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Expanding Guardianship Training and Advocacy Support Options for Families of Older Children with Autism

This pilot training and legal assistance project was initiated to address the need for access to guardianship options, process, and procedures for parents from immigrant communities and communities that have limited English proficiency and face cultural barriers. Given the MAC Autism Center’s ongoing advocacy and training work in the Latino community, the largest racial or ethnic population in Massachusetts after Non-Hispanic Whites, this initial pilot focused on Latino families of children with autism. The goal of this initiative was for the Autism Center, in collaboration with the Lurie Center and Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), to adapt and translate existing training materials on guardianship to make the information accessible to Spanish speaking family members who face linguistic and cultural barriers, which make it more difficult to understand and navigate the guardianship process. MAC also developed new training materials to introduce to families the alternative option of establishing Supported Decision Making agreements. Through this project, MAC conducted trainings for Latino families of children with autism in Greater Boston area and provided legal assistance to families as needed.