Disability Mentoring Day '14 educates, creates potential opportunities

By: Jennifer L. Johnson

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) observed National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by participating in a national job-shadow and career exploration program. The VKC coordinated one of many Disability Mentoring Days on Tuesday, Oct. 14. The day-long shadowing 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 15 adults with disabilities and 13 Vanderbilt staff members from a variety of disciplines and departments, including: Video Services, Plant Operations, Human Resources, and the Science and Engineering Library. The morning portion of DMD included an orientation, a HIPPA review segment, and safety training. Participants then spent middle of their day shadowing their Mentors. After lunch, participants 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, as well as on their rights under the Disability Discrimination Laws.

Feedback from mentors and mentees was very positive:

  • “A thousand thank-yous for the opportunity this morning.” – a DMD ’14 Mentee
  • “Let me also take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support and advice. I hope you understand how important and appreciated you are!” – a DMD ’14 Mentee
  • “Just a quick note to let you know how much we appreciated the hard work of you and all of the mentors that participated during last week’s event. The students enjoyed the opportunity. AwesomejJob!” – a DMD ’14 Mentor

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 Opportunity

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

Click here to view a slide show of Disability Mentoring Day 2014.

Last Updated: 10/29/2014 1:31:33 PM

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