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. The application deadline is October 4th, 2019. 

Mentees will be group into one of four 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. Each Mentoring Circle will also be paired with a coach. The coach will provide assistance and support their circle throughout the seven week training period.

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

Participants in MCDI 2020 should expect to spend four hours in each class, anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours in prep work before each class. Classes will be held from 1-5pm on;

  • January 31, 2020
  • February 7, 2020
  • February 14, 2020
  • February 21, 2020
  • February 28, 2020
  • March 6, 2020
  • March 20, 2020.


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

  • Attend 6/7 classes
  • Complete in class trainings and any outside projects
  • Attend at least one Lunchtime Conversation hosted by the ADA RCEA or the October National Disability Employment Awareness Celebration, date TBD.
    • September 26, co-sponsored with KU School of Law -  Issues of the Character and Fitness Exam and Mental Health in Law School
    • October 17th, hosted in the  OMA – Mental Health in College Students and Information  gained through the CARE Referral Team
    • November 21, co-sponsored with KU Med Center – Autism and Mental Health
    • Spring Lunchtime conversation dates and topics to be released at a later date.
  • Create and implement a Capstone Project
  • Attend “Meet your Coach Day” on November 21st from 10-11
  • 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


During the last training, participants will be recognized as Ambassadors for Proactive Disability Inclusion. Ambassadors will receive a certificate, door sign, and brailed business cards 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.

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