Center for Youth Voice Youth Choice FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 4, 2022 The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice Expands its National Community of Practice of State Teams Advancing Alternatives to Guardianship The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice (CYVYC) is delighted to announce its selection of five additional State Teams to join its national Community of Practice to promote alternatives to guardianship for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Twenty-five teams from 21 States and territories 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-aged youth. After an extensive selection process, CYVYC has chosen State Teams from Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, and South Carolina to join our existing Community of Practice. Each of the State Teams will be co-led by a youth with I/DD. The organizations co-leading the efforts of these newly selected State Teams include: • Indiana Disability Rights and Self-Advocates of Indiana • The Arc Michigan and the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council • Disability Rights New Jersey • Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, FACT Oregon, and The Arc Oregon • Able South Carolina Under a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for 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 fosters a rich dialogue around best practices, supports long-term change, and centers the voices of youth leaders in its work. 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 welcoming these new State Teams into the fold,” said Cathy Costanzo, Executive Director of the Center for Public Representation (CPR), which facilitates the CYVYC Community of Practice. “At the core of our work is a deep commitment not only to expand this important work to more states, but to do so in a way that ensures the leadership of youth with I/DD is front and center.” The CYVYC Community of Practice Selection Committee was comprised 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. CYVYC plans to solicit applications for a third cohort of State Teams next year. Contacts: • Morgan Whitlatch, Director of Supported Decision-Making Initiatives, Center for Public Representation,, 202-596-6116 • Allison Hall, CYVYC Project Director, Institution for Community Inclusion,, 480-677-9677