Disability Mentoring Day '15 educates, creates potential opportunities

Disability Mentoring Day

By: Lynnette Henderson

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by coordinating Vanderbilt’s participation in the national job-shadow and career exploration program called Disability Mentoring Day on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The day-long experience is designed to connect jobseekers with disabilities to employers interested in fostering a more diverse work culture and/or hiring people with disabilities.

Participants included 19 adults with disabilities and 10 Vanderbilt staff members from a variety of disciplines and departments, including: Food Services, Plant Operations, Human Resources, Special Education, and the Science and Engineering Library. Developmental Disabilities Network Partner Disability Rights Tennessee also hosted two mentees. The morning began with a welcome breakfast. Participants then spent from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. shadowing their Mentors. Upon returning to the VKC, mentees heard a presentation from Vanderbilt Human Resources on the hiring process, participated in mock interviews, and received resume and interview feedback from staff in Vanderbilt Human Resources. Mentees then received instruction on how to ask for accommodations from Tiffany Culver of EAD, as well as on their rights under the Disability Discrimination Laws from Brian Keller from Disability Rights Tennessee.

What did you like most about your DMD experience?

  • Being able to talk to someone in my future field; – A DMD ’15 mentee
  • Talking to a person who used to be a special ed teacher – A DMD ’15 mentee
  • Joyful support from everyone. Tiffany's presentation was personal and open; Tiffany's movement kept me engaged in her presentation, I felt she was someone I could call. – A DMD ’15 mentee

Disability Mentoring Day was sponsored by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Next Steps at Vanderbilt; Vanderbilt Human Resources; Vanderbilt Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department; Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services—UT Corporate Connections; Vanderbilt Patient Return to Work Program; Project Search; Prospect, Inc. ; and Tennessee Rehabilitation Center at Smyrna.

To learn more about the National Disability Mentoring Program, click here.

Photo slide show of Disability Mentoring Day 2015.

Last Updated: 10/26/2015 2:45:32 PM

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