(620) 793-5888


Disability Mentoring Day Conference Set for Oct. 19 in Great Bend

‘Overcoming the Stigma’

Great Bend DMD Image: Disability Mentoring Day 2022, Great Bend, Kansas

Disability Mentoring Day, the national effort to help and inspire those with disabilities to seek opportunities in the workforce, enters its 24th year this month. Across the nation, the special day is held each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Area organizers have set the schedule for their local program of Disability Mentoring Day, which will be held Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Great Bend VFW Post 3111, 504 Washington St., Great Bend. It’s a free event to those who register. Registration includes a meal, and those interested in attending can inquire to the Great Bend DMD committee by contacting Cody Harris at 620-792-1321, or by e-mail

Great Bend’s Disability Mentoring Day includes representatives from Kansas Department of Children and Families Vocational Rehabilitation and Pre-ETS, Rosewood Services, Sunflower Diversified Services, Kansas Workforce One, Barton Community College, and the Center For Counseling & Consultation.

This year’s conference has a theme of “Overcoming the Stigma.” Keynote speaker is Kimberly Becker, a Great Bend native who founded Central Kansas Dream Center and started Move Your Mountain Consulting three years ago. She will also provide a breakout session on the topic of deep-dive questioning and active listening. Becker has more than 25 years of leadership experience and has worked with many individuals who have disabilities.

David Storjohann, manager of Great Bend Arby’s, will present on the topic of employer expectations in the workplace. Besides doing their jobs, Storjohann will explain how drive, motivation, collaboration skills and respect for themselves and others are the keys to success in the workplace. 

The third speaker, Shanna Long from The Center for Counseling, will utilize the practices of “Connect, Breathe, Move, Focus, and Relax” with conference attendees. Participants will learn ways to become aware of their internal experiences, identify needs, and learn to access their internal supports.

Julie Kramp, executive director for The Center for Counseling, will provide closing words for the conference.

Disability Mentoring Day has taken place in Great Bend for the past 20 years. This is the eighth year that the local DMD committee has featured a conference-style event for conference goers.

The day begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. The morning session includes Becker’s keynote address and the first break-out session. The afternoon includes the second break-out session, followed by a conference wrap-up at 1:45 p.m.

Southwest Developmental Services Foundation is the Platinum Sponsor of this year’s local DMD Conference. Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities is the Gold Sponsor this year. Other Great Bend DMD sponsors are: Aetna, Culligan Water, Kiwanis Club of Great Bend, and Walmart.

“Our committee members are thankful for the continued outstanding support of our sponsors,” said Great Bend DMD committee member Frankie Pelster. “For several years, Southwest Developmental Services Foundation has been our Platinum Sponsor and they are again this year. KCDD has stepped up and is serving as our Gold Sponsor this year. We also enjoy strong support from Kiwanis Club of Great Bend, Culligan Water, Walmart and Atena. We couldn’t do this event to this magnitude without their support.”


Find more about Disability Mentoring Day online,

For more information, contact Frankie Pelster, Rosewood Services, 620-603-6502,

October 13, 2022
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-792-2536,