People with disabilities have the right to make their own decisions about issues that affect their lives. However, there are many circumstances in which this right is challenged. People may be found to lack capacity to manage their own money and property, make their own decisions about medical treatment or other personal care matters, bring forward a legal action or retain and instruct a lawyer. There are different legal processes to challenge findings of incapacity and many of these processes can be complex.
ARCH’s activities in legal capacity include:
- conducting law reform projects to reduce barriers related to capacity which prevent people with disabilities from accessing administrative tribunals;
- conducting public and continuing legal education and community development projects to educate lawyers about capacity and disability law issues [see services for community];
- providing summary legal advice to people with disabilities in relation to powers of attorney for property and personal care; different processes for challenging a finding of incapacity; and abuse by a guardian or attorney for property or personal care [see services for individuals];
- providing brief services and legal representation to people with disabilities who wish to challenge findings of incapacity or address abuse by a guardian or attorney for property or personal care.