PYD’s online mentoring expansion continues

Thanks to funding from The Milbank Foundation, Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) will be expanding Campus Career Connect (C3), PYD’s new online, professional e-mentoring program to support an additional 50 college students with a disability across the state of Massachusetts. This new grant will expand the program, which was originally available exclusively for community college students thanks to a generous three-year grant from Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

According to the Department of Labor, Office of Disability Policy, people with disabilities continue to have an unemployment rate over two times that of people without disabilities. While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

The C3 network was designed specifically to support young adults with disabilities in improving their employment outcomes, including securing internships and jobs in their field of choice. Through the network, college students with disabilities will access professional and peer mentors to increase their networks, receive advice, and gather support about achieving goals. They will also participate in topical webinars related to employment readiness, and engage in live networking and interview opportunities. Professional mentors have been recruited from a variety of industries thanks to a partnership with the Massachusetts Business Leadership Network, a program of UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits.

According to Regina Snowden, Founder and Executive Director of Partners for Youth with Disabilities, “We are so grateful that Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and The Milbank Foundation have invested in the power of mentoring for college students with disabilities. At PYD, we have experienced the transformative value of mentoring for over 32 years, and we know this opportunity will have meaningful impact for college students with disabilities who are ready to take the next step in their career.”

Campus Career Connect is now open to any college student with a disability from Massachusetts or attending school in Massachusetts. Sign up now at!

Developing an inclusion statement

Group of six women working together on an activityDeveloping an inclusion statement is one of the most powerful ways an organization can internally and externally demonstrate their commitment to inclusion. If inclusion is a priority for your organization, it’s vital to put that commitment on paper and let others know about it.

In this training, attendees learn the importance of an inclusion statement, discuss the steps to its development, review examples of inclusion statements, and learn how to recruit the right stakeholders throughout the approval process.

This workshop combines both a traditional presentation with a moderated session where the group will draft their organization’s inclusion statement.

See the full list of disability inclusion trainings that we offer!

Supporting self-disclosure & self-advocacy

Young adult with a hidden disability files papers in an officeIn order to succeed in school and at work, youth and young adults with disabilities need to know how and when is appropriate to self-disclose and request accommodations. Supporting youth with disabilities around self-disclosure and self-advocacy can have positive lifelong impact for the youth in your program.

This train-the-trainer model will teach professionals and volunteers working with youth with disabilities how to facilitate self-advocacy workshops. This interactive workshop will include a panel discussion, group activities, and the opportunity to practice disclosure scenarios.

Attendees will gain an increased ability to articulate the meaning of self-advocacy, better understand of the Americans with Disabilities Act (including reasonable accommodations and undue hardships), learn strategies to support youth in disclosure, and gain knowledge of resources for supporting self-advocacy.

See the full list of disability inclusion trainings that we offer!

Inclusive outreach & marketing: Tips to better reach people with disabilities

Teenage girl telling a story to an audienceStop me if this sounds familiar: you’ve put effort into designing your program or organization to be inclusive of people with disabilities, and yet, none show up! What do you do? How do you ensure you’re marketing to individuals with disabilities in a way that lets them know, “Hey! We’re a welcoming place that you should check out”?

In this training, participants will learn more to make their marketing inclusive and welcoming to youth with disabilities and their families. You’ll learn about inclusive language, alternative formats, accessible website design, and more.

If you want people with disabilities to feel welcome at your organization, your marketing is a key priority that you can’t neglect!

See the full list of disability inclusion trainings that we offer!

Understanding autism: Essential tips & tools for youth workers

Youth with autism coloring at a tableAt present, the CDC estimates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as 1 in every 68 children. In other words, if you work with youth, the odds are that you’ve likely encountered youth with autism in your program or classroom!

This has left many youth workers asking important questions: what is autism? How do we best incorporate and support these youth? And how do we design programs, classrooms, and events that are inclusive to all forms of neurodiversity?

This training will provide an overview of autism, including common strengths and challenges. Participants will learn tips for communication, behavior management, role modeling proper social etiquette, and encouraging active participation for youth with autism. Participants will learn practical tips on enhancing the ability of organizations and programs to be more inclusive of individuals with autism.

See the full list of disability inclusion trainings that we offer!

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