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AAPD Host of Disability Mentoring Day
DMD is designed to provide students and job-seekers with disabilities across America a firsthand experience in learning about career opportunities in a variety of their chosen fields. DMD helps to promote the importance of encouraging these students and job-seekers to develop the necessary skills and experiences to compete in today's competitive workforce. Over the past four years, for many people with disabilities, their participation in DMD has translated into ongoing relationships, internships, and firm job offers.
"Employers say that their own lack of exposure to people with disabilities is one of the biggest barriers to hiring qualified disabled employees," said AAPD President and CEO Andrew J. Imparato. "DMD connects disabled students and job seekers with employers who are working in a field of interest. This informal exposure is leading to internships, job offers, and a stronger connection between employers and potential employees with disabilities. Ultimately, this leads to a more diverse workforce and more directed and motivated students and job seekers with disabilities."
DMD has expanded from a small DC-based event for three dozen students, when it was a program conducted by The White House, to a national event now hosted by AAPD with nearly 4,000 mentees in communities nationally and fifteen (15) national corporate sponsors, in addition to DOL's partnership. In this role as national host, AAPD recruits local coordinators across the country, promotes the event nationally, and provides resource materials and technical assistance to its volunteer team.
This year's kick-off will be held in the Great Hall at DOL's Washington, DC, headquarters. Pairs of mentors and mentees will gather for motivational remarks by several friends and leaders of the disability community before heading out for a day of mentoring.