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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: October 9, 2014


More Than 25 Students to Visit Prospective Area Employers

NEW CASTLE (OCT. 9, 2014) Gov. Jack Markell will address the employment landscape encountered by young people with disabilities during Disability Mentoring Day activities hosted by the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and, for the sixth year, the University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies.

"Our expectation for young people with disabilities is that they get job exploration experiences like Disability Mentoring Day," Gov. Markell said. "We know that young people who participate in such transition services are more engaged in planning their careers and will be ready for the world of work."

More than 25 people with disabilities, including students from UD and the Christina School District and clients from DHSS' Division of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Division for the Visually Impaired, will meet the governor and spend much of the day learning about different careers and networking with potential employers.

Two young women with disabilities, Alyssa Cowin, an operations support specialist with DHSS' Office of the Secretary, and Julia Hensley, a recent graduate of Appoquinimink High School, helped to plan the day's events.

Disability Mentoring Day kicks off 8:30 a.m. at the Courtyard hotel with remarks by Newark Mayor Polly Sierer, Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, keynote speaker and self-advocate Elizabeth Weintraub and Center for Disabilities Studies Director Beth Mineo. After their job site visits, students will return to the hotel for a recognition ceremony and closing remarks from Ms. Cowin, Secretary Landgraf and Gov. Markell.

Disability Mentoring Day is a national effort held on the third Wednesday in October to promote career development for people with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing and peer mentoring. The joint effort this year by DHSS, DOE, DVR and CDS to promote the goals of Disability Mentoring Day have nearly doubled the number of young people registering to meet with area businesses. The collaboration also marks the first steps to turn Disability Mentoring Day in Delaware into a statewide event.

Gov. Markell devoted his one-year chairmanship as head of the National Governors Association to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities across the country,

WHEN: October 15, 2014 (Disability Mentoring Day)
Gov. Markell speaks/appears from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Students visit job sites from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WHERE: Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware, 400 Hollowell Drive, Newark, DE.
Student worksite visits happen throughout New Castle County.
CONTACT: Victor Schaffner at CDS, 302-831-3038, or

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.