Disability Mentoring Day

Participation in Disability Mentoring Day offers you an opportunity to be mentored by a professional in a career field that interests you. Although DMD is officially recognized on the third Wednesday of October, we are planning to match mentors with mentees during the entire month of October 2012. The program is hosted by the Disability-Careers Office in concert with the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium (KAEC), which is a group of local disability service providers who are focused on increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

DMD is designed to bring students and job seekers with disabilities into the workplace where they can learn about various career opportunities. Through DMD, students or job seekers are paired with a career professional to learn what it means to work in that field or occupation. You can observe a typical workday; identify necessary skills for employment in a particular industry; and learn about possible internships or employment prospects. While DMD is typically a one-day event, mentors and mentees are encouraged to stay in touch after the event. Mentoring is invaluable and beneficial for both the mentor and student, advancing career development and personal growth.

Disability Mentoring Day originated at the White House in 1999 with less than three dozen local students participating. Now hosted by AAPD, the nation’s largest cross-disability membership organization, and funded publicly by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration, DMD has evolved significantly to encompass participation in all fifty states and many countries around the world. To find out more about DMD, please visit the DMD website at:www.aapd.com.

Numerous local companies have expressed interest in participating in DMD, such as:

  • SunTrust Bank
  • Cisco Systems
  • Pepsi Co.
  • FBI
  • The Tombras Group
  • Scripps Network (HGTV)
  • City of Knoxville
  • ORNL

This is not an exhaustive list, however. We will continue adding to the list of companies who request to participate. In addition, if there is a company, job or industry that you want to learn more about, we can work together to find a company that will suit your interests. As far as the process goes, once you have expressed interest, we will attempt to match you with a mentor of your choice. If you have a career interest, but are unfamiliar with related employment opportunities within the local community, we can also research and locate a company that would match your interest. Again, although DMD is officially recognized on the third Wednesday in October, we are planning to match mentors with mentees during the entire month of October 2012.  Be sure to check back often for updates on this event!

If you are interested in participating in DMD or have any questions about this event, please contact Dr. Sarah Helm, DCO Coordinator, at shelm1@utk.edu. We hope are taking advantage of this mentoring opportunity and join us for Disability Mentoring Day!