Decision Making & Choice

Decision Making & Choice

People must be in the driver's seat of their lives. Having choice and control is imperative to live a good life. Stress is a direct result of feeling out of control in your life... imagine if you went through your day unable to direct even the most smallest of tasks! Let's explore what you can do to ensure that the people you support are leading the way! 


Supporting Choice & Control 

Wendy Humphrey dives into the area of supporting people to have choice and control of their life. Wendy talks about exercising choice as a muscle. Just like when we lift weights to build bicep muscles, the more repetition and weights you lift, the stronger your muscles will be. We can build our decision-making muscles in the same way by making choices.

When we support people with lived experiences of disability to make many choices over and over again, this builds muscle memory and confidence for bigger decisions in the future. We can do this by empowering people to make decisions however big or small. Wendy sheds practical insight on how to strengthen and grow our decision-making muscles.

This video is captioned and has simultaneous translation to ASL. Full transcripts are available here:

Word version: Supporting Choice and Control (Transcript).docx (25 KB)

PDF version: Supporting Choice and Control (Transcript).pdf (114 KB)

The Vowels of Choice

In this animated short, we explore what it takes to really make a truly informed choice! Come along with us and explore how using vowels helps us remember all the important elements of good decision-making.

This video is captioned. Full transcript is pending.

What the Heck is Consent? by Marda Bone

Marda has something to say about consent! She wants people to know that "yes means yes" and "no means no". This video is captioned. Full transcript pending.

Putting it into Practice

Starting small! 

Spend some time talking to people you support about their routines and what is important to them! What makes a good day? Get real specific! Examples:

  • What time do they like to get up? 
  • Do they like to have breakfast before getting dressed? Shower first thing in the morning or before bed? Shower or bath?
  • Do they prefer coffee or tea? Or something else entirely? 
  • Do they want to eat breakfast first thing? Or does packing a mid-morning snack make more sense? 
  • What are their favourite meals? Which ones do they hate? 

We often assume that the routine that someone has, is the one they want! But people change... or the routine might not be something they shaped in the first place. Remember choice making and being in control starts small and grows. And you may find out that someone doesn't want a routine at all... but prefers to make those decisions each day! All of this information is critical if you are going to provide truly person-led supports. 

But wait, there's more... Additional Resources

Abilities Manitoba – Leading Practice Guidelines:

Supporting Choice and Control -

Informed Consent and Decision Making -

My Choice Toolkit -

VPCO website - Province of Manitoba | fs - Information for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (

CQL – Autonomy, Empowerment and Supported Decision Making -