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PRESS RELEASE

October 15, 2002

Contact: Bill Edmonds
Florida Board of Education
(850) 201-7130
bill.edmonds@fldoe.org

National Disability Mentoring Day events take place Oct. 16 in Florida

TALLAHASSEE — The nation will commemorate National Disability Mentoring Day Oct. 16. The Florida Department of Education and The Able Trust, in conjunction with partner agencies, have planned 14 events statewide with High School/High Tech Coordinators and Community College Disability Support Staff teams across the state (a list of local coordinators is attached).

"Tomorrow throughout Florida, there will be job shadowing, mentoring and career exploration events for students with disabilities," said Education Secretary Jim Horne. "It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the abilities of people with disabilities in the state of Florida."

National Disability Mentoring Day began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated each October. The American Association of People with Disabilities, in partnership with the U. S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, encourage National Disability Mentoring Day events during the month.

In 2001, Florida was among 32 states that participated and helped to link students with local volunteer employers. This year, local coordinators have planned events statewide and over 75 students with disabilities are expected to participate.

For more information nationally visit the web site www.aapd.com/mentor.html.
For Florida information, visit www.abletrust.org.