2007 Conference Call Series for DMD Local Coordinators
Topic: Planning DMD: Timelines, Checklists, and Other Resources
Date: March 16, 2007
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)
Ally Day (Augusta, ME)
Cristi Lemon (Fort Worth, TX)
Dave Hoffman (Grand Junction, CO)
Dondra Lopez (Olympia, WA)
Eric Jackier (NY)
Lynn Green (St. Louis, MO)
Mickie Hayes (Tampa, FL)
Patricia Kepler (Portland, OR)
Peggy Metot (Herkimer, NY)
Rose Lee Archer (Palm Beach County, FL)
Sandra Sroka (Tampa, FL)
Sarah Callahan (Boston, MA)
Scott Yates (Sacramento, CA)
Travis Perreira (San Diego, CA)
Trenna Lackey (Orlando, FL)
Trish Farmer (Nashville, TN)
Yasmin Reyazuddin (Montgomery, MD)
Mary Beth Luby (Atlanta County, NJ)
Arthur Plitt (Pawtucket, RI)
Janice Ta, Interim DMD National Coordinator
Helena Berger, Chief Operating Officer
Marie Campos, AAPD Contractor (Leadership & Mentoring Programs)
AAPD: asked everyone on the call to introduce themselves and share their best experiences with
Janice Ta (AAPD): DMD 2006 was her first event and she was impressed with the commitment
she saw from the employers who attended the DC event.
Mickie Hayes (Tampa, FL): She is affiliated with the Hillsborough Community College; she has
been doing DMD for the last 3-4 years and is now a co-chair for their organizing committee.
They typically host a kick-off with mentors, to get mentors acclimated with the program. This
past DMD, their program had over 70 participants and everyone had a good experience (i.e. They
received zero complaints).
Travis Perreira (San Diego, CA): Their student participants are from their year-round mentoring
program. For their program last year, the San Diego Zoo was their event host. He shared that
one of the best parts of their program was that the zoo let them use the park trams as a platform
for various zoo employees to talk to the mentees about their different careers.
Scott Yates (Sacramento, CA): Their program is focused on individuals who are 18-years old
and older. They use DMD to partner with the unified school district and focus on transition
students. They use an open house to show the mentees their various transition options. Agency
tours are also provided for parents and caregivers.
Trenna Lackey (Orlando, FL): Their DMD program is held on a school day and matches mentees
with businesses. Activities included: using the school system to show mentees the variety of jobs
available, besides teaching, e.g. maintenance and transportation. Darden restaurants also set up
work sites for students where they came in before opening hours and learn how to do prep work.
Hyatt hotel also offered mentoring opportunities for mentees interested in becoming chefs.
Yasmin Reyazuddin (Montgomery, MD): Their program included 150 students, who
participated in one of 3 activities: one-on-one mentoring; a field trip; and a career assessment.
Patricia Kepler (Portland, OR): They held activities throughout the month of October. Each
week, they had a luncheon at each of the Darden restaurants in their area where a person with a
disability gave a keynote address. In addition, Nike also hosted a job-shadow day where they
provided lunch and their human resources staff met with the mentees.
Rose Lee Archer (Palm Beach County, FL): Their DMD is a career day for the school district.
Some of their partners included the VA hospital, Home Depot (5 stores), and the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission hosted a career day specific to careers in the sciences.
Sandra Sroka (Tampa, FL): She also works with Mickie Hayes on the same steering committee;
she has been involved in DMD for 4 years and helped start DMD in their area. Their program
involves county and city government employers, such as the police department, as well as local
Sarah Callahan (Boston, MA): Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) offers year-round
mentoring programs. They are a relatively new participant in DMD. For last year’s program,
PYD helped the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission take part in DMD for the first time.
Dondra Lopez (Olympia, Washington): Dondra Lopez is a new local coordinator this year. She
hopes to gain ideas and direction on implementation of DMD in their area.
