Each year on the third Wednesday of October during National Disability Employment Month (NDEAM) is Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), a nationwide effort to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration.
Students with disabilities (mentees) are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. Mentees experience a typical day on the job and learn how to prepare to enter the world of work. Employers gain an increased awareness that people with disabilities represent an overlooked talent pool.
History of DMD
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is celebrated every October. DMD has grown every year since its inception from fewer than three-dozen student participants (1999) to over 20,000 youth with disabilities participating nationally and 23 international locations mentored by more than 2,000 private, non-profit, governmental, and educational organizations (2010).
What are the goals of DMD?
- Enhance internship and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Promote disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce.
- Dispel employers’ fears about hiring people with disabilities.
- Increase confidence among students and job seekers with disabilities.
- Launch a year-round effort to foster mentoring opportunities.
Who participates in DMD?
Employers (private, non-profit, government, educational), students with disabilities, and educators participate in Disability Mentoring Day.
DMD is a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
For more information, refer to: History of DMD and Publications & Links – DMD.