September Community of Practice in Review

Thank you to those who attended the September Peer MentoringWorks Community of Practice Meeting 

Our second PMW CoP gathering was another successful exchange, this time emphasizing models supporting peer mentoring for youth and young adults who are blind and have low vision.

We are started off with Daniel Martinez, a Seasonal Coordinator for the National Federation of the Blind, Texas, and Instructor and Mentor for METAS International.  Daniel shared his experiences as a mentor, along with the importance of mentoring.

Daniel also had recently published a Blog, How to make a Banana Shake, that he discussed.  For his work and impact in the mentoring space, Daniel was inducted in 2018 into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.  Review his Hall of Fame page.

Next, Maurice Peret, Coordinator of Career Mentoring Programs at the National Federation of the Blind, shared about the importance of self-advocacy and networking as he described the NFB’s mentoring models that match one or more mentors to mentees. Under the mantra of “each one, teach one,” the NFB  peer mentoring model has the following elements:

  • Matrixed mentoring support of multiple mentors for between 8-15 hours of engagement per month.
  • Monthly Zoom meetings centered around a theme that includes videos, interactive and structured discovery and Socratic methods of probing questions.
  • When possible, weekend retreats.

The model is providing successful in harnessing the power and impact of a blind person and is providing testimonials on blind and soft skills development.  Maurice shared two testimonials, one from a Mississippi mentee on establishing Blind Incorporated and the other from a college student who wants to enter a career in forensics who has a blind FBI Intelligence Analyst as a mentor.

Maurice summarized that the mentees don’t always know why they are participating, but they keep coming back for networking and it helps them connect the transition to work dots in their lives.

After these two highlighted presentations, we also had the opportunity to learn on two other topics:

 Linda Hedenblad provided an overview and demonstration of YesLMS, the world’s first fully accessible learning management system,

Michelle Rubin shared about a summer camp for students on the Autism Spectrum, the model of this camp as well as how the students would blossom and flourish when given the opportunity.

Invitation to Attend October PMW CoP Meeting

Please join us for our next Peer MentoringWorks Community of Practice on Wednesday, October 28, at 1:00-2:00 pm ET.

As a courtesy, we are sending calendar invitations to PMW CoP Members. So be on the watch for a Zoom invite for this CoP soon.