Do you want to move forward in your profession?
Do you want to take on a leadership role in the NADE organization?
Do you want to know more about what the NADE National Board does?

These and other questions can be answered by participating in NADE’s mentoring program.


NADE mentoring is a way for members interested in learning more about NADE and enhancing their participation in the national organization.  Ideally, the individual would be interested in serving on a local, regional or national Board as an officer of NADE.  The member would learn through observing and the mentor would teach through modeling.  Both the NADE mentor and the member would benefit.


Both mentors and mentees will self-identify interest in the Program by contacting the CCP Chair.  Any NADE member could request a NADE mentor. The number of individuals selected to participate in the mentoring program will depend on the availability of mentors.  NADE mentors would be individuals possessing characteristics which reflect knowledge of the NADE organization, subscribe to the NADE Code of Ethics, have expertise in the area they are mentoring, demonstrate dependability and trustworthiness and have the necessary competencies to apply their knowledge, skills and abilities to teach others.   Mentors must be strong role models and possess strong interpersonal, communication and organizational skills.

NADE would provide a “group” of mentors (number to be decided upon) and the Program Coordinator would match the mentor with mentee. (This is not to say that someone who is not “listed” as a NADE mentor could not provide assistance to any NADE member, if asked.)  The member would most likely choose from a NADE mentor who holds an office that they are interested in or a mentor that the member believes can help him/her to achieve their NADE goals.


The continued success of the NADE organization is dependent on the development of future leaders within the organization.  Meaningful mentoring is a basic leadership responsibility.  The goal of a formal NADE mentoring program would be to build future leaders for the organization and assist members in their professional development.  This will be accomplished by encouraging, counseling, teaching, supporting and guiding individuals who are capable and sincerely interested in enhancing their professionalism and moving forward to become all they can be.   It is hoped that providing mentoring to such individuals will strengthen the NADE organization and subsequently lead to these individuals taking on leadership roles within the NADE organization and significantly contribute to enhancing the disability profession and the quality of the NADE organization.

Providing role modeling and professional leadership and allowing one-on-one interaction with experienced NADE leaders provides the opportunity to develop positive attitudes and expand skills as well as the opportunity to nurture, guide, counsel and inculcate NADE values to new members.  In addition, a NADE mentoring program will allow NADE Board members to provide information about the splendid challenges, myriad opportunities and potentials of the disability profession and the NADE organization.

Quality mentoring results in pride for the mentors, achievement and recognition for the mentees, motivated and excited disability professionals and a stronger, more vital NADE organization.


Mentoring is not for everyone.  Mentoring requires an implicit understanding and a two-way relationship between the mentor and the mentee.  Mentoring requires time, desire and effort on the part of both parties, teamwork and open communication.   A mentor would not judge or evaluate but would assist the member in areas in which he/she feels the member needs to work on.

The mentor would talk with the member and try to elicit his/her strengths and weaknesses and assist him/her in these areas.  The mentor would ask questions of the member and talk with him/her to decide what his/her aspirations in the NADE organization are.   The mentor and member would decide upon specific goals to strive for and how to achieve them.

Questions for the mentor to ask the mentee are:

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What do you think we should do to help you accomplish your goals in NADE?
  • How can I best help you accomplish this goal?
  • Why do you think I can help you achieve these goals?
  • How will you know when you have accomplished this goal?

The member would present the NADE mentor with a plan (brief) of what they expect from the mentoring process. The mentor would discuss the member’s individual goals with the mentee. The mentor and mentee would review and develop a plan of action to accomplish stated goals. This will ensure that both the mentor and the mentee understand and agree upon the goals to achieve during the year and that the plan of action truly reflects the goals of the member.  The goals or objectives (set by both the mentor and member) could be adjusted if necessary and agreed upon by both parties.

The mentor and the mentee would determine and agree on how to proceed.  A series of mentoring sessions would be set up.  These sessions could be by phone, mail/email or in person.  Frequency of meetings should be jointly agreed upon.  Meetings should focus on discussing progress towards meeting goals.

During the year, the mentee should take advantage of opportunities for the member to shadow the mentor and the mentor would involve the mentee in his/her activities.  The mentor would observe the actions of the member and provide feedback.  The mentor would ask the member for his/her impressions and ask how helpful the “shadowing” was.  They would jointly talk about what the member thought was effective and what could be done the next time to improve/enhance the experience.

A wonderful opportunity to learn would be for a member to “shadow” their mentor at NADE National or Regional Conferences or even at NADE Mid-Year Board Meetings.

A NADE mentor would share his/her experiences with the member.  These experiences would include responsibilities of all positions held within the organization, tasks accomplished and skills he/she has learned.  Issues to be discussed include such items as what various sessions in a Conference a member should attend, what a Delegate Assembly/General Membership meeting is and what it accomplishes, NADE voting rules and regulations, expectations of NADE Board members and officers (explanation of charges), NADE’s Mission and Code of Ethics and NADE’s expense and reimbursement policies.


Mentoring requires long-term relationships, not temporary alliances.  At a minimum, the mentoring would last over the course of one NADE fiscal year.  The mentor and the mentee would decide exactly what the member wanted to accomplish during the mentoring process and define what his/her goals are for the NADE year.  It would be best for a mentor to have one assigned mentee at any given time.  We do not want to overload one mentor with too many people at one time.  However, it is very important that both the mentor and mentee realize that this is a long-standing relationship and once this relationship is established, the mentee should be able to contact his/her mentor after his/her first year for any additional support.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat.
“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat.*

NADE’s mentoring program would help provide direction, guidance and advice to assist the member in determining where they want to go in the NADE organization.

