Thanks to a three-year grant from Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, PYD’s Online Mentoring Program connects mentors and mentees across the United States with the goal of increasing employment outcomes for college students with disabilities. Mentors and mentees connect online through forums, chats, and messaging, and meet once a month on live webinars to discuss career development topics such as interviewing, stress management, self-advocacy, self-disclosure, and more. In addition, mentees learn about networking events and job fairs happening in their region so they can practice their soft skills in real life.
As a result of the project, mentees reported they were more prepared to get a job, felt more confident in their ability to obtain a job, had more support around employment, higher job expectations, increased their interview skills, and created a stronger resume.
The program was successful due to a variety of collaborators, including Disability: In Connecticut, Disability: In Uinta County, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Work Without Limits, and National Organization on Disability.
According to Sharon Denson, Executive Director of Disability: In Connecticut, “The platform is a great way of connecting job seekers with disabilities with the information about the skills needed to find and keep employment in a manner which can be customized to the needs of individual job seekers. The program also makes the job search process far less intimidating by giving job seekers with disabilities the opportunity to connect with employers in a welcoming environment. I am glad that I can continue to refer job seekers and employers to this valuable resource.”
We are pleased to report that due to these promising outcomes, we are expanding the program to all transition-age young adults (ages 18 and up) with disabilities, including college students and those not enrolled in college.
If you are interested in the program, you can learn more here.
This blog post was written by Genelle Thomas, PYD’s Director of National Initiatives.