State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
What Is Disability Mentoring Day?
Disability Mentoring Day promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration.
What Happens on Disability Mentoring Day?
Disability Mentoring Day is officially commemorated on the third Wednesday of October and is implemented in locations around the country and internationally throughout the year. It is designed to benefit from local creativity, with each community planning activities to best suit the interests and abilities of its students, job-seekers and local employers.
Job-seekers can focus on specific career advice and discuss potential internships and job openings. The type of mentoring experience will largely depend on your interests, education level, and work experience.
How Will Students and Job-Seekers with Disabilities Benefit from Disability Mentoring Day?
Disability Mentoring Day is an opportunity to underscore the connection between school and work, evaluate personal goals, target career skills for improvement, explore possible career paths, and develop lasting mentor relationships. The program's history shows that students' and job seekers' participation in Disability Mentoring Day can result in an internship opportunity with the host employer; function as a first interview on the way to a part-time or full-time employment offer; or even a firm on-the-spot job offer.
How Can I Make a Good Impression With My Mentor?
- Be on time
- Know where you are going
- Know whom you are meeting
- Wear clean appropriate clothes
- Be well groomed
- Don't forget your paperwork/ID/resume
- Come ready to learn
- Turn off your cell phone, ipod, and other devices
- Be friendly to all you meet
- Shake hands
- Make eye contact
- Listen carefully
- Take notes
- Follow the rules
- Be positive! Ask questions!
What Questions Can I Ask My Mentor?
Ask questions that will get the employer/mentor talking about the company, work environment, and the position you are interested in being employed in. Here are some examples:
- How many people work for this company?
- How many people are employed as a (your job goal) ?
- What do you like best about working here?
- What do you like least about working here?
- Do you have any tips for me about seeking employment in this field?
- What do you consider to be the ideal employee?
- What should I do to apply for a job here?
- May I contact you in the future if I have questions about applying for a job in this field?
What Should I Do to Follow Up After My Mentoring Experience?
- Send a thank you note to the person or people you met with.
- Thank your DRS counselor for helping you.
- Follow the employers directions on how to apply for a job if you want to work there.
- Discuss mentoring possibilities and options with your counselor to take advantage of this great learning tool.
What Some of Last Years Mentee's had to Say About Their DMD Experience:
- "I like the fact that I know that I am autistic and they said positive things about me." (Mentee, Oakland County, MI)
- One student stated, "It showed me different choices I can choose from for a career. I learned a lot about other people and how they live their lives." (Mentee, Watertown, NY)
- "Disability Mentoring Day gave me self-confidence I needed to get a job." (Justin Kuttler, OH)
DHS 4618 (R-07-09) Disability Mentoring Day - Mentee/Customer
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