Don’t miss out on all the learning opportunities this year’s Sibling Leadership Network conference has to offer. Here’s the line-up for Breakout Session 2:
A. Diversity and Social Justice in the Sibling Movement
Speakers: Nick Perry, Director of Developmental Disabilities Services – East, DeKalb Community Service Board and Alison Whyte, Program Development Specialist at the DC Department on Disability Services, Co-Chairs of the SLN Diversity and Social Justice Committee
This session will explore diversity and social justice issues through the lens of sibling identity. We will discuss how our sibling identities interact with other important parts of our identities and how we can, as advocates with our siblings with disabilities, connect with other social justice movements that are important to our diverse community. We invite you to join us as we learn together, aim to create a respectful space that honors all voices, and views conflict as an opportunity to grow.
B. National Disability Policy in 2017
Speakers: Rachel Patterson, Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates and SLN Chair of Policy & Advocacy Committee and Nicole Jorwic, Director of Rights Policy, The Arc of the United States
What’s going on? What will happen to my sib’s services? How can I get involved? If you’ve asked these questions, come to this session for national policy updates and tips on how siblings can best make our voices heard to protect services and improve disability policy.
C. How Do I Best Support My Sibling? An Overview of Decision-Making Options
Speakers: Robin Shaffert, Senior Executive Officer, Individual & Family Support, The Arc of the United States and Liz Mahar, Program Manager, Individual & Family Support, The Arc of the United States
Siblings play a big role in providing decision-making support; some serve as guardians to a sibling with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD). Many families are told that guardianship is necessary, but less restrictive alternatives should be tried and found ineffective before guardianship is considered. Learn from The Arc’s Center for Future Planning about ways to support siblings with I/DD to make their own decisions (informal advice, powers of attorney, supported decision-making). By sharing personal experiences of supporting a sibling across the country, we will explore ways to help your sibling build decision-making capacity through education, supports, and life experience.
D. Family Dynamics: Successes & Struggles
Moderator: Sara Hansen, SLN Vice Chair and Special Education/Deaf Education Specialist in the Wagner School District.
Panelists: Emily Holl, SLN Secretary, Jamie McGeady, SLN Treasurer and Community Supports Educator, Barbara Sapharas, SLN member, and Jalynn Schmitz, SLN member and Elementary Special Education Teacher
This breakout sessions will discuss several topics related to families including choosing a life partner, genetic testing, becoming a parent, kinship and foster care, adoption, intrafamilial roles, healthy boundaries, conflict management, self-care, and incorporation of others in future planning. Panelists will share personal experiences with tough conversations and ways to resolve conflict when possible. We will also investigate the intricate balance between parents and siblings as well as siblings and their nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.