This toolkit emerged out of Sibling Policy Forums held in Springfield, IL and Chicago, IL in March 2014 by the Institute on Disability and Human Development. The forums, funded by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, engaged adults with disabilities and their siblings in a policy dialogue.
This toolkit is designed to demonstrate how advocacy consists of multiple layers, steps and levels. “Advocacy layers” can work together for the ultimate goal of better lives for people with disabilities and their families.
This toolkit also shows the unique roles that siblings play within advocacy. From connecting with other siblings to make change to visiting with legislators, siblings offer perspectives that have not always been included in traditional forms or methods of advocacy.
The gears below illustrate the different levels of advocacy and how they are interconnected. People can be at different levels related to different situations. All levels are important to promote change. Aimed at providing siblings with useful information, strategies and tools, this Advocacy Toolkit is designed to make use of siblings’ unique roles for advocacy policy. We’ve provided the option to download individual documents or download the whole Toolkit at once.
We advise that the Toolkit be bolstered by relevant information about specific policies. Because policies vary from state to state, and often change, we recommend downloading the latest version of the SLN Sibling Policy Brief (for national policies) and consulting The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities to look up information relevant to your state.
SLN Advocacy Toolkit Cover Page This cover sheet emphasizes how multiple components of advocacy can work together to make social change for people with disabilities and their families. Siblings can play different roles, from connecting with other siblings to meeting with legislators. It’s all important.
SLN Advocacy Toolkit Sample Letter to Policymakers This is a good format to follow for effective legislative advocacy.
SLN Advocacy Toolkit Advocacy Letter-writing Tips To be most effective, use these tips! iCitizen is a free app that provides information on your legislators, policy information and offers the chance to be engaged in policy debates.
SLN Advocacy Toolkit What Will You Say? Your stories are among the most powerful tools for change. Learn how to share them with policymakers, professionals and others for maximum impact.
Sibling Talking Points This sheet highlights facts about siblings that people may not think about very often. This can be used not only in advocacy but when conversing with the media about siblings.
SLN Advocacy Toolkit (in a single pdf)