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Mentoring: A Strategy for Disability Inclusion

Looking back at your career journey, think about the people who helped shape your professional growth. Chances are, you're thinking about your mentors – the individuals who helped you pursue and achieve your goals through support, counsel, and encouragement.

While such relationships are vital to the development of any budding professional, they are especially important to young people with disabilities just starting in the workforce. Mentoring programs benefit businesses small and large, serving as proven talent-development strategies and effective tools for building an inclusive workplace.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a natural time to learn more about the "why and how" of inclusive mentoring, and the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers a fact sheet to help.

Mentoring as a Disability Inclusion Strategy walks businesses through key steps for adopting a mentoring culture in their organization – such as conducting a needs assessment and recruiting a program manager – and implementing successful mentoring strategies. It also provides links to helpful mentoring program resources and examples.

EARN outlines how mentoring programs have a positive impact on businesses by improving employee retention and engagement and enriching workplace culture across the organization.

Businesses interested in exploring inclusive mentoring more in-depth are also encouraged to read The Workplace Mentoring Playbook, developed by EARN in coordination with the National Disability Mentoring Coalition.

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