The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the publication of Consent, Capacity, and Substitute-Decision Making.  This project has been supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.   

To make decisions for oneself is a core human and civil right, and for too long too many people with disabilities have had that right unnecessarily infringed.  The freedom to make decisions is fundamental to personal autonomy and self-determination.  There are a wide variety of decisions that affect the lives of individuals with disabilities, including decisions about disability-related services and supports; decisions about medical and mental health care; decisions about finances; and decisions about marriage, sexuality, and procreation.

When a person with a disability needs help making decisions, such assistance must be tailored to that person’s unique needs and abilities so that the right to self-determination is honored to the maximum extent possible.  This guide is designed to help people with disabilities, their family members, service providers, and others to be better informed about the important issues related to decision-making and thus assure that this right is protected for all.

The publication Consent, Capacity, and Substitute-Decision Making is available by calling DRN at (800) 692-7443 or on DRN’s website at or on the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council’s website at