Category Archives: Events

New!! Supported Decision Making Process Now Formally Recognized in WI

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Siblings and other family members will want to get informed about this new option in Wisconsin. Sign up now for a webinar on May 21.

Supported decision-making is a process now formally recognized in Wisconsin state law that provides an alternative to guardianship and will be a helpful tool for many Wisconsin residents. Supported Decision-Making can allow older adults and people with disabilities to retain their authority to make life decisions, while also having trusted people provide support. Attend this webinar to learn what the new law does and how you might use it in your life or to support a family member.

 

Register for the free webinar to learn more: HERE

Download the Alternatives to Guardianship booklet: HERE

 

This webinar is sponsored by The Arc Wisconsin. Invited presenters include representatives from the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources.


Sibling Fun at Circles of Life Conference 2018

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This past week siblings growing up with children with disabilities gathered for Sibshop at the Circles of Life conference in Appleton, WI.  They came from all over Wisconsin and became fast friends.

They played games, talked about their hopes for the future, created inventions that may someday help their siblings, and laughed…and laughed…and laughed.

Teens dug into some deeper discussions and created bonds with one another.  Some can’t wait to reconnect at Sib Camp this summer.


Peep Peep!

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They may just look like sticky, sweet, marshmallowy-treats, but those cute bunnies and chicks made magic happen in the creative hands of those who entered our Sibs Are My Peeps contest this past month.

Some used the opportunity for team-building in their agency or family. Some tell a story. Still others used the opportunity to tell about their passion or an upcoming event.

Thank you to the Willems Student Marketing Team for collaborating with WisconSibs to make this project so much fun and bring out the voices of WisconSibs and their fans. The team of Appleton High School students applied their knowledge and youthful thinking to help us carry out this project.  Well done, team!

We are very proud to announce the semi-finalists for 2018.  These winning entries will advance to the finals at the free Fox Cities Kidz Expo on April 14th at the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center.  Come visit our booth, sponsored by We Energies, and vote for your favorite to be the WisconSibs Peepl’s Choice!

BEST USE OF PEEPS AWARD

Peeplelympics by CP Fox Cities

 

PEEP OF PERFECTION AWARD

What’s Your Superpower? by WI Board for People with Disabilities

CREATIVITY AWARD

To Market To Market by Djuanna and Drake

PEEP-TASTIC NAME AWARD

Little Bob Peeps Roller Rink by Ainsley

LITTLE PEEPS AWARD (tie)

Peep-tastic Playground by Elise

LITTLE PEEPS AWARD (tie)

Peep Camp by Jack, Maxwell, and Gabriel

April 14 2018
9 am – 3 pm
Fox Cities Exhibition Center
FREE! Bring the kids!


Caring For a Sibling with Mental Illness

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You’ve heard me say it over and over…siblings have the longest and one of the most significant bonds in the life of a person with disabilities. That’s why staff, volunteers, and participants with WisconSibs have such passion to support siblings from childhood through adulthood and why we CELEBRATE the unique role of siblings, especially sisters (by the way Celebrate Sisterhood will be October 30, 2018).

That passion inspires us to not only recognize the millions of siblings of people with developmental disabilities, but also people with emotional and mental health concerns.   An estimated 8.4 million Americans are caregivers to adult loved ones with a mental illness, most often a son or daughter, parent, spouse or sibling.

Sisters bond - mental health

Jean Moore (left) shares a laugh with her sister, Ruby Wilson, in front of the assisted living facility where Wilson lives on Oct. 12, 2017, in Clinton, N.C. (Andrew Craft for Kaiser Health News)

Recently, the Kaiser Health News published a wonderful story about two sisters, Jean and Ruby and their bond as sisters, one with paranoid schizophrenia.

The girls grew up very close, almost like twins. “They used to say our name as JeannieandRuby. It was like one person.”  But as they became teenagers, Rudy’s mental health changed and their lives began to diverge. As they became adults, Jean became a caregiver and an even closer sister.  READ STORY

WisconSibs offers Sibshops to children ages 8-14 who are growing up with brothers or sisters with emotional or mental health concerns.  Each session is held in a relaxed setting with games, snacks, and discussion about the concerns and the joys of growing up with their sibling.  Held at the Catalpa Day Treatment Center in Appleton, siblings can join in any time during the series from January through May, 2018.  For more information.

Download Catalpa Series Sibshop flyer Jan-May 2018

“Caregiving situations for siblings pack an extra emotional punch for the caregiver,” said John Schall, who runs the Caregiver Action Network, a nonprofit organization that supports people providing care to loved ones. “It’s not unusual for us to think at some point of being the caregiver for our elderly parents, but it’s a whole different thing to be a caregiver for a sibling who we always thought of as equals.”

JOIN US for a Community Dialogue on Family Caregivers – Monday, January 29, 2018 at the WisconSibs office, 211 E Franklin St., Appleton, WI – MORE INFORMATION


Caring: It’s not the hard part of caregiving

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WisconSibs is hosting an event for

  • family members who provide care to other family members (of any age or disability),
  • individuals receiving care, and
  • professionals providing services to caregivers.

This is a great opportunity to get information that will help you as a caregiver and voice your thoughts on what you need.

You will hear other caregivers, along with local professionals, discuss their experiences as care givers and what they have learned that could be helpful to others.  This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Two sessions are being offered:  1:30-3:00 pm   and   4:30-6:00 pm


Oct-Dec 2017 SibNews

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Hot off the press!  Your Oct-Dec 2017 issue of SibNews is filled with information, news, photos, and even a recipe you’re going to love!  READ ALL ABOUT IT!

