Southeast ADA Center celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Disability Mentoring Day

November 6, 2012

The Southeast ADA Center, a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, coordinated five National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) activities with businesses in the Atlanta, GA area. Darden Restaurants (Longhorn Steak House and Olive Garden) and Wal-Mart (Sam’s Club) stepped up to the plate by providing job shadowing and meal donations for 68 youth and adults with disabilities.

Participants from the Chris KIDS Independent Living Program in Atlanta close out their job
shadowing/mentoring day at Longhorn Steakhouse with a memorable moment.

The Atlanta-area NDEAM and DMD activities included seniors with disabilities from Druid Hills High School; adults with disabilities from the Center for the Visually Impaired; young adults with disabilities from Chris KIDS’ Independent Living Program; and an adult with a disability from the Single Parent Alliance and Resource Center. Students with disabilities from Nesbit Elementary School and members of the Georgia State PTAs Inclusion Subcommittee (chaired by center staff) received a special meal donation.

As a result of the collaborations, the center is exploring long-term partnerships with Darden Restaurants and Wal-Mart to encourage the more frequent coordination of job shadowing and mentoring opportunities throughout the year. The center has also initiated dialogue with human resource personnel at both companies, in hopes of the center providing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related training and technical assistance to management and staff. These trainings can help small and large business better understand their responsibilities under the ADA.

The Southeast ADA Center salutes Darden Restaurants and Wal-Mart for their partnership and participation in NDEAM and DMD activities, as well as their forward-thinking towards the creation of inclusive work environments.

About the Southeast ADA Center

The Southeast ADA Center answers questions, as well as provides training and materials about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Center serves an eight-state geographic region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. As part of the ADA National Network sponsored by grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the Southeast ADA Center is one of 10 regional centers offering training and technical assistance to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, including information about the rights of people with disabilities and the responsibilities of businesses as well as state and local governments to provide equal opportunity to participate. The Southeast ADA Center is a grant project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University. For more information, visit the Southeast ADA Center website (

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