PMW Mission

Peer MentoringWorks represents a body of knowledge and an accompanying library of resources, training, and service provision supports developed to support peer mentoring as part of an inclusive and effective transition strategy for youth, students, and young adults with disabilities.  Peer MentoringWorks supports SVR administration and WIOA core partner agency transition program administration to design and implement an effective peer mentoring strategy to achieve your program objectives. 

We offer technical assistance in “on-boarding” an effective Peer Mentoring Program model and are available to address your training and certification, and program support needs. 

  • Join the PMW Community of Practice to learn and share with a community of practitioners pioneering peer mentoring programs as a means to increase employment and independent living for people with disabilities.  
  • Call on PolicyWorks’ experience providing technical assistance (PMW TechCTR) to SVRAs and community service provider networks.  
  • Access the PMW LearnCTR and ToolSuite for training and service provider supports. 
“Peer mentoring has a proven track record helping young people have high expectations for their future, develop self-advocacy skills, build personal networks, and access important community resources.  The establishment of a peer mentoring network is an effective and powerful way to deliver the required pre-employment transition services of instruction in self-advocacy, the development of independent living and social skills, job exploration, and counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs to students with disabilities.” – WINTAC

Peer MentoringWorks Community of Practice (PMW CoP)

What is the PMW CoP?

The PMW CoP connects a network of peer mentoring providers for the purpose of mentoring other providers to develop and expand peer mentoring programs as a VR service.  The PMW CoP seeks to:

  • Support Peer Mentoring Services: advocacy, efficacy, and determination
  • Identify emerging best practices
  • Capture and share early success stories
  • Build a library of resources and technical assistance materials
  • Explore the development of new tools and practices 

CoP Participants is an expanding Community of Peer Mentoring Program Practitioners for Transitioning Youth and Students with disabilities and its members include:

Peer MentoringWorks logo with Community of Practice underneath.
  • VR or State Agency Directors/Transition Program Directors
  • Community Rehab Service Provider Agencies or Non-Profit Organizations
  • CRP Peer Mentor Coordinators
  • Peer Mentors
  • Inclusive Mentoring Organizations

Check out the recent release of “Pre-ETS and Peer Mentoring: Emerging Communities of Practice”.  In this report, Steven Allen, President of PolicyWorks shares his background on Pre-ETS and Peer Mentoring followed with a selection of questions and answers relating his perspectives on his work and experience through the WINTAC and the promise of the emerging VR peer mentoring models.

PMW CoP – DEC 2020

The PMW CoP meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of each month feature. guest presenters and subject matter experts from the broader disability mentoring advocacy community. 

On December 2nd, 2020, Michael Garringer, the Director of Research and Evaluation for Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership presented data on pandemic’s impact on mentoring relationships, the Elements of Effective Practice in Mentoring, and tips from Mentor’s Supplements on Peer Mentoring and Virtual Mentoring.  

Peer MentoringWorks logo

What is Peer Mentoring Support?

Peer Mentoring includes the development and employment of peer mentoring networks for young people and especially students with disabilities to help them prepare for and transition from secondary education to postsecondary education and employment through the power and influence of high expectations, self-determination, and the development of self-advocacy skills.

Evidence shows students peer mentoring students promotes success: efficiency of cost, availability of mentors, and the effectiveness of peer mentoring over traditional mentoring due to shared perspective and perceived credibility. 

Is the most efficient way of delivering self-advocacy the traditional teacher instructs student model?  

Or is there a role for more experienced students to model and mirror advocacy through a relationship built on trust and common perspective? 

Peer mentoring has a proven track record of helping young people:

  • increase expectations for their future, 
  • develop self-advocacy skills, 
  • build personal networks, and 
  • access important community resources.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 established that students with disabilities (14-21) be provided access to instruction in self-advocacy that may include support of a peer mentor.

Instruction in Self-Advocacy, including the support of a peer mentor, is one of five required Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) funded by 15% of the federal $3.6 billion annual vocational rehabilitation (VR) budget. If a State VR Agency (SCVR) uses peer mentors to provide any of the five required Pre-ETS services, can they charge the cost of the peer mentor delivering the required service to the minimum reserve requirement for Pre-ETS?

