Transition to Retirement: A Guide to Inclusive Practice: Adaptations for the Current U.S. Context

Chapter 7: Recruiting and Training Mentors

This chapter describes the process of recruiting mentors and the various components of mentor training, notably:

  • Disability interaction training: a small group training and discussion session involving all mentors
  • Hands-on training: multiple short coaching sessions with individual mentors when activities and/or social interactions occur naturally

The chapter also lists various resources that were used for mentor training but a number of these are either no longer available or have a different URL.

Adaptations for the Current U.S. Context

Contemporary Mentor Training Resources

In addition to the TTR video stories available online (see section on TTR video online links), videos mentioned in the TTR manual pp. 82–83 for mentor training that remain available include:

Other newer Australian videos:

U.S./Canadian videos:

Judy is an integral part of the Priory Park Baptist Church community. She finds "family" and friendship at Priory Park and experiences belonging in her community.

The story of three individuals who have become more engaged in their communities and built their personal networks around a common interest with the support of a Bridge Builder. This approach differs somewhat from TTR, but there are many common elements that are relevant (e.g., shared interests; helping the person with IDD feel more confident, safe, and supported).

As noted in the section related to Chapter 6, information and tips on

  • Encounters
  • Conversations, Relationships, and Reciprocity
  • Feeling Safe and Included

should be added to mentor training.

Other issues could be included in mentor training as needed. These include local legal or policy requirements, such as the need for police checks when supporting vulnerable adults. Matters such as perceived safety and legal liability can usually be managed though commonsense discussion during mentor training. For example, concerns about what to do in the unlikely event that the person with IDD becomes unwell at the group typically come down to treating the person with IDD in the same way as any other group member by:

  • Asking the person if they need help
  • Calling emergency medical services if appropriate
  • Notifying others (e.g., family, disability support staff) about what is happening