Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship

Online Only

United States

A webinar about expanding the rights of people with disabilities to live the lives they want to live


Event Recording & Additional Materials

This event took place 2/16/21, you can view the recording and additional materials below


In this discussion, panelists will explore supported decision making and other alternatives to guardianship and how such laws and related policies can inhibit or promote the voices of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities have the right to choose how they live their lives, even if their parents, service providers, or advocates do not agree. Many people with disabilities in New Hampshire are under guardianship, and their ability to make decisions is very limited.

It is critical that people with disabilities are given the supports they need to tell policy makers what they think and for that feedback to be taken seriously.

Live captioning and ASL interpreting supported by the NH Bar Foundation Advancement of Justice Fund. Additional support provided by the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Additional Resources


Judge Maloney

Hon. Barbara Ashooh Maloney | New Hampshire Circuit Court Judge

New Hampshire Circuit Court Judge Barbara A. M. Maloney has been on the bench since 2015, handling a variety of cases, including guardianship and related matters.  Prior to her judicial appointment, her practice included many years as the Director of Legal Services for New Hampshire Hospital, the state’s neuro-psychiatric hospital in Concord, providing legal counsel and consultation in risk management, policy development, and medical-legal issues.  Her private practice focused on healthcare, mental health, risk management, administrative appeals, and probate matters.

Judge Maloney is a graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center and the Catholic University of America and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, a past President of the Northern New England Society for Healthcare Risk Management and Chair of the NH Bar Association Mental and Physical Disabilities Law Section.

John McCarty

John McCarty | Self-Advocate, Georgia Advocacy Office on Supported Decision Making, Accompanied by Joan McCarty,  His Communication Partner

John McCarty is an active self advocate who  presents on disability issues to a wide variety of audiences both in the US and internationally.

John was a 2019-2020 SARTAC Fellow, a national year-long opportunity working with a host organization on issues that directly impact the lives of people with disabilities.  His SARTAC project focused on expanding the use of Supported Decision Making in Georgia.  During the Fellowship, he was able to terminate his guardianship and have his rights fully restored.

John  works with the Georgia Advocacy Office on Supported Decision Making; and serves on their Supported Decision Making Advisory Council.   He is a member of  the national CYVYC  advisory council: Center for Youth Voice/Youth Choice,  Alternatives to Guardianship for Youth.

John has additional leadership roles in his  local community.  He believes that all individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity and the support they need to direct all aspects of their lives.

View 'The Process of Terminating Guardianship' and related films by panelist John McCarty at:

Judith Bomster

Judith Bomster | Partner, Butenhof & Bomster, PC

Judith Bomster is a partner of Butenhof & Bomster, PC practicing in the areas of trust and estate planning, special needs planning and elder law, emphasizing on tailoring plans to achieve lifetime goals and long-term security for clients and their families. Her prior experience in business law enables Judith to identify short and long-term planning goals, and anticipate potential outcomes of various plans to achieve each client’s personal objectives. A natural educator and speaker, Judith has lectured in her practice areas through continuing legal education programs with the NH Bar Association and the UNH School of Law, as well as to area agencies, non-profit organizations and private companies. Judith received her BA from Rhode Island College and her J.D. from UNH School of Law. She lives and works in Manchester, NH.



Mike Skibbie | Policy Director, Disability Rights Center - NH

Michael Skibbie joined DRC-NH in 2004 and works with staff, constituents and other organizations on policy issues of importance to people with disabilities. Mike is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and the University of Vermont.

Previously, Mike was Research Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Coordinator of the Justice, Law & Society Project at Justiceworks, University of New Hampshire. Mike’s UNH activities included research and program development in the area of juvenile justice and children with disabilities.

For many years, Mike handled criminal cases in a variety of roles for the NH Public Defender’s office, culminating as head of the statewide program from 1992 to 2001. He has worked extensively with court-involved youth and adults with disabilities and has been involved in a number of legislative and interagency efforts to improve the justice system.

Registration Fee

This is a free webinar discussion.

  • Deodonne Bhattarai
    Disability Rights Center - NH