State policy has followed Gov. Jack Markell's 2013 blueprint for the disabled; Delaware's Disability Mentoring Day, Oct. 21, this year included all three counties for the first time.

Disability Mentoring Day expands

Delaware’s Disability Mentoring Day, Oct. 21, expanded this year to all three counties for the first time. The day is meant to assist disabled individuals with job networking and discovering careers. This year, it expanded to include Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Kent County and Woodbridge High School in Sussex County. The expansion was the idea of Julia Hensley and Alyssa Cowin, co-chairs of the Disability Mentoring Committee.

 “The message that I want to share is that inclusion is extremely important for students with and without disabilities,” said Hensley, who recently completed an internship with Sen. Tom Carper.

“I think one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment that someone with a disability can have is getting a job and being independent. Disability Mentoring Day [helps] more students accomplish that.”

Facts from “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities” (2013)

 -- Of the estimated 54 million Americans living with a disability, 20 percent are employed or seeking employment, versus almost 70 percent of those without a disability.

 -- More than 600,000 scientists and engineers employed in the United States have disabilities.

 -- Some top innovators have disabilities, including the CEOs of Ford Motor Company, Apple, Xerox and Turner Television.

 -- Nearly 8 percent of the 3 million civilian federal government employees, about 240,000 people, have disabilities, as do thousands of state employees across the country.