Yes. The peer mentor in this scenario is treated in the same way as any other contracted service provider and the cost incurred providing direct Pre-ETS services that fall under any of the five required Pre-ETS activities, could be charged to the funds reserved for pre-employment transition services.

Source: WINTAC’s FAQs Pre-employment transition services

Self-Advocacy and Peer Mentoring Roles

Peer Mentoring is a process through which a more experienced individual encourages and assists a less experienced individual develop his or her potential within a shared area of interest.

It is a reciprocal one in that both individuals in the partnership have an opportunity for growth and development.

  • Peers are individuals who share some common characteristics, attributes and/or circumstances. These may relate to age, ability, interests, community, etc.
  • Peer mentors are individuals who have more experience within that common area along with additional training in how to assist another in acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes to be more successful.

A Peer Mentor Coordinator serves as an adult administrative mentoring guide supporting the provision and administration of peer mentoring engagement to support fidelity and agency in service provision and program administration. 

Peer Mentoring Vocational Rehab Program Model

Peer Mentoring Community Rehab Provider (CRP) diagram which represents a Peer Mentor Coordinator, working with peer mentors, who then work with mentees, who are students with disabilities (14-21).
Service Provision Program Model

The Peer MentoringWorks CoP was designed to support vocational rehabilitation for students, youth and young adults with disabilities in transition to pre-employment and post-secondary education pursuit of career path employment.  PW brings a decade of peer mentoring service delivery and 5 years of intensive technical assistance experience working with SVRAs through the Workforce Innovation and Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) to design, pilot and implement peer mentoring programs in the employment transition space.  

It joins a community or national mentoring programs employing mentoring and specifically peer mentoring to engage and connect communities for the purpose of growth and self-advocacy and self-determination skills improvement.  Program Models Developed and implemented through the WINTAC and PolicyWorks person-centered professional development initiatives to inform practice in emerging field of peer mentoring. 

  1. PW Mission and Peer Mentoring 
  2. Peer Mentoring Provision: Best Practice, Fidelity and Agency
  3. WINTAC, PolicyWorks (PW) and Peer MentoringWorks (PMW)
  4. SVRA PMW Program Models
  5. PMW Resource Partners

PMW Program Supports and Features

The Peer MentoringWorks Community of Practice is supported through a social enterprise model.  The continued identification and development of service provision supports including direct activity guides and customizable training and program support are held in trust by the community to increase sustainability, replication and expansion.  

Are you with a State VR agency or an SVRA that is interested in developing peer mentoring programs as part of your strategy to serve students with disabilities to support Pre-ETS required activities?  Join our community and contribute to the expanding library of programmatic supports and share in the experience of effective practice in peer mentoring.

Peer MentoringWorks logo with Learn Center underneath.

The PMW CoP LearnCTR is a suite of training and certification tools modeled in the WINTAC Peer Mentoring pilot projects that is available to SVRAs and their network of community partners seeking to add peer mentoring as a support to the provision of transition services.  

Peer MentoringWorks Logo with TechCTR under it.

The PMW TechCTR offers technical assistance to SVRAs and program administrators supporting the design, planning and implementation of peer mentoring programs.  This technical assistance includes the development and implementation of a training, assistance and support in the development and identification of program objectives and implementation strategies.  PW and the PMW Community of Practitioners, supported by the PMW LearnCTR and the PMW ToolSuite may be customized, modified and/or expanded to support a peer mentoring program’s specific technical assistance requirements.   

PMW Logo with Toolsuite written underneath.

The Peer MentoringWorks ToolSuite is a collection of tools and resources available to VR peer mentoring program peer mentors and peer mentor coordinators to support the direct provision of peer mentoring. 

The ToolSuite includes a growing collection of fillable forms, factsheets, activity guides, and resources available through the innovative, customizable PMW FieldGuide. 

The PMW FieldGuide is an accessible web-based/mobile APP featuring an on-demand “e-mentoring program handbook” available for the field of peer mentoring practice. It is a resource design to support fidelity and agency in the delivery of peer mentoring as support to youth, students, and young adults with disabilities.   

Peer MentoringWorks logo with Community of Practice underneath.

Join us for the next Peer MentoringWorks Community of Practice.

Where: hosted on Zoom
Date: on the 4th Wednesday of the month
Time: from 1-2:30 pm ET