American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) Program is a national job-shadow and career exploration program designed to link students and jobseekers with disabilities to employers interested in hiring people with disabilities. AAPD coordinates DMD national through a network of more than 350 volunteer DMD Coordinators. DMD Coordinators are responsible for local DMD programs and share information about their programs on www.DisabilityMentor.net.
Disability Mentoring Day in Duluth, MN
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DMD is recognized nationally on the third Wednesday of every October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. AAPD encourages our network of DMD Coordinators to center their local DMD activities around this date; however DMD activities can and do occur around the country on many different dates.
The National Disability Mentoring Day Program began in 1999 with just 11 students with disabilities job shadowing in the White House under the Clinton administration. Now, DMD has grown to provide job-shadowing, career fairs and mentoring opportunities to more than 85,000 students and job seekers with disabilities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. DMD is the nation’s largest job-shadowing program designed for people with disabilities, which allows career exploration to take place outside of the hiring context so that job seekers can meet and learn about employers committed to hiring from this diverse and untapped workforce.
In 2001, MOPD launched its first DMD Program with just 20 students in collaboration with the Office of Special Education and Supports in Chicago Public Schools. Since that time, the program has grown in size and scope. Now, DMD is the first prong of a year-long employment program designed to connect academic learning to employment. Each year, students with disabilities planning for life after high school take advantage of this event as a unique career building opportunity.
AAPD is excited to partner with MOPD for the national DMD 2011 launch to showcase Chicago’s outstanding model and success in furthering the employment of youth with disabilities.
Over 2,000 participating public and private employers hosted mentees at their places of employment, with many continuing the mentoring relationships for long-term periods.
# For more info from AAPD click headline or go to: http://www.aapd.com/site/c.pvI1IkNWJqE/b.5606851/k.CDB/Welcome_to_the_Disability_Mentoring_Program.htm
# City of Chicago Mayors Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD): http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mopd.html