Pride, Quantum Host Disability Mentoring Day
Mobility manufacturer's event hosts students as part of nationwide mentoring effort.
- By David Kopf
- Dec 22, 2011
Pride Mobility Products Corporation and Quantum Rehab have offered 28 students with disabilities an opportunity to be mentored by career professionals in the various fields at Pride and Quantum during Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) at Pride’s Exeter facility. Attendees also included Luzerne Intermediate Unit (LIU) 18 specialists and learning support teachers.
DMD is designed to bring students and job seekers with disabilities into the workplace through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring leading to internship and employment opportunities. DMD participants were welcomed with remarks from Chairman & CEO Scott Meuser and had the opportunity to meet with professionals to learn the typical job responsibilities and the necessary knowledge and skills needed for a specific vocation. Careers in research and development, marketing, education, reimbursement, government affairs, sales, and technical service were highlighted.
The event also included a tour of Pride’s facility, including the test lab, hands-on demonstrations of mobility products such as a manual and power wheelchair, personal perspective presentations from mobility product users Mark E. Smith and Madonna Long, Pride Consumer Advocate, and a continental breakfast and lunch.
“Disability Mentoring Day is a wonderful opportunity to not just introduce students to prospective career paths, but to truly inspire every facet of their lives,” said Mark Smith, Pride Consumer Research Manager. “Directly showing students with disabilities that their futures aren't limited, but limitless, is a true privilege for those of us with disabilities who have sat in their seats, and gone on to inspiring, rewarding careers.”
“I liked driving over the gravel in the test lab because it’s fun to run around on it and it showed my power chair can do a lot of things,” said Dimitri Theodorelos, a participant from Wyoming Valley West High School and a power wheelchair user, in regard to Pride's testing facility.
“I think it is really great for the kids to be so welcomed by Pride and to have the opportunity to look at how a business is run,” said Diane Orloski, LIU 18 Transition Specialist. “I don’t think the students realized beforehand all of the jobs that are available to them through hard work, dedication and believing in yourself.”
Hosted by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the largest national cross-disability membership organization in the United States, the National Disability Mentoring Day Program began in 1999 with just 11 students with disabilities job shadowing in the White House under the Clinton administration. Today, DMD has grown to provide job-shadowing, career fairs and mentoring opportunities to more than 85,000 students and job seekers with disabilities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. DMD is the nation’s largest job-shadowing program designed for people with disabilities.
David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.