Delaware’s Oct. 21 Disability Mentoring Day to expand statewide

New Castle, Del. – Delaware’s Disability Mentoring Day will expand to host sites in each of the three counties for a day of job networking and career discovery. Disability Mentoring Day, which is held each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Disability Mentoring Day has been hosted by the University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies for six years. The Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation helps identify students. Last year’s event was expanded to include students from Glasgow High School and young people with vision loss, with assistance from the Delaware Department of Education’s Exceptional Children Resources.

This year, host sites will expand to also include Dover Downs Hotel in Kent County and Woodbridge High School in Sussex County, with more than 50 students from across the state expected to receive career-building experiences.

The expansion was the idea of Julia Hensley and Alyssa Cowin, co-chairs of the Disability Mentoring Day Committee, a statewide group of individuals representing education, business, nonprofits and government who coordinate the event.

“We know that the likelihood of a young person earning a full-time employment greatly increases with job experiences like this,” said Gov. Jack Markell, who made advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities his nationwide initiative while serving as Chair of the National Governors Association for 2012-2013. “Opportunities like Disability Mentoring Day help to meet the expectation for young people with disabilities and their families that they will join the world of work when they are finished with their education.”

Students from Christiana and Glasgow high schools, along with students from UD’s Career & Life Studies Certificate (CLSC) program will participate in job-shadowing experiences in the Newark area. Students from Dover and Smyrna high schools will go to job sites in the Dover area. Students from Woodbridge High School will spend time with businesses in the Greenwood and Bridgeville areas. Students who are served by the Division for the Visually Impaired will be invited to participate in each of the three locations.

Prospective employers who are interesting in hosting a student during the morning of Oct. 21 are asked to call Brian Freedman at UD’s Center for Disabilities Studies at 302-831-4688 (about possible New Castle County job locations); or Jocelyn Langrehr at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation at 302-761-8275 (about possible Kent and Sussex County job locations).

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