resources; creating new resources; and facilitating workshops.

A total of 7 Supported Decision Making resources were shared with 4 focus groups of decision makers and supporters around Australia. Each resource comprised of workbooks or video material made to assist people with intellectual disability and their supporters in making decisions. The focus groups used their lived experience to evaluate the resources using a co-designed evaluation tool. The project Peer Workers used the evaluations to interpret the key themes, strengths and gaps within the 7 resources.

This has led to a better understanding of the efficacy of Supported Decision Making resources for people with intellectual disability. The process has particularly highlighted the need to centre the lived experience of people with intellectual disability in the ongoing development of Supported Decision Making resources.

The expertise of people with intellectual disability involved in the focus groups, as well as the project Peer Workers, has shaped a deeper understanding of existing Supported Decision Making resources, as well as the process of Supported Decision Making itself.


Brooke Canham is a Peer Worker at Inclusion Australia. Brooke has previously worked as a Health Ambassador for Down Syndrome WA.

Lorraine Sequerah is a Peer Worker at Inclusion Australia. Lorraine has experience in self-advocacy and presented at a number of workshops, most recently for Developmental Disability WA.