If you were a mentor for Disability Mentoring Day, click here to take a short survey.

Four local Student Mentees and two Pratt City Fire Department EMS and Firemen pose in front of a fire engine at the Pratt City Fire Department DMD 2009 Job Shadow site location. Students were interested in becoming EMS Technicians or Firemen.

Four local Student Mentees and two Pratt City Fire Department EMS and Firemen pose in front of a fire engine at the Pratt City Fire Department DMD 2009 Job Shadow site location. Students were interested in becoming EMS Technicians or Firemen.

Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a national program that promotes career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration. It is designed to empower students and job seekers with disabilities, promote a diverse workplace, and assist employers with recruiting new talent.  DMD is held annually on the third Wednesday in October.

Originally called National Disability Mentoring Day, this program was started at the White House in 1999 as a way to help facilitate employment for people with disabilities. Since it began at the White House, DMD has grown to include programs in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Locally, this will be the 10th year that Disability Mentoring Day will be held. It has grown from 19 students and job seekers, in the first year, to 220 participants this past year. 2007 was the first year for our Pratt Satellite office to be a coordinating site.  Approximately half of the 220 mentees were from the Pratt region.

The objectives are to increase internship and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, to dispel employers’ fears about hiring people with disabilities, to promote disability as a central part of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce, and to serve as a launching point for year-round efforts to foster more career–oriented mentoring opportunities.

Mentor with Morgan Diesel of Pratt explains welding equipment parts to a local Student Mentee interested in becoming a Welder at the DMD 2009 worksite.

Mentor with Morgan Diesel of Pratt explains welding equipment parts to a local Student Mentee interested in becoming a Welder at the DMD 2009 worksite.

Activities include recruiting high school students/mentees with disabilities for a day of career exploration, locating employers/mentors to mentor the students, arranging transportation for students to and from work, and organizing the mentor/mentee breakfast and reception.  Activities are carried out by a steering committee made up of local community partners.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to this annual project, make checks payable to Prairie Independent Living Resource Center and mail to Chris Owens, 17 S Main St., Hutchinson, KS  67501.  If you would like to participate as a mentee, mentor, or for more information, contact Roger Frischenmeyer at rfrischenmeyer@pilr.org or Tasha Konrade at nkonrade@pilr.org.

Thank you to all of our 2016 DMD Sponsors!!!