Being free to make our own decisions is at the heart of being an US citizen. It seems that many Vermonters with developmental disabilities get a legal guardian on their 18th birthday, whether they want it or not. We feel that establishing a guardianship is highly intrusive and involves the removal of rights from a person. GMSA believes guardianship should only be considered after all the alternatives have been examined. There are numerous ways to ensure safety and provide support without resorting to guardianship. GMSA wrote this booklet for Vermonters with developmental disabilities, their allies, families, and providers. The point of this booklet is to encourage alternatives to guardianship and support people in making these decisions.

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