Trying a job on for size

Last Friday the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) partnered with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities right here in Chicago to launch this year’s Disability Mentoring Day (DMD).

A guest blog Written by Dana Fink, Program Assistant, and Sarah Amin, Programs Intern,at the AAPD web site explains what Disability Mentoring Day is all about and how it provides opportunities for youth and other job seekers with autism and other disabilities to explore careers and connect to employers. I appreciated the honesty in their post — especially the way it pointed out how job shadowing can also help a young person with a disability decide what they might not want to pursue as a career:

Through DMD, participants gain insights into different careers that can help them make informed decisions about their future. For example, one young woman who participated in DMD had always wanted to own and operate her own restaurant. DMD provided her with the chance to spend a day job shadowing at a restaurant, where she performed a variety of job tasks, including serving, hosting, preparing food, and interacting with customers. At the end of the day, the manager was so impressed with her work that he wanted to hire her on the spot. But through her job shadowing experience, she realized she loved to dine at restaurants but was no longer interested in running or working in one.

Exploring what fits and doesn’t fit about particular careers is very valuable to people planning their futures, and it’s something that few people with autism or other disabilities have the opportunity to experience. For more information and resources on mentoring a job-seeker with a disability, link to the Disability Mentoring Project. You can also phone the DMD National Team at 800-840-8844 or email them at


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