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2021 Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion Program

Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion will broaden mentees’ perspectives on disability inclusion, provide knowledge, technical assistance, and expertise on disability inclusion, and provide opportunities for mentees to use this new perspective to change and improve disability inclusion within their own workplace and campus.

The Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion program brings together University of Kansas employees who have an interest in growing their knowledge of disability inclusion with a mentor.  The program presumes that individual participants will have varying levels of knowledge and experience of inclusion. All interested are encouraged to participate in the program.  Please submit your application as soon as possible, enrollment is limited to twenty-four mentees. Application deadline is February 15th, 2021. 

Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion provides participants the opportunity to network with and learn from not only the mentor, but their peers as well.  Each participant will be assigned to a small group (Mentoring Circle) for duration of the training.  Mentoring Circles work closely with their colleagues on disability inclusion assignments during the training.  Each Mentoring Circle will also be paired with a coach. The coach will provide assistance and support their circle throughout the eight-week training period.  Catherine E. Johnson, Director of the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility will serve as the primary mentor to all mentees, mentees will also serve as peer mentors for each other within their mentoring circle.

Mentees will meet weekly for disability inclusion trainings, discussions, technical assistance, and professional support and development.  Disability inclusion projects will be provided to each mentoring circle, to complete and report back to the full group at the start of the next class.  Topics covered will include an overview of the history of the disability rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, employment accommodations, microaggressions, and proactively creating an accessible workplace. 

Time Commitment

Premeeting in February for an hour to go over MCDI curriculum, to meet colleagues and coaches

Participants in MCDI 2021 should expect to spend 2.5 hours in each class, anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours in prep work before each class. Classes will be held from 2-4:30pm virtually through zoom on;

  • March 4th, 2021
  • March 11th, 2021
  • March 18th, 2021
  • March 25th, 2021
  • April 1st, 2021
  • April 8th, 2021
  • April 15th, 2021
  • April 22nd, 2021 (Graduation)



In order to receive certification as an Ambassador for Proactive Disability Inclusion participants must do the following;

  • Attend 7/8 classes, but must attend the final class (graduation) 
  • Complete (virtual) in class trainings and any outside projects
  • Attend at least one Disability Inclusion Event hosted by the ADA RCEA office. 
  • Create and implement a Capstone Project
  • Recommend two people to be members in the program in 2021.
  • Attend annual Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion Summit


  • What is Disability?
  • Intersectionality of Disability as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • History of the Treatment of Individuals with disabilities in the U.S.
  • History of the Disability Rights Movement
  • Microaggressions
  • People First Language
  • Accommodations in an Academic and Employment setting
  • Service Animals and the Accommodation process
  • Creating accessible; physical spaces, digital content, social media posts, and events
  • Accessible technology
  • Creating proactive and inclusive environments
  • Relationships
  • Representation of Disability in the Media



During the last training participants will be recognized as Ambassadors for Proactive Disability Inclusion. Ambassadors will receive a certificate, and door sign, which identifies their proactive focus on disability inclusion in their workplace and on campus. This program is also available on MyTalent as a learning development module.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Kansas sponsored events.  If you require an accommodation in order to participate, please contact the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility, 1246 West Campus Rd., Room 117, Carruth O’Leary, accessibility@ku.edu, 785-864-7416 


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