“National Disability Mentoring Day (NDMD): Career Development for the 21st Century,” a community-based program designed to bring students and job seekers with disabilities into the workplace, was held on Wednesday, October 16, 2002.
NDMD promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration. With leadership, coordination, and resource materials from the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD), local communities organize activities that bring students and employers together for informational sessions about career opportunities and mentoring.
As the national host, the AAPD provides leadership by encouraging employers, students, educators, and organizations to get involved. AAPD’s role includes supporting the national organizing committee, encouraging the development of state organizing committees, and recruiting, training, and supporting local coordinators.
Mentoring takes more than one day, but the NDMD gets the process started and draws national attention to the importance of encouraging young people with disabilities to develop the skills and obtain the experiences necessary to compete in today’s economy.
NDMD began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is celebrated every October.
AAPD gratefully acknowledges the generous support from this year’s national sponsors who have made AAPD’s coordination of NDMD possible. Extensive support from both public and private sponsors underscores AAPD’s philosophy that gains in the employment of people with disabilities are best reached through public-private partnerships.
This year’s NDMD sponsors are: American Airlines, AOL Time Warner, Cingular Wireless, Citigroup Corporate & Investment Bank, Darden Restaurants and its operating companies—Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones—Hewlett-Packard, Independence Technology, (a Johnson & Johnson Company), Microsoft Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Sun Trust, Verizon, and Volkswagen.
NDMD is a partnership between the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.
From the November 2002 issue of Diversity & The Bar®