Monday, November 5, 2012
Exeter, PA – Pride Mobility Products Corporation and Quantum Rehab recently offered 21 students with disabilities an opportunity to be mentored by career professionals during Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) at Pride’s Exeter facility. Attendees also included Luzerne Intermediate Unit (LIU) 18 specialists, learning support teachers, and parents.
DMD is designed to bring students and job seekers with disabilities into the workplace through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring leading to internship and employment opportunities. Through Pride and Quantum’s DMD, participants were welcomed with remarks from Chairman and CEO Scott Meuser and had the opportunity to meet with professionals in research and development, marketing, government affairs, sales, and technical service to learn the typical job responsibilities and the necessary knowledge and skills needed for a specific vocation.
“Disability Mentoring Day is such a vital program toward fostering the educational and employment goals of those with physical and intellectual disabilities,” said Mark E. Smith, Pride Consumer Research Manager. “As one with a disability myself in the workforce, I recall my high school years being a large question mark as to my future employment. I, therefore, know the importance and inspiration that students now have via DMD, and it’s an honor to have Pride Mobility involved in supporting those with disabilities in such an impacting way.”
The event included a tour of Pride’s facility, as well as the test lab, hands-on demonstrations of mobility products such as a manual and power wheelchair, personal perspective presentations from mobility product users Mark E. Smith, Madonna Long, Pride Consumer Advocate, and Rodney Shemory, Pride Receptionist with a visual impairment, and a continental breakfast and lunch.
James Ziobro, a participant from Pittston Area High School, was impressed by the extensive testing
facility at Pride and considers going into a profession that will allow him to be hands on. “It’s cool how they test stuff in the test lab so it’s dependable and safe for the patients,” Ziobro said.
Other participants like Daniel Stefanowicz, who has cerebral palsy and attends Lake-Lehman Junior/Senior High School, attended Disability Mentoring Day with a specific career in mind. “I have an interest in business and marketing and liked watching the sales team,” Stefanowicz said. “It was fun to see them place orders and interact with people from all over the country.”
Sarah Pryor, who is a teacher at Lake-Lehman Junior/Senior High School, noted how important it was for students to realize the wealth of opportunities available right in their backyard. “I appreciate Pride welcoming us into their business and allowing the students to learn more about career opportunities within our area,” Pryor said. “Pride offers more than just wheelchairs and scooters; there are so many different facets to meet a variety of interests. It was wonderful of the employees to share their stories and stress the importance of hard work and never giving up on your dreams.”
Disability Mentoring is a nationwide event hosted by the American Association of People with Disabilities. DMD began in 1999 with fewer than three-dozen student participants as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated every October. DMD is the nation’s largest job-shadowing program designed for people with disabilities, which allows career exploration to take place outside of the hiring context so job seekers can meet and learn about employers committed to hiring from this diverse and untapped workforce. DMD also helps to dispel employers’ fears and promote disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce.
Pride Mobility Products® Corp. is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of mobility products including Jazzy® Power Chairs, Pride® Scooters, Pride® Lift Chairs, and Pride™ Lifts and Ramps. Quantum® Rehab, a division of Pride Mobility, manufactures innovative, complex rehab solutions. The company, headquartered in Exeter, Pa., also has operations in Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Pride Mobility is dedicated to providing expertly designed, engineered, and tested products incorporating technologically innovative, intelligent features enabling end-users to achieve their mobility goals.