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About Disability Mentoring Day (DMD)

DISABILITY MENTORING DAY MISSION STATEMENT
Disability Mentoring Day serves to organize a city-wide program of job shadowing and mentoring.  The goal is to create opportunities by developing relationships that will increase participation of individuals with disabilities in the New York City workforce.

WHAT IS DISABILITY MENTORING DAY?
Disability Mentoring Day is a large-scale, broad-based effort designed to promote career development for students and job seekers with disabilities (mentees) through hands-on career exploration; job shadowing; internship and/or employment opportunities; and matching of mentee/mentor relationships. This program is hosted nationally in regions around the country by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Social Security Administration.

WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF DISABILITY MENTORING DAY?

  • To enhance internship and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. 
  • To promote disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce. 
  • To dispel employers' fears about hiring people with disabilities. 
  • To increase confidence among students and job seekers with disabilities. 
  • To serve as a launching point to promote a year-round, national effort to foster mentoring and career exploration opportunities.

WHAT HAPPENS ON DISABILITY MENTORING DAY?
One-On-One Job Shadowing: Mentees with disabilities are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. This enables mentees to learn more from their assigned mentors about a typical day on the job and how to prepare for that particular career. Group Visits to Worksites. Mentees with disabilities can tour a workplace, meet with its various employees, and learn firsthand about different types of jobs and related opportunities within that career field.

DIVERSE PROGRAMMATIC EVENTS
The programs on Disability Mentoring Day differ as well based upon the local coordinators and the participating host employers (the participating mentors). As example, some programs offer kick-off breakfasts, while others do dinners or informational sessions the night, week or month beforehand.

All of these events, plus other scenarios that take place on Disability Mentoring Day, provide an opportunity for the program participants to share their experiences and build a much broader and beneficial network of relationships.

BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION

How Do Students and Job Seekers Benefit?

Disability Mentoring Day provides these mentees with opportunities to:

  • Learn firsthand about internship and job opportunities.  
  • Develop lasting mentor relationships. 
  • Target career skills for improvement. 
  • Explore possible career paths. 
  • Demonstrate skills to potential employers. 
  • Work closely with someone working in their desired career field. 
  • Understand the vital connection between school and work. 
  • Gain greater confidence in their own employability.

THE IMPACT OF DISABILITY MENTORING DAY 2013
The Disability Mentoring Day program in 2013 was the most successful to date. Through our network of approximately 600 organizations that include the private sector, non profits, government offices and educational organizations, we were able to create 270 matches that included students at the high school and college levels along with job seekers with disabilities. The program's popularity increased to such a degree that we were able to work closely with our mentors to schedule matches on different days in order to allow our mentees to experience multiple mentoring experiences. The day concluded with an evening reception held at Citigroup Inc. hosted by Commissioner Victor Calise.

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