For the third year, UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network of engaged employers and collaborative partners that aim to increase employment among individuals with disabilities, is teaming up with the American Association of People with Disabilities to bring Disability Mentoring Day to Massachusetts on April 27.
Disability Mentoring Day is a large-scale national effort to promote career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships.
Through Disability Mentoring Day, job seekers with disabilities (mentees) are paired with career professionals (mentors) from participating companies to get an in-depth overview of what it is like to work in that field or occupation, to observe a typical work day, and to ask questions. Mentors and mentees take time to discuss the necessary skill-set for each available opportunity, including both employment and internships.
In addition to one-on-one time with mentors, host companies also plan and conduct other activities for the mentees such as company tours, meetings with executive leaders, resumes reviews and mock interviews. One of the companies that participated last year remarked, “We had three wonderful mentees who were a great match for the office and made all of our efforts worthwhile. We felt like we hit the jackpot with the matches!”
The Disability Mentoring Day model encourages mentors and mentees to stay in touch with each other following the event to advance career development and growth. The relationships that are formed often produce life-changing results for both parties.
This year, participating employers include Eastern Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, John Hancock, MassMutual, National Grid, TJX Companies, Inc., and UMass Medical School.