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University of Kansas Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion Program

Purpose of KU’S Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion Program

KU’s 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. 

KU’s Mentoring Circles for Disability Inclusion - Pilot Program anticipated dates December, 2018 – April, 2019

A mentoring circle is comprised of a small group of individuals that meet on a regular basis for an agreed amount of time during the mentorship period. Unlike the traditional one-to-one match, mentoring circles are comprised of one or two mentors and a few mentees.  Mentoring Circles provide the mentees with the benefit of a mentor, multiple mentee perspectives, supportive teamwork environment, and cross-learning and networking between campus departments/units.

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 Pilot program.  Please submit your application as soon as possible, enrollment is limited to thirty mentees. Application deadline is November 30th, 2018. 

Mentees will be group into one of five mentoring circles, with six individuals in each circle.  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. The mentoring circle gives participants the opportunity to network with and learn from not only the mentor, but their peers as well. 

Mentees will meet monthly for disability inclusion trainings, discussions, technical assistance, and professional support and development.  Monthly 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.  Mentees will receive a certificate establishing their status as an Ambassador for Pro-active Disability Inclusion.

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