Disabled Jobseekers Learn About Resources At Disability Mentoring Day 

Dianne Herring was born visually impaired. She knows first hand that looking for a job when you have a disability can be daunting.Herring said, “Some of the fears are, are people going to accommodate me? Are they going to help me along the way or are my disability benefits going to be hindered? Am I going to be a failure? Am I going to succeed?”.It’s those fears the Eastern Maine Development Corporation is trying to eliminate at Disability Mentoring Day. The event was held on Monday in Bangor.”We invite people who have disabilities who are interested in working,” said Gwen LaPointe, Disability Resource Coordinator for the Disability Employment Initiative.Those who attend the event learn about resources that are out there for the disabled community.”I see other people that are disabled actually more than me and it’s great to see them. It’s an inspiration to see them and to see that there’s programs out there for us to further our lives,” said Quai Love of Bangor, who is disabled and looking for work.The group also gets to learn some interviewing skills, what employers look for and where to find jobs.”They feel as if nobody really wants them, that they have to somehow sort of beg for work when actually what we try to teach people is you have skills and you have abilities so you need to focus on those,” said LaPointe.Folks with disabilities are taught to focus on what they can do and not what they can’t. For Dianne Herring, who now has a job at the Shaw House and served as a panelist at this event, there’s another thing she did that made all the difference.Herring said, “I asked for help, that was a big one asking for help because you gotta humble yourself and you’ve got to just say I’m not able to do this at this time, but with your help I will be able to.”