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National Disability Mentoring Day links mentors, students at workplace
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Oct. 15, 2002 -- Tomorrow, Oct. 16, is National Disability Mentoring Day. "More than 3,000 job seekers and students with disabilities in communities" across the nation will participate, says the American Association of People with Disabilities, which hosts the annual event. Inspired by the original "Take Your Daughter To Work" Day from the Ms. Foundation, the event features job shadowing and "hands-on career exploration opportunities."

Participants spend part of a day visiting a business or government agency that matches their interests; they spend time with their individual volunteer mentor learning about the job. " It's 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," says AAPD.

A national volunteer corps helps make National Disability Mentoring Day effective, says AAPD. Plans this year involve more than 110 local coordinators who are organizing activities in their communities -- for more information go to

National Disability Mentoring Day began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated every October.

"Employment is at the heart of economic empowerment," says AAPD's Andrew J. Imparato. "National Disability Mentoring Day opens doors that can lead to jobs and long-term success."

AAPD, which is a cross-disability membership organization, has been Host of National Disability Mentoring Day since 2001, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

Visit the Disability Mentoring Day website at

Read about the Ms. Foundation's "Take our Daughters and Sons To Work" program at

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