Updated on 4/13/2011 8:47:54 AM.
The Third Annual Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters (TABS) Conference welcomed siblings from across the state who have a brother or a sister with a disability. The Conference took place on Friday-Saturday, April 8-9, at the Holiday Inn at Vanderbilt in Nashville.
TABS is a statewide network to provide information, resources, and supports for adults who have a brother or sister with a disability or mental health disorder. TABS is coordinated by Ashley Coulter, sibling project coordinator at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.
Conference keynote speakers included Don Meyer, Director of the national Sibling Support Project and creator of Sibshops, support groups for children who have brothers or sisters with disabilities; and Dee Dee Eberle, Director of Chapter Organizing and Advocacy of The Arc of the U.S.
Presentation topics included the national Sibling Leadership Network, Person-Centered Thinking and Planning Tools, Advocacy 101, and TennCare Rights. Breakout sessions provided opportunities for information sharing. They included Caring for the Caregiver, SibShops, Inclusion in Faith Communities, Future Planning, Siblings of Children and Adolescents, and more.
In addition to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, sponsors included the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Arc of Tennessee, University of Tennessee Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, TigersEye Advisory LLC, Tennessee School for the Deaf, Siblings United, East Tennessee State University, and Holiday Inn at Vanderbilt.
Board members from the Sibling Leadership Network, including Coulter who was recently appointed as Chair of Chapter Development, gathered the day before the TABS conference to look back at past accomplishments and lessons learned and to look forward as the group continues to grow its network and evolve.
The mission of the Sibling Leadership Network is to provide siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, tools, and guidance to advocate with/for their brothers and sisters and to take on leadership roles in the communities and within the field of developmental disabilities. 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.
For more on TABS, visit: http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/site/services/disabilityservices/tabs.aspx
For more on the Sibling Leadership Network, visit: http://www.siblingleadership.org/
Jan Rosemergy can answer your media-related questions or help connect you to one of our science or disability professionals.
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