Thirty mentoring programs have successfully completed a four-month-long certification program on how to create mentoring programs, activities, and events that are inclusive to youth, volunteers, and staff with disabilities.
This certification was run by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) – an initiative of Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) – in collaboration with MENTOR. The 2021 cohort was the first time this certification has been offered, and it featured participants from 54 unique mentoring organizations across 25 different U.S. states and Canada.
“We are thrilled to recognize the accomplishments of our first certification cohort,” said Kristin Humphrey, the NDMC Program Manager and one of the lead facilitators of the certification. “Each participating organization created a detailed Inclusion Action Plan, and they have all made huge strides in making their mentoring program more inclusive of people with disabilities. This certification is an important step for the mentoring field to take to become more inclusive and accessible.”
To complete their certification, participants completed over 20 hours of online coursework, contributed to weekly discussion posts, and attended live webinars and cohort convenings, while also creating a plan to improve the disability inclusion practices in their organization. There were 30 organizations that completed their full certification:
- AMP! Metro Richmond
- Athletes for Kids (AFK Youth Mentoring)
- Barrington Stage Playwright Mentoring Project (PMP)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle
- Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program
- Catholic Charities Atlanta
- Children’s Cancer Association
- Eagle Connections at Tallahassee Community College (TCC)
- Family Service & Children’s Aid Society
- Free Your Wings Youth Mentoring, Inc.
- Girls Inc of Omaha, Pathfinders Mentoring
- LUK Inc.
- Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
- Memphis Zoological Society
- Michigan State University Extension – 4-H Tech Wizards
- Not Alone Mentoring at Mills County Public Health
- Pearson Education Inc.
- Sagacious Works
- Senior Volunteer Programs of NWMI
- South Carolina Mentors
- Starfish Mentoring, Headwaters Foundation
- Team IMPACT
- The DREAM Program, Inc.
- The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA
- Changing Chains Ministry
- VOICE Mentoring Program, Issaquah School District
- Who Got Game
Participating organizations received training in a wide range of topics: the various models and definitions of disability; ableism and inclusion; disability rights and the ADA; Universal Design; inclusive language and communication; inclusive marketing and outreach practices; and more.
This certification program was made possible through funding provided by the Milbank Foundation. To learn more about the Disability Mentoring Certification or enroll in an upcoming cohort, visit www.disabilitymentors.org.
About the NATIONAL DISABILITY MENTORING COALITION: The mission of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition is to increase the awareness, quality and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities across the nation. The NDMC has over 340 members from over 170 non-profit organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, foundations, and corporate entities.
About MENTOR: MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. Our mission is to expand the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships nationwide. Potential is equally distributed; opportunity is not. A major driver of healthy development and opportunity is who you know and who’s in your corner. 30 years ago, MENTOR was created to expand that opportunity for young people by building a youth mentoring field and movement.
About PARTNERS FOR YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES: PYD’s mission is to create a world where young people with disabilities will be able to live with dignity and pride in who they are, and to lead self-determined lives filled with purpose. To make this happen, we build the skills and abilities of young people with disabilities, and increase the inclusivity of workplaces, organizations, and communities.