From Don Meyer-
Dear all —
Last week, I was on a whirlwind trip to the east coast for workshops on sibling issues and Sibshop trainings. Here are a few highlights from my trip:
- In DC, I presented at the United Cerebral Palsy national conference at the invitation of UCP staff person and sister Allyson Dohrety. Allyson has been championing sibling issues at UCP and they are undertaking a major national sibling initiative. UCP, like ARC national and Easter Seals national, are increasingly appreciating the roles that brothers and sisters play in the lives of people who have disabilities! Allyson and I hope to work together in the days to come.
- In NYC, on the upper west side of Manhattan, I did a Sibshop training in a 100 year old synagogue. This was the second training in two years sponsored by OHEL, a social service agency serving people with disabilities and their families from the orthodox community. Sibshops have become hugely popular with OHEL and the families they serve, largely because of Batsheva Gutwirth’s passion and hard work. If you’d like to see what kind of impact Batsheva’s Sibshops are having on the kids she serves, see these comments by on Sibshop participant: http://tinyurl.com/bogruxq
- I also presented at YAI in Manhattan at their big and impressive annual conference. My presentation was proceeded by a sibling panel moderated by the wonderful Emily Holl. Emily works for YAI and wrote eloquently about her brother Peter in Thicker than Water. The day of sibling workshops was followed by YAI’s annual Sibling Dinner. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend as I had to hop a train to Philadelphia.
- In Philly, I did my second Sibshop training in less than a week at the Kinney Center for Autism at St. Joseph’s University. Besides students and staff from St. Joe’s, we were joined by trainees from PA, FL, MD, NH, MO, other states I can’t remember, and Hawaii and Ireland. Theresa Gill and her Kinney Center colleagues did a wonderful job coordinating the event.
I am home for a bit before I take off again at the end of the month for a Sibshop training in Guam. Where’s Guam you might ask? Well, the closest major land mass appears to the be the Philippines and the shortest way to get to Guam is to fly to Japan and fly back. Guam, as you may know, is a US territory and the home to several US military bases. I doubt that you will wish to travel to Guam for the training but if you do, please let me know and I will ask the organizers if you can attend!
Regarding upcoming trainings, there will very likely be a Sibshop training near Milwaukee in late August and another training in the Boston area in late October. I am ironing out details with the host agencies. Stay tuned!
Finally, if you’d like to explore arranging a Sibshop training in your community, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org While there are costs involved, training hosts tell me that they’ve been able to cover them with registration fees.
Best, as always,
Our training calendar
Our brothers, our sisters, ourselves