Registration is officially open! Register for the conference here by June 5.
This summer, we will leverage our experience and resources to put on a conference for young adult sibs (ages 18-30) to address these specific gaps. From our dozens of conversations, it is clear that this age group receives fewer services than older and younger age groups and these sibs are often struggling with knowing how to best contribute to the care of their sibling while balancing a new life away from home. Our goal is to help sibs learn about resources, ranging from medical to legal to personal, and to explore the possibility of starting a national movement of young adult sibs. We believe that siblings our age have tremendous power to advocate for quality services for their siblings in the midst of budget cuts and shrinkages. Ultimately, we hope to create a community of sibs that can learn from and rely on one another.
The conference will be hosted at Brandeis University, which is located in the Boston area, June 20-22. The three day conference will include speakers, breakout sessions, debriefing activities, and networking amongst siblings and professionals. We are going to bring in leaders in the field of sibs research, legal professionals to go over special needs trusts and long-term care opportunities, psychologists with experience with families of children with disabilities and sibs from diverse backgrounds to share their stories. We will gather as many resources as possible for sibs for a weekend filled with community and activism. (If you would like to see a detailed schedule, you can find it here.)
Our speakers will include:
Don Meyer, founder of the Sibling Support Project
Katie Arnold, Executive Director of the Sibling Leadership Network
Ken Shulman, special needs trust attorney at Day Pitney, LLP
KristaRose Popek, communication specialist at the Lurie Center for Autism at Mass General Hospital
Gael Orsmond, sibling researcher at Boston University
The Massachusetts Sibling Support Network and members of their Board of Directors
Our budget for the conference is $12,000. Most of our speakers have kindly dedicated their time to this conference and as a result, our largest expenses are for accommodations. We want this conference to be accessible to all college-age sibs, so our budget completely covers the cost of attendance, room, and board for participants. Many sibs feel a financial obligation to their families and as a result we want to ensure that their only expense will be for traveling to the Boston area. There is a refundable deposit of $40.00 at the time of registration. (If you are interested in getting a closer look at our budget, you can find it here.)
Participants will be responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation to the Boston area (we can help get you to the Brandeis campus).
Participants will stay in double-occupancy dormitory rooms on the Brandeis campus. All meals – from Friday night dinner to Sunday lunch – will be provided, except for Saturday night dinner that will be in Cambridge.
Participants should plan to arrive in the Boston area by 4 pm on Friday, June 20th. Check-in on Friday begins at 2 pm and ends at 5:30 pm. The conference is scheduled to end at 1:30 pm on Sunday, June 22nd. Participants should plan to leave the Boston area after 2 pm on Sunday, June 22nd.
Interested in attending? Registration closes June 5. You can register for the conference here.