Senior Director for Law and Policy, Burton Blatt Institute
Jonathan Martinis, is the Senior Director for Law and Policy, Burton Blatt Institute and the Project Director, National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making.Mr. Martinis has over 20 years' experience representing and advocating for people with disabilities to ensure that they receive the services and supports they need and want to live full, meaningful, and community integrated lives.
In 2013, Martinis represented Jenny Hatch in the nationally acclaimed "Justice for Jenny" case, helping Ms. Hatch secure her right to live where and how she wants, to make her own decisions, and direct her own life. Jennyâ€™s case was the first trial to hold that a person with disabilities has a right to engage in â€śSupported-Decision Making,â€ť where people work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals to help them understand the situations and choices they face, so they may make their own decisions â€“ rather than be subjected to a unnecessary permanent, plenary or full guardianship. The â€śJustice for Jennyâ€ť decision is hailed nationally and internationally for the principle that â€śan individual's right to choose how to live and the governmentâ€™s progress in providing the help needed to integrate even those with the most profound needâ€™s into the communityâ€ť is a right guaranteed under law.
Since the Hatch legal decision, Jonathan has presented to and trained thousands of individuals, families, advocates, attorney, professionals, and service providers about everyoneâ€™s Right to Make Choices and direct their own lives, while receiving the services and supports they need to do so. He currently serves as the co-Project Director of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making led by the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.
Martinis will be based at BBIâ€™s Washington DC office, and he will lead BBIâ€™s national and international efforts to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities receive appropriate supports and services, including Supported Decision-Making, to lead inclusive, independent, and self-determined lives.