BOSTON, MA (July 14, 2016) – [National Disability Mentoring Coalition], The National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) has named 17 individuals and four organizations as inductees into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. Selection criteria included demonstrated commitment to mentoring and the impact of contributions on improving the lives of people with disabilities.
Substantial research has shown that mentoring is a critical element in helping youth from diverse backgrounds transition to independent adulthood and successful careers. For youth with disabilities, mentoring is even more critical because most come from families that have no experience with disability and there are few role models to follow. The NDMC established the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame to highlight the importance of mentoring to people with disabilities and to honor individuals and organizations that provide exemplary service.
The Class of 2016 Hall of Fame inductees are:
- Bob Vetere, Northrop Grumman Corporation (Mentor of the Year)
- Alethea Alphonsah, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries
- Jeanne Argoff, Disability Funders Network (Retired)
- Kathleen Brockway, Author, Consultant, Researcher
- Mary Brougher, Bender Consulting Services, Inc.
- Nancy J. Bazanchuk, Community Advocate & Adaptive Recreation Mentor
- Daniel Davis, US Department of Health and Human Services
- Claudia Gordon, US Department of Labor
- Renee Kirby, Temple University Disability Resources and Services
- Mathew McCollough, District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Council
- Donna Meltzer, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
- Christina Mills, CA Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Youth Organizing! Disabled
- Kathy Petkauskos, Work Without Limits, UMass Medical School
- Alicia Reagan, Spinal Network Trident Breeze Group & Blogger
- Regina Snowden, Partners for Youth with Disabilities
- Jeff Weinstein, Community Advocate, Partners for Youth with Disabilities Mentor
- Anita Wright, Northrop Grumman Corporation
- Eye to Eye (Mentoring Program of the Year)
- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Project LENS
- Partners for Youth with Disabilities
- Vanderbilt University Next Steps Ambassadore Program
Inductees will also be honored at a number of events between July and November 2016, including:
- American Association of People with Disabilities ADA Celebration, July 13, Washington, DC
- Massachusetts Youth Leadership Forum, Career Mentor Luncheon, July 13, Bridgewater, MA
- National Council on Independent Living ADA Social, July 27, Washington DC
- US Business Leadership Network National Conference, September 22, Orlando, FL
- US Department of Agriculture National Disability Employment Awareness Month Event, September 27, Washington, DC
- Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, City University of New York (CUNY) LEADS Event,
October 31, New York, NY
- Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities Full Access Summit,
November 18-19, 2016, Cambridge, MA
Background information on the inductees and more details regarding the events are available online at www.disabilitymentors.org.
Sponsors for NDMC and the Hall of Fame are Cornell University Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, New Editions Consulting, and PolicyWorks.
About the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established in 2015 as a legacy to Susan M. Daniels, who devoted her life to improving the lives of people with disabilities. As a person with a disability who achieved enormous professional and personal success, Dr. Daniels had significant impact as a senior policy maker, as an inspirational speaker and teacher, and as a mentor to hundreds of individuals.
Last year, the NDMC named 25 outstanding leaders as the first inductees into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame – 25 champions marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2016 and in years to follow, nominations for the Hall of Fame are solicited across the country, with finalists chosen by the NDMC Selection Committee.
About the National Disability Mentoring Coalition: The mission of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition is to increase the awareness, quality and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities across the nation. Members include more than 30 non-profit organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, foundations and corporate entities. Learn more about the NDMC and its members at: www.disabilitymentors.org.