Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



The Arc of Anchorage

2211 Arca Drive

Anchorage, AK 99508

View Map

Event description



Supported Decision-Making Agreements in Alaska

Time to get started making SDMAs readily available and useful for people who want a legal agreement with their supporters that describes their choices for decision-making.


The Arc of Anchorage


8:30-9:00 Coffee, Tea, & Pastries (provided by the Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities)

9:00-9:50 Welcome and Thanks to Sponsors, SDMA Alaska Webpage Walk-Through

Anne Applegate, Program Coordinator, Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education

9:50-10:00 BREAK

10:00-11:25 Supported Decision-Making Agreements Around the Nation and the World

Robert Fleischner, J.D., former Assistant Director, Center for Public Representation, Massachusetts

11:30-12:10 Supported Decision-Making and Elders: How is it Different? How is it the Same?

Teresa Holt, State Long Term Care Ombudsman

12:10-1:00 LUNCH (provided by the Special Education Service Agency and the Alaska Autism Resource Center)


#1 Decision-Makers and Supporters in the Gym

1:10-2:00 What is a Supported Decision-Making Agreement?

Anne Applegate, Program Coordinator, Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education

2:00-2:45 What Makes a Good Supporter?

Ric Nelson, Program Coordinator, Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education 2:45-3:00 BREAK

3:00-4:00 Making a Supporter List and Choosing the Help You Want

Ric Nelson, GCDSE, and Kim Champney, Champney Consulting

#2 Lawyers, Paralegals, and Public Guardians in the Large Family Conference Room

1:10-2:45 Supported Decision-Making Agreements: Legal, Practical, and Ethical Issues, Robert Fleischner, J.D., former Assistant Director of Citizens for Public Representation

2:45-3:00 BREAK

3:00-4:00 Supported Decision-Making Agreements: Legal, Practical, and Ethical Issues

#3 Service Professionals and Care Coordinators in the Learning Center

1:10-2:45 Practical Experiences Gained from Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project Rick Benjamin, Director of Organizational and Spiritual Wellness, Hope Community Resources

2:45-3:00 BREAK

3:00-4:00 Getting Started: Writing a Profile for Directing Support

Anne Applegate, Governor's Council on Disabilities & Special Education

Bob Fleischner has been a disability rights attorney since 1973. He worked for more than 40 years at the Center for Public Representation, a national public interest law firm with offices in Northampton, Massachusetts and Washington, DC. A graduate of Boston College Law School, Bob is the former co-director of the Center’s successful and innovative Supported Decision Making project. An experienced trial and appellate attorney, he has litigated cases and argued appeals involving guardianship, prison and juvenile justice reform, fair housing, civil commitment, right to treatment, and right to community services in state and federal courts around the country. Bob has served on the adjunct faculties of Western New England University Law School and Smith College School for Social Work. He has published a treatise on guardianship law and numerous articles and book chapters about disability law.

Teresa Holt is the State Long Term Care Ombudsman for Alaska. She is a long time Alaskan who has worked in the social service field for 30 years. Prior to becoming an ombudsman, she was the Executive Director at the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. She also worked as an advocate at the Disability Law Center of Alaska, where she assisted individuals with developmental and mental health disabilities advocate for their rights as well as assisting families to advocate for special education services for their children. Ms. Holt began her career at the Arc of Anchorage as a recreational therapist. She loves the outdoors and spends time skiing in the winter and kayaking in the summer.

Rick Benjamin was born and raised in Anchorage Alaska. He served as pastor of Abbott Loop Community Church for 30 years. He earned a Master’s degree in Social Science and Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in 2001. In 2009 Rick became the Director of Organizational and Spiritual Wellness for Hope Community Resources. Rick’s role at Hope includes providing spiritual supports, leading the Ethics and Human Rights Committee, employee training, end-of-life planning and support, and oversight of Hope’s wellness initiative. Rick has been involved in Hope’s supported decision-making pilot project since October of 2017.

Ric Nelson was appointed to the Governor’s on Disabilities and Special Education Council in 2007. He was the Council Chair elect (2013-2015), Vice Council Chair (2011-2012), and Legislative Chair (2010-2011). In 2015, Ric joined the Council staff as a Program Coordinator. This role allows him to continue his work to help impact policies in Alaska in order to improve the lives of Alaskans with disabilities. Ric holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and an Associate in Small Business Management. He servers on a variety of local and national boards, some of which include: Peer Power, National Youth Leadership Network, Youth Advocates for Community and president of TASH. In 2015, he was awarded the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s 2015 “Alaska Top 40 Under 40”.

Anne Applegate graduated from UC Berkeley in 1989 with B.A. in Anthropology; and from UC Hastings College of the Law with a J.D. in 1994. Anne also studied international law in Europe as a visiting scholar. During law school, Anne interned at Disability Rights Wisconsin and was a non-governmental organization delegate to the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. She was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1994 and in Alaska in 2000. Anne has been a judicial clerk, a sole practitioner, an associate in a general practice firm, and a staff attorney for the designated Alaska Protection and Advocacy Agency, the Disability Law Center of Alaska. Anne taught Disability Law and Ethics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She joined the staff of the Governor’s Council on Disability and Special Education as a Program Coordinator II in March of 2017.

Kim Champney has 20 years in the field of developmental disabilities in a variety of roles: social worker, care coordinator, frontline supervisor, program director and now consultant. Her most formative experience comes from individuals and families she has had the privilege to serve and support – it is their stories that inform her work with current change efforts. Kim has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is past president of the Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities, graduate of the National Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities, former adjunct instructor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, and past participant on SDS’s Inclusive Community Choices Council and the Center for Human Development’s Community Advisory Council.

Sponsors: Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Special Education Service Agency, Alaska Autism Resource Center, Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities

Special thanks: The Arc of Anchorage, Disability Law Center, and Hope Community Resources, Inc.

For more information, contact Anne Applegate at anne.applegate@alaska.gov.

Share with friends

Date and Time


The Arc of Anchorage

2211 Arca Drive

Anchorage, AK 99508

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved