Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sibling Leadership Network Response to the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy

The following is a statement by Dr. Tamar Heller, Professor and Head of the Department of Disability and Human Development in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Heller is a member of the Steering Committee of the Sibling Leadership Network (SLN). For those of you who may not be aware, she and several siblings from the SLN met with Senator Kennedy at our first conference in 2007 and had a chance to talk to him about the importance of siblings to people with disabilities.

It is indeed a sad day with this country losing such a strong advocate for people with disabilities as Senator Kennedy. I treasure the time that I and a small group of us had the opportunity to meet with him in his office to discuss the needs and concerns of siblings of people with intellectual disabilities. As a brother of a sister with intellectual disabilities he expressed a passionate interest in the topic, emphasizing his commitment to addressing this issue and his interest in our nascent Sibling Leadership Network, which was having its first national meeting that week in DC. With his charm and glistening blue eyes, he graciously gave us his attention and beckoned his photographer to snap some pictures of us with him. I think we will all remember the excitement we felt at that meeting and mourn the loss of this great statesman.

-Tamar Heller, Ph.D.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Great Sibling Article

This article captures many aspects of the sibling experience and quotes some national experts - definitely check it out!