Impact Feature Issue on Aging and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Strengthening Sibling Voices:
The Sibling Leadership Network

The importance of supportive sibling relationships between adults with and without disabilities often increases as parents age and can no longer provide care. The Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) is a national network whose mission is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support, and tools they need to advocate with their brothers and sisters, and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families. Founded in 2006, the SLN connects siblings nationally to be the leading voice on policy, research, services, and supports for siblings. Made up predominately of siblings of people with disabilities, it also includes other family members and people with disabilities, as well as professionals who support the mission. Among its activities are:

  • Providing resources for siblings through its Web site that include networking opportunities; publications such as its "white paper" containing recommendations for research, advocacy, and supports for siblings; and links to resources for siblings and families.
  • Meeting with members of Congress to discuss policies that affect adults with disabilities and their families.
  • Collaborating with organizations including Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, The Arc, The Sibling Support Project, and the National Alliance for Caregiving to reach and support siblings of people with disabilities.
  • Supporting the development of state and local sibling chapters. Current state chapters are in Illinois, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.