Front Range businesses will celebrate the contributions of employees with disabilities during the tenth annual Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), October 15, 2008. DMD serves as a valuable experience for students and job seekers with disabilities to learn about career opportunities in a variety of fields.
DMD helps promote the importance of encouraging students and job seekers with disabilities to develop the necessary skills and experience to compete in today’s workforce. For many people with disabilities, their participation in DMD has translated into ongoing relationships, internships and employment.
A DMD Celebration Reception, featuring a presentation by a youth panel of job seekers, will be held October 15, 2008, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Tivoli Center, 900 Auraria Pkwy., Zenith Room 640.
“Our Disability Mentoring Day event provides a valuable educational opportunity to both the business community and young people with disabilities,” said Tom Muniz, Colorado Disability Mentoring Day chair and disability program navigator for the Denver Office of Economic Development. “Businesses have been great partners in providing mentoring and employment opportunities. They recognize that people with disabilities can make valuable contributions to their organization’s success.”
DMD will showcase more than 125 mentees from 30 businesses in communities across the Front Range. Many of this year’s DMD participants are youth with disabilities transitioning from school into the adult world of work. With help from the School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP), a collaborative effort of the State and local school districts, these youth are afforded the opportunity to explore and prepare for future careers through DMD.
During the past 35 years many laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008, have been passed to break through the barriers that have kept people with disabilities out of the mainstream workforce. Numerous initiatives have tried to bridge the gap in workforce participation for individuals with disabilities. Disability Mentoring Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the employment accomplishments and potential of the nation’s 54 million persons with disabilities.
Organizations participating in DMD include Access Center for Disability Accommodations and Adaptive Technology Metropolitan State College of Denver, 11 local school district SWAP partnerships, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Denver Public Schools Career and Technology Education, Colorado Workforce Centers and the Colorado Department of Education.
Employers confirmed to attend the DMD reception include Alameda East Animal Hospital, Aspen Seating, Best Buy, Camp Bow Wow, Denver Zoo, Echo Star/Dish Network, Ecographics Inc., Federal Valley Motors, First Line Insurance, Food Bank of the Rockies, Frederic Printing, Goodyear Auto Service Centers, Grand Hyatt, Integrated Airline Services Inc., JCPenney, Lockheed Martin, Plous and Adler Family Dentistry, Radisson Graytone Castle, Riverdale Elementary School, Safeway, UPS and West Bros. Inc.
For more information about DMD events and how to get involved, contact Tom Muniz at 720-865-5610.