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Even if you have a guardian, you still have rights. If your guardian tries to keep you from making these decisions, you can complain to the court. You can also call Disability Rights Ohio for help. Here are some of the rights that the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio courts say you have:

  • To be treated with dignity and respect
  • To privacy, including:
    • the right to privacy of your body
    • the right to have private conversations with others by mail, telephone or during personal visits
  • To get help you need, like doctor’s appointments, mental health services, independent living services, etc.
  • To have your guardian listen to your wants, preferences, opinions and beliefs
  • To live in a place that is safe and clean
  • To live the most independent life possible
  • To get married or divorced
  • To make decisions about having sex, having children, using birth control or getting sterilized (a medical procedure so you can’t have a baby)
  • To be treated fairly, regardless of your race, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation or political affiliation
  • To have explanations of any medical procedures or treatment 
  • To have your personal information kept confidential, which means that only people who have the right to see it can see it 
  • To look at your personal records, including medical records, financial records and court records
  • To speak privately with a lawyer, ombudsman, Disability Rights Ohio or other advocates
  • To drive, if you are legally allowed to
  • To exercise your right to vote

You also have the right to ask the court to:

  • file a complaint against your guardian
  • ask the court to change decisions that your guardian made that you disagree with
  • ask for a different guardian
  • tell the court that you don’t need a guardian anymore, or you only need a guardian for some things 
  • ask for a guardianship review hearing to try to end the guardianship

Contact Disability Rights Ohio

If you think your rights are being violated, or if you have questions about a guardianship, this fact sheet, or the rights of people with disabilities, please call Disability Rights Ohio at 800-282-9181 and select option 2 for our intake department.

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