Senior Director for Law and Policy, Burton Blatt Institute
Jonathan Martinis, Esq., J.D.is Senior Director for Law and Policy with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. He leads 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.
BBI Chairman and University Professor Peter Blanck notes that â€śMartinis has devoted his career to representing people across the spectrum of disabilities, and their families and supporters, to protect their human and legal civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other civil rights laws.â€ť
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.
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.