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PR- 280-04
October 20, 2004


New York City Celebrates 16th Annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today hosted a reception at the Tweed Courthouse in honor of “National Disability Mentoring Day”, an initiative co-sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country’s largest cross-disability membership organization and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD).  “Disability Mentoring Day” is a national program designed to provide students and job seekers with disabilities a firsthand experience in learning about career opportunities in a variety of their chosen fields.  Joining the Mayor at the event was Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne Mulgrav, the Executive Director of the MOPD and the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee of the “Disability Mentoring Day”, Matt Sapolin, Chairman of Bear Stearns & Co., Inc. and this year’s Honorary Chair Alan “Ace” Greenberg, AAPD President and CEO Andrew Imparato and AAPD Senior Vice President Mariana Nork.  

“It is an honor to host a reception that recognizes the participants in today’s ‘Disability Mentoring Day’,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Through our collective efforts, more than 200 qualified disabled students and job-seekers will gain access to opportunities that will enrich their lives and the life of our City.”
“Through ‘Disability Mentoring Day’, New York City is demonstrating its commitment to eliminating career barriers that often confront people with disabilities,” said Executive Director of the MOPD Matt Sapolin.  “Mentoring is an effective way to break down those barriers and help people with disabilities fulfill their potential in the workforce.”

Held the third Wednesday of every October, in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, “Disability Mentoring Day” helps to promote the importance of encouraging students and job-seekers to develop the necessary skills and experiences to compete in today's competitive workforce.  For many people with disabilities, past participation in “Disability Mentoring Day” has resulted in internships and job offers in a wide array of employment fields.

“Disability Mentoring Day” has expanded from a small event in our nations capital for three-dozen students to a national event with nearly 7,000 mentees in every state including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 14 countries.  “Disability Mentoring Day” is nationally supported by sponsorships received from major national corporations and a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

This year, AAPD recognized New York City’s commitment to people with disabilities by naming the city the “national launch city” for the event.  Through Mayor Bloomberg’s initiative, local employers have shown their eagerness to demonstrate to the rest of the world that New York City strives to make its workforce mirror society.
Local corporate leaders and jobseekers with disabilities are encouraged to get involved in next year’s activities in New York City.

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities serves as a liaison between City government and disabled individuals and organizations representing or serving New Yorkers with disabilities.  The Office works with City agencies to make sure that the particular needs of People with Disabilities are considered in the development of City policies, programs, and services.  For more Information visit

AAPD, the country’s largest cross-disability membership organization, promotes the economic and political empowerment of all 56 million children and adults with disabilities in the U.S. It was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For additional information, visit


Edward Skyler/Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

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