For the past two years Select International has participated in Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), which took place this year on Wednesday October 16th. This event is one of the highlights of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Disability Mentoring Day began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of NDEAM. It is a nationwide effort to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration.
The need for a program like this is apparent when you look at the statistics. Over 70% of people in the US with no documented disability are employed compared to fewer than 22% of US citizens with a disability. Clearly more awareness is needed.
Although there are many benefits to DMD there are 4 primary goals for the program…
• 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.
Select International is proud to have been involved in this program. This year we hosted 4 students from the Avonworth PA School District. The day consisted of several activities, including: an office tour, executive address from our COO and interviewing practice with mentors.
To be honest I am never quite sure who gets more out of the mentoring activities – the mentors or the mentees. Each year we have found it to be an extremely rewarding experience and, quite simply, it is just fun to get to spend some time with local students and connecting with them on a personal level. As we gear up for the mentoring day each year, we ask for volunteers from our organization to help coordinate the event. This year we had over 15 employees volunteer to help out. Every volunteer was able to help in some way and the event was a success. I recommend the program to other organizations and hope to continuing doing this event in the years to come.