Disability Mentoring Day
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a large-scale national effort coordinated by AAPD to promote career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships.
While DMD has been and continues to be officially launched the third Wednesday of each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the foundation of the program has expanded from a one-day event to a year-round initiative across the country.
DMD was founded in 1999 through a White House initiative with less than three-dozen students participating to increase the awareness of NDEAM. Since that event, DMD has springboarded from a one day event for a small group of students to an extensive national mentoring program for young professionals with disabilities across the United States, territories, and abroad.
The growth of DMD is made possible by the unwavering work of DMD Coordinators across the country who volunteer their time to host and manage the logistical requirements for local and regional programs. These events produce life changing results for mentees, such as full time employment and internship opportunities. AAPD continues to increase the reach of DMD through growing its network of DMD coordinators. If you or anyone you know may be interested or want additional information on becoming a DMD coordinator, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAPD 2021 Virtual Career and Internship Fair
On Thursday April 1 from 2-5pm ET, AAPD is hosting a virtual career and internship fair. High school and college students can use this as an opportunity to network and connect with business that are committed to inclusion. Attendees will also be able to get an idea of the types of workplaces they may want to join based on the company presentations. Stay tuned for more details.
Disability Mentoring Day Toolkit
AAPD has developed a DMD Toolkit for coordinators interested in engaging with Disability Mentoring Day and starting their own event. The toolkit contains an FAQ section, factors to keep in mind when organizing an event, where to find mentors, media outreach, and so much more. If there are any questions that may not be covered in this resource, please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Disability Mentoring Day Events
Due to the growing uncertainty around the novel coronavirus, AAPD strongly encourages DMD coordinators to shift their events online. The safety of our participants is our number one priority as we approach an unpredictable cold and flu season. Based on a recent CDC report, as of September 8, 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. rose above 6 million and has resulted in over 188,000 deaths. This is especially alarming for people with disabilities, who may be at a greater risk of contracting and experiencing health complications due to this virus. For an up-to-date tracker of the COVID-19 cases, you may visit the Center for Disease Control website.
Details on DMD events can be found here.
DMD Coordinators are the volunteers that make Disability Mentoring Day possible each year all around the country. Coordinators are responsible for setting up DMD events in their community and making connections between students with disabilities, job seekers with disabilities, high schools, colleges and universities, local/state disability organizations, and businesses. Events take many different shapes and forms around the country depending on the volunteer coordinator and the needs of the local community, but include job shadowing, one-on-one mentoring, panel discussions, professional development workshops, informational interviews, and more. We’ve received countless stories from DMD coordinators on the profound difference this one day can have for young people with disabilities, including leading to their first paid internship or job.
If you are interested in volunteering as a Disability Mentoring Day Coordinator please complete the online application form below. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentors and Mentees
AAPD has an extensive list of active DMD coordinators across the country that we can share with potential participants interested in becoming a DMD mentee or mentor as well as businesses and organizations looking to help host and/or sponsor a DMD. If interested, please email us at DMD@aapd.com.
Businesses and Organizations
Whether it’s through serving as sponsors, event hosts, or mentors, corporations, local businesses, government agencies, and other organizations have been the driving force for moving the success of DMD forward. To learn more about the opportunities to have your organization get involved with DMD in a local community, please email us at DMD@aapd.com.
Disability Mentoring Resources
- National Disability Mentoring Coalition
- USDA Disability Mentoring Toolkit
- White Paper on Mentoring as a Disability Inclusion Strategy
- Critical Mentoring Webinar by Torie Weiston-Serdan, PhD as Presented to the National Disability Mentoring Coalition