Bender Consulting Services employees and all people with disabilities owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneers who set the wheels into motion for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that was signed into law on July 26, 1990. This legislation protects the civil rights of 57 million Americans with disabilities. We are spotlighting pioneers who have helped people with disabilities gain freedom and independence through employment.

Alan Reich

Alan Reich
Alan Reich was the Founder of the National Organization on Disability.

President George H.W. Bush

President George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush is the 41st President of the United States.

Tony Coelho

Tony Coelho
In 1978, Tony Coelho was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California's Central Valley. He advanced quickly through the House Leadership ranks and served as Chairperson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1981 through 1986.

Justin Dart

Justin Dart
Justin Dart, Jr., a leader of the international disability rights movement and a renowned human rights activist, died June 22, 2002. Widely recognized as "the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act" and "the godfather of the disability rights movement," Dart had for the past several years struggled with the complications of post-polio syndrome and congestive heart failure.

Senator Tom Harkin

Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Tom Harkin, D- Iowa worked with many leaders including Bob Dole to author the ADA. He was the first Senator to testify for the ADA on the floor of the US Senate using Sign Language.

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, D-Maryland has been a true ADA Pioneer, and is well-known for his efforts in guiding the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to passage in 1990.

Former Governor of PA and Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh

Former Governor of PA and Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh
Dick Thornburgh served as Governor of Pennsylvania, Attorney General of the United States under two presidents and the highest-ranking American at the United Nations during a public career, which spanned over 25 years. As Attorney General, Thornburgh played a leading role in the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a parent of a son with mental retardation, he and his wife Ginny have taken a special interest in the needs of persons with disabilities.