Project LENS Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Project LENS from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

The objective of the MCB mentoring program Project L.E.N.S. (Linking Expertise and Networking for Success) is to develop and sustain professional mentoring relationships between MCB vocational rehabilitation (VR) consumers, particularly transition-age youth, who are actively seeking employment and/or involved in career exploration, and mentors who are blind, with the goal of maximizing employment outcomes.

Through this program, mentors and mentee have the opportunity to network with one another, to develop goals together, and to share their successes and challenges particularly as they relate to their professional experiences. The MCB mentoring program incorporates community-based mentoring and e-mentoring. This means face-to-face meetings between mentorship pairs in various public community locations, or online communication, respectively. The program also incorporates a group mentoring component with statewide events that are organized during the year which are aimed to support positive mentoring relationships and to support mentees’ professional development.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Eye to Eye Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Eye to Eye into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Eye to Eye’s mission is to improve the life of every person with a learning disability. The mission is fulfilled by supporting and growing a network of youth mentoring programs run by and for those with learning differences, and by organizing advocates to support the full inclusion of people with learning disabilities and ADHD in all aspects of society.

Eye to Eye is the only national mentoring movement that pairs kids who have learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD / ADHD) with college and high school mentors who have been similarly labeled. Using an arts-based curriculum, mentors help their mentees understand their unique way of learning and thinking, building self-esteem and skills they need to become self-advocates.

MENTORING NETWORK

The Eye to Eye network of 50 local chapters is driven by dynamic community partnerships with public and private schools, colleges, universities, and local businesses. While the Eye to Eye mentor/mentee model is very straightforward – coming together once a week to create art projects specifically designed to share similar experiences – there is a clearly defined set of principles that focus the work and distinguish the program as one of the most innovative movements in the country in support of students labeled with language, reading, and math based learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

STUDENT OUTCOMES

Experience with thousands of students labeled with LD / ADHD tells us that the Eye to Eye model of mentoring relationships works. Independent academic research has confirmed this as well. Research conducted by an evaluator from Teachers College, Columbia University over the past five years shows that students with LD / ADHD have seen improvement in the following areas after being mentored in Eye to Eye:

  • SELF-ESTEEM: Up to 85% of students felt better about themselves.
  • POSITIVE ROLE MODELING: Up to 82% reported that their mentor was the kind of student they wanted to be.
  • HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: Up to 87% reported that their mentor helped them to think about their future positively.
  • SELF-ADVOCACY: Up to 73% believed that their mentor helped them learn how to ask for the things they need in order to do well in school.
  • ACADEMIC EMPOWERMENT: Up to 87% reported “Being a part of Eye to Eye got me to think about what I am good at.

Learn more about Eye to Eye at www.eyetoeyenational.org.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Partners for Youth with Disabilities Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Partners for Youth with Disabilities into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

For nearly thirty years, Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD), has been a leader in the field of mentoring for youth with disabilities. PYD empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. They motivate youth to reach their personal, educational, and career goals, and guide organizations in becoming more inclusive.

Mentor Match, PYD’s cornerstone program, was founded in 1985, at a time when mentoring was gaining mainstream attention as a way to support at-risk youth. Despite the attention given to the field, youth with disabilities were excluded from mentoring efforts. By focusing specifically on youth with disabilities, PYD became – and remains – a leader in the mentoring field both in Massachusetts and across the nation. They believe that youth with disabilities who are educated, mentored, and empowered have a profoundly positive impact on their communities and the world.

Other PYD offerings include a health and transition focused program (Making Healthy Connections), an inclusive theater program (Access to Theatre), and an inclusive job-readiness program (Young Entrepreneurs Project). All programs use one-to-one and group mentoring to provide opportunities for youth to gain control of their lives by acquiring information and skills for lifelong growth.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Donna Meltzer Inducted into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Donna Meltzer into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Donna Meltzer is CEO of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), a national non-profit organization that supports the nation’s 56 governor-appointed Developmental Disabilities Councils that work within state government to promote independence, productivity, and integration of people with disabilities through systems change activities. In this capacity Ms. Meltzer oversees the organizations public policy and advocacy agenda as well as technical assistance to the member Donna joined the NACDD in October 2012. Previously she was the Senior Director of Government Relations for the Epilepsy Foundation. She rejoined the Epilepsy Foundation in July 2005 after having previously worked for the Foundation from 1987 – 1993. She also served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) from 1995-2005. Ms. Meltzer began her career on Capitol Hill working for the Honorable Tony Coelho (D-CA), a former Congressman and House Whip from California who is the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and a person with epilepsy. She also spent two years as the Government Affairs Director for the National Health Council where she directed the advocacy agenda for the Council’s Voluntary Health Agency (VHA) members. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism.

Donna also participates in several key coalitions including serving as President-Elect of the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Health Funding. She most recently stepped down from a three-year term as Chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) where she now serves as Immediate Past Chair as well as a co-chair of the CCD’s Fiscal Policy Task Force.

Donna is a native of Washington, DC and lives in suburban Maryland with her husband and two fabulous teenagers.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

Alicia Reagan Inducted into Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to induct Alicia Regan into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. Alicia Reagan is a pastor’s wife, a mother to 6 beautiful children, a blogger, and a passionate disability advocate. Life changed drastically in March 2009 when she was expecting her last baby. She contracted Transverse Myelitis, a rare virus that attacks your spinal cord, and was left completely paralyzed from her ribs down. That day changed her life forever in many horrible and wonderful ways.

She decided early on that she did not want her disability to be wasted in her life and that she would be a voice in the disability community to help others. She started a monthly support group in her small town in Ohio, started a YouTube channel to educate and encourage what she is learning on her journey, and developed a blog called This Enabled Life where she educates, encourages and challenges both the disabled and able-bodied. Her passion is to BE the change we desire to see. Her blog and love for writing has been featured in many disability publications.

Alicia began to be invited to speak and share her story and a passion was born inside of her to speak and to share that life is precious and funny! She has spoken across the United States as a motivational speaker and an advocate for the disabled. As a speaker, she keeps it real and raw that life can be rough, but it is precious and every day is a gift. She mixes this with a good dose of laughter and she comes away blessed and encouraged from those she speaks too! She has been through every emotion that is possible on her disability journey the past 7 years. Through it, she has learned, laughed and let the world know that women with disabilities have much to offer!

Alicia now resides in Leesville, SC where her husband is a pastor. She served as the director for the Midlands Breeze Spinal Cord Support Group in Columbia, SC in 2015. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association and is an advocate with United Spinal Association.

You can learn more about Alicia at www.aliciareagan.com.

Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: Information and Inductees

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