ARCH participated in the Empowerment Council – Cheap and Crazy Symposium (Mobilizing for Strategic Conversations) on Saturday November 22, 2014 on the “Law, Madness and Capacity” panel
Dianne Wintermute (Staff Lawyer) and Nabila Khan (Disability Law Intensive Student) presented on capacity to instruct and supported decision making. In particular, Nabila talked about the current test for capacity, and some of the accommodations that lawyers, as service providers, are required to provide to enhance the capacity of a person with a disability to instruct counsel. This is fundamental for access to justice. Dianne discussed the current substitute decision-making regime, which can strip people with disabilities of decision-making capacity and give a third party the right to make decisions and choices based on what they believe is in the “best interests” of a person with a disability. She then introduced the concept of supported decision-making, which has been heralded as a radical paradigm shift in thinking about capacity. Briefly, the person with a disability is the key decision maker, and is entitled to whatever supports are required to assist him or her make a decision based on their own wishes and preferences.
Ed Montigny (ARCH) and Steve Hubel of Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO) described the collaboration between MDAO and ARCH to present the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Legal Education project. The goal of the project is to offer legal information on capacity and decision making rights catered to participants in the MDAO WRAP program.