Mary Beth Luby (Atlanta County, NJ): Last year was her first DMD. She worked with Allies,
Inc. This year, they will be focusing on increasing the number of mentees from the South Jersey
Lynn Green (St. Louis, MO): This is also her first year as a DMD coordinator, and hopes to also
get some ideas for a program design and how to start DMD in her area.
Cristi Lemon (Fort Worth, TX): In Fort Worth, their organization provided staff support for the
Mayor’s Committee on Disability. She reported receiving great feedback from their employers.
Trish Farmer (Nashville, TN): The Tennessee Governors Committee has been hosting a
mentoring day for people with disabilities for years. Her best memory from the past year was
having Bridgestone America headquarters display a huge DMD banner to promote the event.
Bridgestone America also hired mentees last year. Another activity she reported was a job-
shadowing opportunity at radio stations in Knoxville.
Peggy Metot (Herkimer, NY): This is her second year as a DMD coordinator. Last year, they
had 19 individual mentors participate in the program.
Ally Day (Augusta, ME): Ally reported that last year was the first time they hosted DMD in her
Dave Hoffman (Grand Junction, CO): Dave also reported that DMD 2006 was the first time they
hosted DMD; they had 15 mentees learn from with employers from the business community and
service agencies. He is very excited about DMD 2007.
General Timeline for planning DMD:
AAPD went over a few ideas/recommendations for planning DMD 2007.
Local organizing committees:
AAPD recommended that local coordinators try to establish local organizing committees. They
asked coordinators who already have local organizing committees to share their experiences
and/or give recommendations.
Coordinators with Local Organizing Committees shared that Local Organizing Committees can:
: help set up the DMD planning timeline;
: help develop a website so that applications for mentees and mentors can be completed online;
: be established in the spring to define the DMD program design
: be comprised of individuals representing various stakeholder groups, to facilitate targeted
recruiting efforts. Some stakeholder groups could include representatives or employees from:
independent living centers; local chambers of commerce; local school districts; county offices of
human resources; county or state department of rehabilitation; educational facilities (e.g.
university career centers); media outlets; various disability advocacy organizations.
How often do local organizing committees meet?
Typically, local organizing committees meet once a month. If there are sub-committees, the sub-
committees meet more frequently, or as needed.
Clarification: What is the intended role of local coordinators? Are local coordinators
responsible for the entire state?
AAPD: AAPD clarified that local coordinators define their own programs, based on the needs
they identify in their communities and their available resources. Local coordinators are not
responsible for DMD programming for their entire state if their programs cannot handle a
program of that size. We ask that local coordinators who may be receiving inquiries about
starting DMD in an area that is beyond the scope of their DMD activities, refer those callers to
AAPD. AAPD will try to work with our network to start a DMD program in a new area.
Recruiting Ideas or Recommendations for Finding Mentees?
Eric Jackier (NY) added that DMD is a year-round effort for them. They are constantly
recruiting and placing mentees. They already have identified the schools they want to approach.
At this time of year, they are already going to the various locations and recruiting mentees for
Rose Lee Archer (FL): At this stage, she recommends identifying the career desires/goals and the
skill sets of mentees. She also recommended having identified the target schools for recruiting
by this time of the year. Gathering that information in the spring provides their partner agencies
with enough time to begin recruiting appropriate mentors.
Ideas: high school-high tech coordinator; executive directors; community coordinators; cannot
really recruit until college students have fall students in place.
Potential contacts for recruiting mentees:
- High-School/High-Tech Coordinators
- School Executive Directors
- Community Coordinators
- Disabled Student Services at the schools
- University diversity offices
- Target specific academic programs (e.g. business school or political science department)
- Disability-specific organizations (they can help recruit from their own constituent groups)
- Centers for Independent Living
Recruiting Ideas or Recommendations for Finding Mentors?
- Consider establishing employer relationships year-round
- Utilize national corporate sponsor relationships
- Utilize local Business Leadership Networks (BLN)
What is BLN?
“The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN ®) is the national business organization
currently representing BLN chapters in 32 states and more than 5000 employers using a
“business to business” strategy to promote the business imperative of including people with
disabilities in the workforce. The USBLN ® serves as the national voice for our chapters.
