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Colorado Quarterly Magazine 

"Rewriting the Myths, Redefining the Realities"


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National Disability Mentoring Day An Annual Event

By Miranda Thompson
Project WIN

National Disability Mentoring Day (NDMD) is being observed in Colorado on October 15, 2003. NDMD is designed to bring students and job seekers with disabilities into the workplace where they can learn firsthand about career opportunities, not just entry-level and dead-end jobs, but careers. The event also serves to expose employers to a new potential employee base within the disability population. By initiating contact between employers and students and job seekers with disabilities, NDMD works to create ongoing relationships.

NDMD will be officially observed on October 15, 2003. However, mentorship opportunities will not be limited to that day. All interested employers and students and job seekers with disabilities are welcome to participate. It is through increasing participation and awareness that we hope to fulfill the NDMD mission: To promote career exploration and increase employment opportunities for students & job seekers with disabilities through one-on-one job shadowing and group visits to public and private employers.

Governor Owens signed a proclamation commemorating the first NDMD event held in Colorado last year on October 16, 2002. Fifty-eight students and job seekers with disabilities participated in the event and were mentored by twenty-one local and national employer organizations. More than seventy participants attended the NDMD reception held afterward, sponsored by Manpower-Professionals. Overwhelmingly, comments from mentee and mentors alike were positive and indicated motivation to participate in NDMD again next year.

The NDMD event in Colorado is coordinated by the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities Employment Committee. The organizing committee consists of a total of eighteen businesses, community organizations, government agencies, and higher education institutions working together to make the event a success. Nationally, NDMD is coordinated through the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The AAPD is the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the United States, dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities. Their website and national information on NDMD can be accessed at For more information on how to become involved, or to participate in Colorado NDMD as a mentor or a mentee, please contact Miranda Thompson at (303) 315-1271 ext.1, or Toll free at (877) 726-9735, via e-mail at

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