We are long overdue for an update. Please stay tuned for an update in the next few days with more information including an “official” e-newsletter. I didn’t want to wait any longer because we have some exciting developments including several new chapters, events, and other good news.
Here’s the rundown:
In case you have not already done so, please find the Sibling Leadership Network on Facebook and “Like Us.” We hope you do…actually like us. :-). You may notice that the SLN is attempting to build it’s social network presence – it’s what all the cool kids do these days. We hope that by building connections between ourselves and our states that people will find information more easily than before. It’s starting to happen a bit…
If you have not already done so, please check out siblingleadership.org . We have a lot of dreams for this site. We hope that it is useful for siblings all over the U.S. and, someday, the world. Right now we have plans to add some resources to the research section and also an update to the policy and advocacy section.
We are extremely excited to be welcoming 3 new chapters to the SLN in the month of November. Please join me in welcoming them. The SLN is very excited to have you aboard.
Here they are, along with their selected representatives:
Alabama Adult Siblings Investing in our Brothers and Sisters (AL-ASIBS) mission is to support siblings as family members in their efforts to assist their siblings with disabilities to live the happy, successful, and productive lives.
Karen Driver graduated magna cum laude from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Minor in Business. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama and is currently a Licensed Graduate Social Worker. Karen graduated from Partners in Policy Making in 1996 and was appointed by Governor Bob Riley to the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities in 2010. Previously, Karen worked for 20 years at a Fortune 500 Company in accounting while at the same time maintaining the accounting portion of her family’s business. Due to having two siblings with developmental disabilities, Karen decided to join The Arc of Shelby County part-time to support, and join with, other families in advocating for disability related issues while maintaining her position as Vice-President of her family’s business.
New Hampshire – Kaleigh Hansen
SIBS NH (sibs-nh.com )
SIBS NH offers sibling support groups to children and youth in first through twelfth grade with a brother or sister that experience developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions, mental illness, physical disabilities and/or learning disabilities.
Kaleigh Hansen is Sibshop Facilitator at SIBS NH. Prior to starting SIBS NH with another facilitator, Kaleigh co-facilitated the Siblings Program at Gateways Community Services in Nashua NH for more than 5 years! Kaleigh has a brother, Joshua, that experiences intellectual disabilities as well as Epilepsy. Kaleigh is a graduate of Nashua Community College with an associate degree in Human Services. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development. She is also a graduate of the Family Leadership Program through the New Hampshire Institute on Disabilities.
Utah – Bekke Robb
Utah Adult Brothers and Sisters (UTABS) provides opportunities for the adult siblings of individuals living with a disability to find support and answers as they address the joys and challenges of supporting their sibling.
Bekke Robb is a founding member and the current Chair of UTABS. She is also the founder of Self Reliance of Utah, a nonprofit that provides life skills coaching to adults with mild cognitive disabilities to increase their participation in the community and reduce their risk of homelessness and unemployment. Bekke received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Utah. She is the oldest sibling of four, her sister was born with a mild developmental disability and is a current client of Self Reliance.
Our chapters have also had several events/updates from our state chapters this Fall and we are a bit over halfway through. Some brief highlights (I am in the process of getting updates from everyone and will include a more complete list in our newsletter):
Ohio SIBS – is hot off the heels of their 11th conference. All I’ve heard about it suggests it was a great success.
Massachusetts Sibling Support Network – the MSSN has been doing a series of webinars with parent councils around the state. They recently posted their website (masiblingsupport.org ) – check them out! They also are participating in the Princeton Disability Awareness day this weekend. They also continue to host meetups around New England.
Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters- they’ve kicked off a series of social events to outreach to siblings. Very exciting to see that take off.
Wisconsin – has been hosting a series of events for siblings in the Fox Valley area this Fall.
Reps, please send me any updates for the e-newsletter including any details about the great work you all are doing.
Thanks and will be in touch soon.
PS- This email was sent as a test from our new e-newsletter service. Please let me know if you have any problems with it. We’re starting basic right now, but will be adding more to this in the coming months.