*From Alice in Wonderland



Role Model

The most important role a mentor plays is the role model. The mentor is the person who will demonstrate and embody the professional and ethical behavior expected of the member.


Another expected role of the mentor is that of coach. At the most basic level, a coach demonstrates how a task, activity, or function is performed. As a coach, the mentor introduces the member to the realities of Board life and responsibilities. Mentors often find themselves “cheerleading” and giving periodic “pep talks” when the member is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.


As the mentoring relationship grows, the role of counselor may evolve. The best mentors are able to accept the beliefs and opinions of their mentees without imposing their own on them. In this role, the mentor will not tell the member what to do. The mentor helps the mentee look at issues from all perspectives, consider all possible options, and then allows the mentee to decide which is correct. The counseling role also helps the mentee learn from the consequences of decision-making. In the counselor role, the mentor must be very careful and aware of when to refer the mentee to others for advice.

Confidence Builder

Mentees need a good deal of attention. They are often hesitant to make decisions. As a confidence builder, mentors work hard to help the mentee build confidence and independence so that the mentee will accept decision-making and independence as a natural part of their role in the organization.




Mentoring requires frequent, regular contact between the mentor and member. A member should select a mentor who is willing to be generous with their time and devote time for discussion/meetings.

Willingness to be responsible for someone’s growth

Generally, mentors are already established in their profession. In their role as mentor, they can provide members with insight and guidance that will influence their development.

Exemplary leadership skills

  • Mentors should possess the following leadership skills:
    • Planning performance
    • Appraising performance
    • Giving feedback and coaching
    • Delegating
    • Negotiating

Knows the organization

A good mentor knows the structure, mission and the goals of the organization. Through the mentor’s communication channels (formal/informal), he/she can suggest developmental activities based on important organizational initiatives and provide excellent networking opportunities.

Interpersonal Skills

Mentors should establish a close working relationship with the person he/she is mentoring. A mentor should enjoy working with people, have a good attitude, have an open mind and be willing to listen to the point of view of the person he/she is mentoring.


Mentors should not be bound by the traditional way of doing things in the organization. A mentor should be willing to help the person he/she is mentoring look for new ideas and inspire him/her to be creative and innovative.

Personal security and confidence

A mentor should be secure in his or her own competence and willing to share personal professional experiences relevant to the needs of the member. He/she should be honest in describing both successes and mistakes.

Patience and tolerance

A good mentor will allow the member to experience new challenging activities, risks, and possible failures. Mentors provide support whenever needed.



Mentors could currently hold or have held any of the below positions. When expressing your interest in becoming a mentor, please inform the CCP Chair of the positions you have held or currently hold so that you can be matched with the appropriate mentee.

  • Presidents – at local, state, regional or national level
    Past-Presidents – at local, state, regional or national level
    Treasurer – at local, state, regional or national level
  • Secretary – at local, state, regional or national level
    Regional Directors
    Council of Chapter Presidents Chair


Do’s and Don’ts for Mentors

A Mentor Is A…. *

Role Model

A Mentor Is NOT A…. *

Social worker
Cool peer
Parole officer



Do your homework

Before searching for a mentor, do a self-assessment. What skills do you need to get where you want to go? Which ones should you tune up? Are you aiming for something that can be done in six months or two years? Identify your goal(s). Know where you have been and where you want to go.

Scout out the route

Do some preparation work before approaching a prospective mentor. Prepare an agenda that is tied to your goals. If you settle for incidental advice and don’t relate your overall objectives, you won’t get much out of your discussions with your mentor. Make sure you know when it is a good time to approach/talk to your mentor. Everyone has a job to do and you should be considerate of your mentor’s time.

Professional development enhancing skills

Have a good attitude.
Demonstrate that you are willing to learn.
Be someone who can be effective. Get things accomplished.
Always go one step further. Do more than you are asked to do.
Be a leader in your local chapter.
Develop a network of contacts.
Dress for success.

Knows the organization

A good mentee will become knowledgeable about the structure, mission and the goals of the organization. Keep an open line of communication (formal/informal) with your mentor. He/she can suggest developmental activities based on important organizational initiatives and provide excellent networking opportunities.

Interpersonal Skills

You should establish a close working relationship with your mentor. You should have an open mind and be willing to listen to your mentor’s point of view.

Personal security and confidence

You should be honest and open to constructive criticism. A good mentor will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Your mentor will provide you with insight and will help guide your development.

Patience and tolerance

As a mentee, your mentor will allow you to experience new challenging activities, risks, and possible failures. Your mentor will provide support whenever needed.




If a mentee is having problems with accessing or communicating with his/her mentor, the mentee would need to notify the Program Coordinator (Past President) about his/her concerns. The Program Coordinator would be responsible for handling this matter with the mentor and if necessary, re-assigning the mentee with a new mentor.


If the mentor feels he/she can not meet the requirements of being a mentor, it is essential the mentor contact the Program Coordinator immediately so his/her mentee can be re-assigned.
It is our hope that all participants will be satisfied with this NADE Mentoring Program. If there are any concerns, please do not hesitate to inform the Program Coordinator.