Siblings at the Disability Policy Seminar

Sib breakfast DPS 2015The Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) was pleased to be a promotional partner of the Disability Policy Seminar for the second year in a row.  The Disability Policy Seminar took place April 13-15 in Washington, DC.  SLN hosted another successful sibling breakfast at the seminar to bring siblings of people with disabilities together to learn more about the sibling support and advocacy efforts happening around the country.  There was a great turnout at the sibling  breakfast that consisted of advocates, providers, students,  and academics all of whom had diverse experiences to share about their role as a sibling.  All in all there were 15 attendees representing 10 states (AL, DC, GA, IL, IN, MA, ME, NY, VA,WI).  Some attendees are involved in national and state advocacy efforts, others are a part of a sibling chapter of the SLN in their state (or hoping to start one!), and still others were new to the world of sibling support and advocacy.

Members from the Sibling Leadership Network and The Arc shared about their ongoing efforts to support siblings in advocating and engaging in future planning with their brothers and sisters.  Liz Mahar introduced The Arc’s Center for Future Planning and all of the resources available on the website.  Kristina Majewski, SLN’s Chair of Policy and Advocacy, shared information about the SLN’s latest Sibling Policy Brief that summarizes some key federal legislation that provides support for people with disabilities and their families and illustrates the specific significance for siblings.  Rachel Patterson, SLN’s Co-Chair of Communications, invited people to attending the upcoming National SLN Conference  on May 30-31 in Louisville, KY.  Nora Handler, SLN’s Chapter Representative, showed the Sibling Survival Guide as a great new resource with indispensable information to navigate the journey as a sib.  We also had a lively discussion about resources available to siblings, such as SibNet, Sib20, SibTeen, Sibshops, local SLN chapters, The Arc and other disability advocacy organizations. Overall, it was a very informative and energizing gathering!

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