The feature story is about Katie and Kristie Carlsen, sisters who live together and really help one another get through life.  While not originally what either of them planned, they are having a great time living in the community together. Read about what it takes to be a caregiver sister and the rewards they both enjoy.

Other news includes:

  • Tips for Caregivers Sibs
  • A Letter of Thanks from an Adult with Disabilities to Her Sibs
  • Calendar of Oct-Dec 2017 Events
  • Recipe for Super Fudge Brownies (great for allergen sensitive)
  • Photos from Summer Camps!

Click to GET YOUR COPY

 


Meet Jenni!

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If you saw our quarterly newsletter, SibNews July-September 2017, you met Jenni. Her older brother, Mike, has been a huge part of her life, including her career decision: special education teacher. What does she want every sibling to know? Find out Jenni’s story in this short video. Then be one of the first to subscribe [read more]

Jyll the Intern Says Goodbye

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Jyll and her brother Noah

Hi my name is Jyll Van Vooren.  I have been a WisconSib for over 5 years. Within WisconSibs I have been a counselor for SibDays of Summer and the Circles of Life Conference.

My brother is Noah Van Vooren. He is 22 years old and has Down syndrome. A couple of our favorite things to do together are taking walks, car rides with tons of singing, going to Miracle League, and watching football.  My favorite thing about Noah is his love for others and his genuine happiness that he radiates to those around him. 

In a blink of an eye the summer of being an intern for WisconSibs is wrapping up. I have learned an incredible amount in these past ten weeks. As an intern, I was able to partake in helping with fundraisers, special events, meetings, helping coordinate and run Teen Sib Leadership Day, and being an Assistant Director for the older campers at SibDays of summer. I have learned how to coordinate a fundraiser and other events with various companies to host events that benefit the WisconSib organization. Harriet has been a great role model and has taught me a great amount about nonprofit’s and how they are run. She truly is the heart of WisconSibs and it was amazing being able to learn from her.  I am extremely grateful to have been involved in WisconSibs in this unique way. It was truly a great learning experience and it was a great summer!

What’s next? – I’m returning to Concordia University of Wisconsin as a Junior, where I am focusing on Social work. I am also blessed to have a new position at school: ARD (assistant resident director) of two dorms. All of what I have learned from WisconSibs will be applied to this year of school and beyond!

Thanks to WisconSibs donors for making this internship opportunity possible. You make a big difference.


Friday: Did You See that Firework? – 4th of July

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How could we have a holiday themed week and not include 4th of July during the month of July? Well, we did include it. We wanted to end with a bang. I think we did. Along with preparations for the closing reception, fun was had. All groups created Firework Salt Art. Those projects really blew our minds. Some of the sibs tied fireworks to their lives. Their siblings with disabilities add so much color and excitement to their lives. We are glad connections like these can be made!

Before the reception, everyone had a chance to go swimming with friends one last time. Our closing reception was a smash once again and even included ice cream!   

How does the week of SibDays always go so fast? Everyone enjoyed “Every Day’s a SibDay!” Some of the favorites included swimming, Curt’s Carnival, Zoozort, and meeting new friends. We hope to see you all next year during our SibShops and SibDays!

Photos from Yesterday (Thursday!)

Zoozort came yesterday! Noelle is the creator of this fantastic organization. In this picture, she is holding the adorable wallaby, Amelia.

Meet Mimi! This is a 9-banded Armadillo. She cannot curl up into a ball, but she is a very good digger.

Cornelius the Chameleon! FYI: chameleons camouflage, not change colors and they also have individual eyes, so they can watch one side of the room while stalking something else!

Hello Igor! He is a very nice toad.

Here is a close up of Amelia the Wallaby! Amelia was my personal favorite.

A camper is showing the other campers what a hollow tortoise shell looks like! Noelle also brought an alive tortoise named Clementine:)


Thursday: Can you find them all? – Scavenger Hunt Day

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Campers and counselors learned lots about themselves today. The theme of the day was Scavenger Hunt Day. Not only were physical objects found, but personal emotions too. In their small groups, campers made Inside/Out Masks. Sometimes we all put on a face to hide what’s inside, but not today. Having a sibling with a disability can be a challenge. Most of the world does not see that side of a sibling.

 

Besides this emotional discovery, groups went on a Scavenger Hunt around Plamann Park. Some very special guests came to visit: Zoozort! Many unique animals made an appearance. We are very thankful for the Grade family in bringing Zoozort to us in memory of Alden Grade. We cooled off with water games and popsicles!

Reminders: Please bring: swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, water bottle, and lunch. Family reception is tomorrow at 2:30 pm. Come see all the things our SibDays campers have been doing this week! There will also be an ice cream social, thanks to the Thrivent Action Team!

Photos from yesterday (Wednesday!)

Sibs have fun at Curt’s Carnival, an event of SibDays and Camp Hope. Thank you to the Krull family for your generosity in memory of Curt. We are forever sibs. These sibs are capturing a moment in front of a photo booth!

Our organizer for SibDays, Michelle, just had a baby boy on Friday! She came to visit us for a little while and show off her adorable baby boy:)

Campers had a chance to play with the huge parachute today!

We had to do our famous “bug photo”. It turned out beautifully! Can you find your camper?