Written by Sarah Hall, Ohio SIBS member
Ohio SIBS (Special Initiatives by Brothers and Sisters), a sibling chapter of the SLN, hosted the Ohio Adult Sibling Conference on November 7th and 8th in Columbus, Ohio.
The conference provided a unique opportunity for people whose siblings have a disability to learn, network, and share their experiences as siblings. Attendees learned about person centered planning, new approaches to employment, community living options, and updated legislation concerning people with disabilities and their siblings. The conference included Project STIR (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility) trainers sharing their expertise as well as several state and national presenters who are adult siblings. The best part of the conference for many people was the natural sharing of stories and ideas that provided support and a sense of community.
Two great keynote presentations were given at the conference. Meghan Burke, SLN’s Chair of Research, shared her sibling story as the oldest of five including her brother with Down syndrome. She also discussed the roles siblings play in caregiving. Andrew McQuaide is a sibling who works for the State of Rhode Island Department of DD as the Coordinator of Community Development and Planning. He is responsible for administering the Department’s Employment First Policy and he talked about Inclusive Employment. Andrew will be one of the keynote presenters from the upcoming National SLN Conference.