The Sibling Support Project has been a proud member of the Sibling Leadership Network for years. Read why you should be a part of the SLN too!
A Brief History of the Sibling Leadership Network:
Services for people with disabilities in the United States—and indeed the world—would not be the same had it not been for the leadership of five remarkable siblings: Eunice, Jack, Bobby, Jean, and Teddy Kennedy. And less well-known brothers and sisters have provided leadership and advocacy within the disability community for a long time. Until recently, however, they have not been organized to provide leadership from a sibling perspective.
This changed in 2007 with the creation of the Sibling Leadership Network, a national organization that provides siblings of people with disabilities the information, tools, and guidance to advocate for—and with—their brothers and sisters. The Sibling Leadership Network consists of individual and state groups that come together and meet to develop yearly action plans to support family policy initiatives.
Why should you join Sibling Leadership Network?
We’re stronger together. SLN members connect with siblings and sibling supporters nationwide.
Information is power. All SLN members receive information and updates about activities as well as initiatives, policy decisions and sibling related events that are important to brothers and sisters.
Chapter connections. Members get information about how to connect with or create a state or local sibling chapter of the SLN.
Siblings matter. As our membership increases, so does SLN’s impact. The more members we have, the stronger our voice in promoting support for people with disabilities and their families.
Becoming a member of the Sibling Leadership Network costs nothing and takes a minute to join. It’s also a great way to meet other brothers and sisters!
Connecting with sibs in your state through the Sibling Leadership Network
Currently, 18 states have chapters of the Sibling Leadership Network. These chapters vary regarding their activities, but all of them can be excellent opportunities to connect with other adult sibs.
Below is a sample of current offerings from some state SLN chapters, but you can learn more about all of the state chapters here.
Ohio SIBS has held an annual conference since 2001, providing siblings with the opportunity to meet and share experiences, as well as education related to services, advocacy, and other timely topics. A weekend camp for sibling pairs/trios is held annually for students who are in the transition process from school to adult services and their siblings to gain information and support. Ohio SIBS partners with several other statewide advocacy and service entities to coordinate a Disability Awareness/Legislative Advocacy Day at the Statehouse. In addition, opportunities are provided for siblings to gather regionally.
WisconSibs offers programs for adult siblings in addition to Sibshops provided for younger brothers and sisters. Adult sibling events include The Siblings Choice Awards, when adult siblings acknowledge quality providers of care for people with disabilities; “Future is Now!” workshops, which provide future planning guidance for adult siblings and their families; and social events (e.g., casino nights) for adult siblings and their brothers and sisters.
TABS (Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters) has monthly “TABS Third Thursday” meetings in eastern, central, and western parts of the state. As the name implies, group members meet on the Third Thursday of each month at a local restaurant where information and experiences are shared and a wide variety of topics are discussed. According to the organizers, the events are very informal.
MI Sibs holds an annual conference for sibs in Michigan with workshops on future planning, advocacy, and navigating social service systems.
The Massachusetts Sibling Support Network offers a range of social events for adult siblings. Past events include dessert nights, trivia nights, brunches, and screenings of sibling-related movies.
SibsNY, located in New York City with the goal of expanding throughout the Empire State, provides opportunities for adult siblings to gather for “food, friendship, and fun” throughout the year. Members of SibsNY also participate in local conferences and fundraising activities that support opportunities for children and adult sibs to connect.