Expert in self-determination for those with disabilities can speak on alternatives to guardianship

LAWRENCE — Without alternatives to guardianship, people with disabilities and older adults and their families can encounter negative outcomes, according to a University of Kansas expert who has spent 20 years studying the self-determination of people with disabilities.

Karrie Shogren

Karrie Shogren, Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education and director of the KU Center on Developmental Disabilities, part of the KU Life Span Institute, offered testimony March 30 before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. U.S. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) introduced legislation that would expand access to less restrictive alternatives to guardianships and enhance protections.

“Defaulting to guardianship without considering alternatives sustains societal and institutional barriers rooted in prejudice and antiquated attitudes about the lack of decision-making capacities of people with disabilities that are not supported by research, advocacy or lived experience,” Shogren said.

Shogren is available to speak with reporters about proposed reforms to guardianship — sometimes called conservatorship — and how supported decision-making can serve as an alternative. She has published extensive research in disability rights, self-determination and related topics. 

To arrange an interview with Shogren, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860, or @MikeKrings.

Fri, 03/31/2023


Mike Krings

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