The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice Expands its National Community of Practice of State Teams Advancing Alternatives to Guardianship

For immediate release: May 12, 2023

Boston, MA — The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice (CYVYC) is delighted to announce its selection of three additional State Teams to join its national Community of Practice to promote alternatives to guardianship for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Nineteen teams from 15 States and the District of Columbia applied. The quality of the applications was excellent and revealed a deep interest in and commitment to Supported Decision-Making and its importance in the lives of transition-age youth.

After an extensive selection process, CYVYC has chosen State Teams from Arizona, California, and Texas to join our existing Community of Practice. Each of the State Teams will be co-led by a youth with I/DD who is between 14 and 26 years old. The organizations co-leading the efforts of these newly selected State Teams include:

Under a 5-year grant from the US Administration on Community Living, CYVYC provides extensive technical assistance to State Teams to promote alternatives to guardianship so that fewer youth with I/DD have legal guardians. The Community of Practice—now composed of 11 State Teams—fosters a rich dialogue around best practices, supports long-term change, and centers the voices of youth leaders in its work. The Community of Practice members work together to create lasting systemic reform in their states and support Youth Ambassadors to be leaders for change.

“We look forward to collaborating with these new State Teams in advancing the decision-making rights, self-determination, and leadership of youth with I/DD. Ensuring this next generation of youth is front and center in all levels of this work is key to the success and lasting impact of this national initiative,” said Cathy Costanzo, Executive Director of the Center for Public Representation (CPR), which facilitates the CYVYC Community of Practice.

The CYVYC Community of Practice Selection Committee was composed of a Youth Ambassador, a member of its Youth Advisory Committee, a representative from its National Coalition, and CYVYC staff, including representatives from the Institute for Community Inclusion, CPR, Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, and the Georgia Advocacy Office.

About the Institute for Community Inclusion

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities through training, consultation, clinical and employment services, and research. ICI is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities based at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston Children's Hospital.

Contact: Morgan Whitlatch, Director of Supported Decision-Making Initiatives, Center for Public Representation
Phone: 202-596-6116

Contact:Allison Hall, CYVYC Project Director, Institution for Community Inclusion
Phone: 480-677-9677

Contact: Quinn Barbour/Institute for Community Inclusion
Phone: 617-287-4309 (office) / 857-271-6617 (mobile)