Guest Speaker

Thomas F. Coleman


Tom is an attorney whose professional career advocating for various civil rights causes has spanned more than four decades. He has participated in cases before the supreme courts of California, Alaska, Michigan, New York, and Georgia, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He has written extensively about guardianship reform and access to justice for people with developmental disabilities. His advocacy activities are depicted in a recently released documentary film titled Pursuit of Justice. Mr. Coleman is an advocate of safe and legally supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianship. He spoke on this topic at the World Congress (October, 2018).
Day 1 – Thursday

1:30 – 3:00p.m.

Guardianship, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

Purpose & Objectives
To learn about the guardianship process from the perspective of preserving the rights and dignity of the individual with a disability. Participants will learn:

  • About injustices that currently exist in the guardianship proceedings
  • How Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections apply to state guardianship proceedings
  • How to pursue reform so that properly trained attorneys are appointed by state courts to represent all guardianship respondents
Day 1 – Thursday

3:15 – 4:45p.m.

Safe and Legal Supported Decision-making as an Alternative to Guardianship

Purpose & Objectives
To learn and understand the difference between guardianship and supported decision-making. Participants will learn:

  • What supported decision-making is and what is not
  • How supported decision-making fits into current guardianship laws
  • Participants will learn how to advocate in front of judges in order to consider safe and legal supported decision-making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship

Keynote Speaker

Location and Venue

Savannah Convention Center
Savannah, GA

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