Disability Mentoring Day at the City | Community Spirit
From the City of Knoxville
The City of Knoxville welcomed more than 20 people with various disabilities on Wednesday, who shadowed City employees in areas ranging from the mayor's office to the parks and recreation, communications, fleet services, and engineering departments.
The visits were part of Disability Mentoring Day 2012, which pairs workplace mentors with individuals who have disabilities in a field they are interested in exploring. Mayor Madeline Rogero had mentee Allison Gose who spent the afternoon with the mayor.
Disability Mentoring Day was established in 1999 as part of a White House initiative to promote National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The annual effort to promote career development for students and job seekers with disabilities has grown from less than three dozen participants during that first year to thousands of people who participate nationwide today.
"We have the most mentees we've ever had this year, and it's really exciting to have Mayor Rogero participate personally," said Stephanie Cook, the city's ADA coordinator. "This is a great opportunity for people with disabilities to learn more about the fields they are interested in, and it's also a chance for City employees to really see that people with disabilities have the same career interests and goals as anyone else."
The City has participated in the program since 2003, starting out with a single individual. The program is expanding outside of city government as well. Besides the City, 11 Knoxville area companies are taking part in the Disability Mentoring Week in Knoxville this year - up from only six in 2009.