SLN Conference Table Talks

Come to the table! Choose any of our 10 Table Talks on day 2 of the 2021 8th National Sibling Leadership Network Conference (June 19th)!  Check out the wide variety of topics we will be offering below!
Register on our Conference main page!

Title card with image of white, clean conference room with blue accents and chairs

12:45pm PT/1:45pm MT/2:45 CT/3:45pm ET

Table Talks

This opportunity allows participants to come together around a single issue of their choice, to participate in a facilitated discussion. Topics will include but are not limited to: sibling grief, juggling multiple roles, the needs of siblings in their 20’s, the role of caregiver, and long-distance siblings. In the past, when our Conference occurred in-person, we would gather around tables for these conversations. This year there won’t be a table, but we expect the discussions will be meaningful and important.

Table Talks (Choose One)
Title: Supporting Young Siblings
Description: Siblings need information, support, and opportunities to build on their many strengths throughout their lives. Supporting siblings in childhood can help them develop coping skills, positive feelings toward their brothers and sisters with disabilities, and stronger relationships into adulthood. Adult siblings and those who care about siblings can make a powerful difference in the lives of young siblings by supporting them with authenticity, enthusiasm and care. This discussion will center around how we can support young sibs through Sibshops and other small but effective ways every day.
Facilitator: Emily Holl, Director, Sibling Support Project and Board Member Sibling Leadership Network
Title: From Self-Doubt to Self-Care: Knowing it’s OK to Back Away
Description: Adult siblings as caregivers sometimes do not realize how they neglect their own well-being until they are able to take a step back and make themselves a priority. This will be a discussion about setting boundaries by making the sometimes difficult decision to build a life that you do not have to escape from in order to find balance and peace in your life.
Facilitator: Lisa Matthews, DC Sibs, DC Chapter Representative and Board member Sibling Leadership Network
Title: “Voting – The More You Know the More You Can Support Your Sibling”
Description: Bernard Baker, President of SABE (Self Advocates Becoming Empowered) says
“Voting has become easier for some of us but not all of us”. Does your sibling
know their rights and responsibilities to vote? Are they registered? Are they prepared (know about candidates and issues)? Do they know how to use voting equipment? The SABE GoVoter Project has developed a GoVoter Toolkit to teach self advocates and their families about voting rights and responsibilities. Democracy only works if we all vote! Learn how you can support your sibling.
Facilitators: Teresa Moore, Director and Essie Pederson, Partnership Liaison, SABE GoVoter Project
Title: The Experiences of Siblings in their 20s: Networking, Stories, and Resources
Description: As siblings enter their 20s, they often face a range of new and unique experiences. This session has three important goals. First, we will meet and connect with other siblings who have brothers and sisters with complex health conditions and developmental disabilities. Second, we will exchange stories about various shared experiences, including navigating education, work, caregiving, sibling roles, social relationships, and future planning. We will conclude the session by sharing national and international resources that help support siblings in their 20s.
Facilitators: Nathan Grant, President and Founder of Siblings with a Mission, Board of Directors of the Sibling Leadership Network, and Lyle Lasala, Behavioral/Mental Health Technician, Rehab Without Walls – Neurosolutions, University of Washington Seattle – BA Medical Anthropology & Global Health
Title: Growing an SLN State Chapter in your state
Description: Join this open and informal brainstorming Table Talk to learn about Sibling Leadership Network state chapters! We will chat about the process of starting a state SLN chapter (if your state does not already have one), what types of opportunities SLN chapters can offer siblings, and how to build support for your chapter by connecting to key leaders in your state’s disability communities.
Facilitator: Emma Shouse Garton, Sibling Leadership Network Chapter Development Committee Co-Chair; TN Adult Brothers and Sisters chapter leader; TN Council on Developmental Disabilities Public Information Specialist
Title: Role of a Sib-in-law to a Person with Disability: Experiences, Expectations, Responsibilities and Challenges
Description: The relationship between the sib-in-law, the spouse’s sibling with disability and his/her parents-in-law is complex and complicated. The complexity arises not only because of how the in-laws raised their children (the spouse and the spouse’s sibling with disability) but also because of the functional abilities/behavioral issues of the person with disability and sib-in-law’s knowledge of disabilities. Sib-in-laws have the potential to play a positive role in improving family dynamics, planning for the future of their spouses’ siblings with disabilities and advocating for them. This discussion will focus on the experiences of sibs-in-law, the ways in which they can support their spouses’ families, and the challenges that they might face in their day-to-day lives as sibs-in-law.
Facilitators: Sumithra Murthy, Project Coordinator, Doctoral Candidate in Disability Studies, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago and Bruce Handler
Title: The multiple roles of sibling/caregivers and self-care
Session Description: What roles do you play as a sibling or caregiver? Your answers may vary and may include teacher, protector, provider, day habilitator, job coach, mentor, friend, and roommate. Having a sibling with disabilities almost always has a crucial impact on your life. The experience of being a sibling can affect your daily living and impact major life decisions including college, jobs, parenting, and social life. The experience also often impacts other family members. This Table Talk will allow participants to discuss strategies and experiences for how to help themselves and their siblings, in their many roles.
Facilitator: Kimrah Brotherson, Disability Advocate and Caregiver
Title: Sibs Supporting Sibs with Grief:
Description: Join our discussion about what is grief and what it is not. Come listen to fellow siblings talk about how they have dealt with their own grief. We will share resources that grieving siblings can use to work through their own losses. There will be an open conversation with participants to discuss their support needs.
Facilitators: Shruti Tekwani, LMHC, BCC, Uddina LLC and
Tara Conley, M.A., Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters and
Nora Handler, Board member Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters and Sibling Leadership Network
Title: Current and future sibling caregivers: In-person and from a distance
Description: This discussion will explore the concept of ‘caregiver’ and how this role might evolve throughout the sibling’s lifespan. In-person and distance caregiving will be discussed.
Facilitator: Melanie R Martin, PhD student in special education at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Title: Long Distance Sibs
Description: This table talk is for people who want to talk about what it’s like to live far away from your sib. Many of us move away from our hometown, or our sibs move away, and like most of our lives, there are unique challenges and opportunities that come with this! Sometimes we can help our sibs learn about new places and help them have new experiences if they come to visit! Other times, living far away can make the guilt we feel even worse and make it more difficult to answer questions about our sibs’ care. Who will take care of my sib when my parents are gone? Will my sib be able to move closer to me without losing their services? Will I have to give up my life here and move back? Come join us to talk about the good, bad, and the ugly about being a long distance sib!
Facilitators: Alison Whyte and Peter Edmonson

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