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This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
Having a mentor is not to be confused with coaching or counselling. Mentoring support for people with disabilities involves a specialist who has undergone specific training in disability issues. He or she will usually have a disability, which means they can combine expertise and training with life experience.
Mentoring for disabled people
A disability mentor provides advice and guidance as well as personal support to enable you to make your own informed and independent decisions.
This type of support can often open doors leading to a gateway for greater potential, as opposed to putting up barriers due to a perceived restriction or limiting beliefs. Instead of accepting ‘I can’t’ a mentor will help you to focus on ‘I can’.
This can have a stimulating and empowering effect, helping you to achieve what you previously might have labelled as unachievable. Realisation of your true potential may have been suppressed when you have a disability due to a lowered society or family expectation or misconceptions about disability in general.
Capable of more
Yet when those around you such as teachers, employers, parents and carers can see and learn about your true worth and potential to achieve more, the real success of mentoring becomes apparent.
When you engage in a mentoring programme, your confidence can significantly rise, as you become the person you were meant to be.
Mentoring for people with a disability helps people with a wide range of impairments and backgrounds, in business, sport, community and family life, to recognise their abilities and reach for more. Its success is also being more widely recognised.
How does mentoring for people with disabilities help?
Your relationship with your mentor is key to a successful experience. The effect of mentoring can also have long term positive effects. For this to work at an optimum level, as a mentee, your relationship with your mentor should be based on mutual trust and respect. In this way you are working as one, as a combined team.
Benefits of disability mentoring support
People with disabilities, who have engaged in a mentoring programme, are more likely to feel supported and reach their desired goal. Their self-esteem and self-awareness rise, along with their confidence to achieve. They feel more motivated and enlightened, shrugging off their disability as a challenge that can be overcome. Mentoring can also help with stress related issues, helping you to create coping strategies and make decisions.
Written by Centre for Resolution
Centre for Resolution also provides Life Coaching for People with Disabilities. To read more please click here. You may also be interested in disability at work coaching.
At Sunrise Medical we believe in empowering you to Live Without Limits and providing you with the right equipment to achieve your goals. Check out our range of lightweight manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and seating and positioning products.