Services For Disability Organizations

The Disability Allies can provide the following services to organizations that have programs for individuals with disabilities.

  1. We can run a Recreation Program where we connect the consumers at a Day program with mentors from local colleges
  2. We can enhance your current recreation program by recruiting mentors at local colleges to attend your events
  3. We can plan a “Transition to College Day” where we invite your consumers to a local college and pair them up with the students. At this event we will run different student run workshops to help them with the process of transitioning into college

For more information please call Ross at 908-616-5091 or send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Partnerships

We are currently providing this service for several nonprofit organizations including the Easter Seals New Jersey, The ARC of Mecer, Everas and the Institute for Behavioral Health. CLICK HERE to read about the programs that we are currently running and our partnerships.

What is a Mentor

At Disability Allies, we rely on Mentors to provide a fun and safe social experience for consumers with disabilities. They help the consumers interact and ensure participation during the activities. An ideal mentor will be outgoing, compassionate, inclusive, comfortable with their social skills and passionate about working with individuals with disabilities.

Our Programs

Running a Recreation Program

The point of this program is to create an opportunity for the consumers from your day program to interact with their peers from the community. Our program will pair up your consumers with volunteer mentors from local colleges who will socialize with and engage them in a variety of activities. The activities can involve teamwork and working in a group setting. .

The program can be modified to meet the needs of each day program. We can organize different activities depending on whether the consumers are high or lower functioning. Additionally, we have the option of specifically paring each mentor with a consumer or not pairing them and encouraging everyone to socialize with each other. The program can be run during the day and be part of the day program or it can be run during the evening after the day program is over.

Enhancing your current recreation program

We will create a council at a local college that includes the presidents of student run organizations or representatives that they delegate. Each council member will be responsible for ensuring that their organization helps you run programs for your consumers. The members of each student organization will serve as mentors and engage your consumers during the activities. The student organization can find an existing program that relates to the mission of their organization or help you come up with a new program. Here are some examples of programs:

  • The Comic Club can plan a cartoon workshop. Teams create their own cartoon and present it to everyone
  • The Soccer Team can organize a soccer clinic
  • The Engineering Club can organize a marshmallow bridge building challenge
  • The Future Teachers Association can organize an activity where everyone comes up with a lesson plan and practices their public speaking
  • The Video Game Club can organize a video game tournament
  • The Theater Club can organize a performance. Members of the Theater Club and the consumers with disabilities would both be part of the performance.

Transition To College Day

We can plan a “Transition to College Day” where we invite your consumers to a local college and pair them up with the students. At this event we will run different student run workshops to help them with the process of transitioning into college .We will divide the college students and consumers into smaller groups to discuss what college life is like and alleviate some of their conserns. We will discuss how to be involved in different clubs and organizations. The college students will provide tips on how to get along with their suite mates and live independently. They will help your consumers navigate an appropriate career path. They will also discuss student resources such as counseling, services, student advisement and career services. Your consumers will learn about accommodations and how to advocate for themselves. Everyone will also engage in a variety of team building activities that promote teamwork, understanding, and growth. .

Mentor Recruitment Process

Mentor Outreach and Recruitment

We will recruit mentors at different colleges utilizing the following methods:

  • Making presentations to different student run organizations on campus.
  • Making presentations to Education, Psychology and other classes that cover disability related topics.
  • Engaging students at different social and networking events on campus.
  • Engaging students in the cafeteria, coffee shops, student lounges and other highly populated areas on campus.
  • Posting flyers about mentoring opportunities throughout campus.
  • Setting up a table at college career fairs.

Mentor Selection Process

Each mentor will be interviewed and go through a background check before being approved.

Mentor Training and Orientation

We will organize and schedule mentors to attend required monthly orientations and interactive trainings. At the trainings, we will discuss strategies on how to interact with individuals with disabilities. . These trainings will also serve as a support group were we will discuss positive and negative interactions with the consumers at previous events. All mentors must go through a training before attending their first event.

Mentor Scheduling

We will schedule mentors to attend the events. This includes following up and confirming attendance at each event.

Mentor Tracking and Evaluations

We will keep track of which mentors attended each event. We will also evaluate the performance of each mentor.

Mentor Oversight and Supervision

We will provide supervision and oversight for the mentors at each event. We will attend each event and ensure that the mentors are interacting with the consumers. We can facilitate icebreakers and introductory games to ensure that everyone meets each other.

Benefits

Peer to Peer Relationship

This service will allow consumers to interact with peers their age. The consumers develop a peer to peer relationship with the mentors as opposed to a professional relationship that they have with the day program staff. The goal of the program is for the mentors to develop long lasting friendships with the consumers.

Differences between our program and taking a trip into the community

Many day programs take their consumers on trips into the community. When the consumers go on a trip they don’t necessarily interact with other people. People outside the program may not want to interact with the consumers. Our service is specifically geared to facilitate interaction between the consumers and the mentors. At the mentor orientation, we discuss strategies on how to interact with the consumers.

Long Term Relationship

If we continue with this service on a regular basis, the consumers will start to develop a lasting relationship with the mentors. Our goal is to have many of the same mentors attend on a regular basis. We also have weekly events where we conduct a variety of different activities. Many of the same mentors attend our events on a consistent basis and several of the consumers and mentors socialize with each other regularly outside the program.

Large variety of mentors

We have different mentors that attend each day. Our service allows consumers to make new friends and develop new relationships. The more mentors we have the more opportunities the consumers will have to make long lasting connections and develop new relationships. At most day programs the consumers see the same staff every day and don’t have the opportunity to meet new people each day.