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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: October 16, 2016


NEW CASTLE (Oct. 16, 2018) - More than 90 students with disabilities are expected to participate in career-building experiences during Delaware's Disability Mentoring Day on Oct. 17 at locations in Newark and Talleyville. Disability Mentoring Day is held each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Several New Castle County school districts have again joined together to host their Second Annual Career Development Day at the Siegel Jewish Community Center in Talleyville. Sessions planned for the 75 students expected to attend include sessions on how to be a self-advocate under the Americans with Disabilities Act, work readiness and social media matters.

During lunch, employees from area businesses and organizations will rotate among the tables talking to the students and answering questions about their jobs.

Students from Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Christina, Colonial, Red Clay and New Castle County Vo-Tech school districts, as well as the Delaware School for the Deaf and Independent Resources, Inc., are expected to participate in the Career Development Day.

At the Courtyard Marriott-University of Delaware in Newark, 15 students from UD's Career & Life Studies Certificate (CLSC) program will gather to have breakfast and hear from previous participants about the experience. They will then transition to work sites for job-shadowing experiences in the Newark area before returning to the Marriott for lunch and a panel discussion.

"Disability Mentoring Day continues to be a valuable experience for all those involved here in Delaware," said Governor John Carney. "Whether it's high school students with disabilities deciding on pursuing more education or entering the world of work, or older students deciding on a career path, Disability Mentoring Day offers experiences that will serve these young people well as they discover their passions and plan for their next steps."

Disability Mentoring Day is a national program, and in Delaware, the collaboration involves several agencies, educational institutions, business groups, and organizations, including the University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies, which started the first Disability Mentoring Day in Delaware nine years ago. Joining the collaboration are the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the Department of Labor's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Education, the New Castle County Transition Committee, the Delaware Business Leadership Network and Easterseals of Delaware & Maryland Eastern Shore.

The group is co-chaired by two young people with disabilities - Alyssa Cowin, an operations support specialist with DHSS, and Julia Hensley, who is working through Easterseals at Victory Fellowship Church.

"Disability Mentoring Day is a great opportunity for these students to learn more about the employment options available to them and to interact with employers who could soon be looking to hire enthusiastic new employees," said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Cabinet Secretary for Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services. "It also gives the students a chance to explore the opportunities that exist for them as they take more steps toward a life of independence."

University of Delaware CLSC students will do job shadowing at: VCA Newark Animal Hospital, Casino at Delaware Park (Security), WVUD radio, Ricciardi Brothers, Fair Hill (Md.) State Park, UD Office of Education Technology, Gambles Florist, STAR Nurse Managed Primary Care Clinic, Trilogy Salon, Newark Police Department, Brewed Awakenings, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons' office, the Disability Law Center, Bancroft Construction and Veterinary Specialty Center.

NOTE TO MEDIA: To download photos from Delaware's Disability Mentoring Day 2017, go to:

Follow Disability Mentoring Day year-round on Facebook at or on Twitter@DelawareDMD.

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.