BLN chapters are employer organizations that serve to raise awareness and remove attitudinal
barriers to including people with disabilities through training and education. BLN chapters are
led by employers who have discovered the value that individuals with disabilities bring to their
workforce and have benefited from including them in their business diversity strategies.
The USBLN promotes best employment disability practices –so become involved and learn from
other employers who are expanding their diversity recruiting outreach into the disability
community. And check out information on our Annual Conference and Career Fair- an exciting
opportunity to hear from top business leaders who have discovered the competitive advantage of
including individuals with disabilities in their workforce.”
(For more information, visit: www.usbln.org)
DMD 2007 Kick-Off City?
We are still finalizing the location for this year’s kick-off city. As soon as we are confirmed, we
will notify all the DMD local coordinators.
Mary Beth Luby (Atlanta County, NJ): She also reminded coordinators that if using school
system’s transportation, spring would again be a good time to approach schools about DMD
plans for the fall. Many schools need to set up their budgets ahead of time, and would need to
budget for transportation expenses.
Yasmin (Montgomery, MD): How have other coordinators dealt with the issue of assigned
mentees not showing up for Disability Mentoring Day? Some reasons are because students did
not like being affiliated with “Disability” Mentoring Day.
(Several coordinators echoed the same experience and concern.)
Eric Jackier (NY): They do not tolerate “no-shows”. They have a full-time matching and
screening committee and try to address individual concerns well ahead of DMD. Their program
includes an orientation for potential mentees and mentors, and includes
requirements/expectations of both mentees and mentors. Through their screening, if they
identify mentees who are not ready for DMD, they refer mentees to other programs that would
be a better fit.
Rose Lee Archer (FL): She also reminded coordinators that disability pride is a personal and
individual characteristic. If mentees do not want to identify with being a person with a disability,
for whom this program is designed, DMD may not be the appropriate program for them. By
removing “disability” and simply calling the event “Mentoring Day”, opens the program to all
job seekers and no longer serves its original purpose which is to serve a particular, underserved
population: people with disabilities.
Mary Beth Luby (Atlanta County, NJ): With regard to identifying mentees who are ready to
participate in DMD, she suggested working with local centers for independent living which may
have self-determination/self-advocacy programs. Their graduates would be good candidates for
AAPD: We recognize this is an ongoing concern and last year, a conference call was arranged to
discuss this topic. We will explore hosting another call this year, and possibly bringing on
trainers or advocates who work specifically with youth on disability pride. The objective would
be to try to provide local coordinators with tools and/or exercises they may want to use as they
work with schools and recruit potential mentees.
AAPD: We are working on the brochures, posters, and save-the-date cards. On average, each
local coordinator will receive 25-30 posters. If state coordinators are taking on responsibility for
disseminating to the various state programs, we will coordinate with state coordinators in terms
of their programs’ needs to disseminate to their teams.
We are still waiting to confirm our national sponsors to include their logos in the posters and
brochures, so are not prepared to print materials at this time.
We are aiming to send out posters and save-the-date cards by May.
Methods of Communication
AAPD: In the last few months, AAPD attempted to set up several modes of communication to
stay in better contact with local coordinators:
- DMD blog
- Local Coordinators Gazette
- Yahoo Groups
Almost every person on the call was unaware that any of those vehicles were established. Based
on their feedback, it was determined that AAPD will set up a Yahoo-Group for local
The quarterly Gazette will be discontinued since it will duplicate the utility of the Yahoo Groups.
Any resources that were previously posted in the 1st Gazette will be moved to the DMD site and
Yahoo Groups site.
The Yahoo Group will be utilized to send out messages, enable local coordinators to
communicate with each other, and to also post resources/documents.
One coordinator did caution that the Yahoo Groups website is not easy to navigate/not very
accessible to blind individuals. The recommendation, therefore, is to not only post files on the
Yahoo Groups site but also on the DMD site.
AAPD will send out a request to all local coordinators to sign up for Yahoo Groups to facilitate