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Sibs 2019: Connecting. Listening. Learning.

Conference Schedule & Speakers

Conference Registration Opens & Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

[Chesapeake Ballroom]

9:30 AM

Sibs 2019 Sponsors: Maryland & DC Developmental Disabilities Councils

Senator (and Sibling) Jeff Waldstreicher (District 18)

Keynote Speakers: Siblings Stories from the Silver Screen

[Chesapeake Ballroom]

10:00 AM

This panel will bring together the siblings featured in three documentary films screened at the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival to have a dialogue about the definition of intelligence, the impact of words, and opening the channels of communication - all from the perspective of a sibling of a person with a developmental disability.

Keynote Panel: Multicultural Sibling Perspectives

[Chesapeake Ballroom]

11:00 AM

Navigating and accessing disability services, advocating for change, and managing the family dynamic for people with developmental disabilities caries based on race, culture, and ethnicity. Hear siblings from diverse cultures and backgrounds share how their identities have shaped their experience, impacted their relationship with their sibling, and what can be done to increase cultural awareness in the disability community.

Sibshop for Ages 6-13

9 - 11:45 AM

1:15 - 4 PM

Sibshop Facilitators: Sarah Beale, Mt. Washington Pediatric HospitalHaydee DePaula, The Arc Montgomery County

Sibshops are workshops designed for siblings ages 6-13 that are supervised and facilitated by trained professionals where attendees will meet other siblings to have fun, laugh, play some great games and learn something about the services their brothers and sisters receive.

Siblings ages 6-13 will attend a morning sibshop, join the full conference for lunch, participate in afternoon activities and watch Life, Animated with popcorn & candy snacks.

Teen Siblings Ages 13+

9 - 11:45 AM

1:15 - 2:30 PM

2:45 - 4 PM

Film Discussion: Dr. Jamell White, Ph.D., LCSW-C, Rathbone & Associates

Sibshop Facilitators: Sarah Beale, Mt. Washington Pediatric HospitalHaydee DePaula, The Arc Montgomery County

Teens siblings will have the opportunity to kick-off the conference with an exclusive screening of the documentary film, Intelligent Lives, and participate in a facilitated dialogue using the educational discussion guide from the filmmaker.

After joining the full conference for lunch, teens will then participate in a customized Sibshop designed for ages 13+, supervised and facilitated by trained professionals. Teens will talk about their lives, participate in activities, games, and share their sibling stores - all in a "no parent zone."

Finally, teens will join the Portraits & Podcasts Session to interview each other and record a podcast to be shared after the conference.

12:00 PM

Sharing Your Sibling Stories & Lunch Buffet [Chesapeake Ballroom]

Film Screening: The R Word [Annapolis Room]

View The R Word Trailer

The R-Word is a purposeful look into the long-reaching history and lasting implications of the word retard(ed) and current attitudes and perceptions about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Afternoon Sessions I

1:15 PM

Bridging the Gap (Siblings 20s & 30s)

[Severn Room]

Facilitator: Carol Hamilton, Grace Social Sector


Being a young adult sibling has its own set of challenges - whether it is embarking on your own personal and professional journey while learning how to incorporate your sibling in your own social life or navigating the future role of responsibility for your sibling. Share your experiences on "bridging the gap" between the two worlds in an unstructured "unconference" session when you set the agenda.


Ask a Sibling: Parent & Sibling Supporters

[Patuxent Room]

Panel of Siblings, Parents & Professionals

The critical role of parents in the sibling relationship cannot be emphasized enough. In the midst of IEPs, service providers, and financial and legal questions, the perspective of "the other sibling" can be empowering to explore. In an question & answer format, join other other parents share their joys and trepidations of raising a child with and without developmental disabilities.




Portraits & Podcasts: Documenting Your Stories

[Baltimore Room]

Podcast Engineer: Kevin Beliveau

Photographer: Jennifer Bishop

Who we are as siblings and the stories we share are moving and impactful. In this interactive session, participants have the opportunity to interview one another and record their shared experience in a three-minute podcast that will be available online after Sibs 2019. Each podcast will also have a portrait photo to emphasize that event with our diverse upbringings and distinctive developmental disabilities of our siblings, our experiences are more common than we think.

Film Screening: Life, Animated

[Annapolis Room]

View Life, Animated Trailer

From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.

2:45 PM

Afternoon Sessions II

The Sandwich+ Generation (Siblings 40+)

[Severn Room]

Facilitator: Carol Hamilton, Grace Social Sector


Welcome to the Sandwich+ Generation - those responsible for caring for parents, children, and siblings or other family members with developmental disabilities. Whether it is caregiving, financial, or emotional support, the intergenerational responsibility of a sibling is a significant phase in the sibling lifespan to learn how to navigate. Attendees will set the agenda and topics of discussion to remind us that we are not alone in our journeys.

Calling All Men 2.0

[Patuxent Room]

Small Group of Fathers & Sons

Male Code 101: What is said at Sibs 2019, stays at Sibs 2019. In this one-of-a-kind session based upon the belief that fathers and brothers have the potential to be each other's best resources, this session is an opportunity to share experiences and interests and talk about how fathers and brothers support their children and siblings with and without developmental disabilities. Back by popular demand from MDSibs 2015, no stone is left unturned and no topic is off-limits - pizza and beer are optional.

Portraits & Podcasts: Documenting Your Stories

[Baltimore Room]

Podcast Engineer: Kevin Beliveau

Photographer: Jennifer Bishop

Second session for adult & teen attendees to document their sibling stories in a podcast.

Health, Dating & Relationships

[Patapsco Room]

Speaker & Facilitator: Dr. Mirian Ofonedu, Ph.D., LCSW-C, Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute

Sexual health is a complex and sensitive topic and is individually experienced and culturally situated. People with developmental disabilities are often left out of the conversation about health, dating and relationships. Siblings are the longest relationship for a person with a developmental disability and are relied upon to explain dating etiquette, sexual and emotional health. This multi-disciplinary team panel discussion - led by a sexuality educator and mental health professionals - will provide a unique opportunity for participants to learn and address false assumptions about sexuality and become more comfortable talking about this topic and help people with developmental disabilities have meaningful relationships.

Closing Session with Open Mic & Small Group Gatherings

4:15 PM

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