Photo of Joyce Bender

Happy ADA30 and Bender25!

This year is a very special year for me as the CEO of Bender Consulting Services and as a woman living with multiple disabilities. It is the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 25th Anniversary of Bender Consulting Services, Inc.

Thirty years ago, the greatest piece of legislation for people with disabilities was signed by President George H.W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act. It changed the lives of Americans with Disabilities forever. Americans with Disabilities now have a quality of life unheard of before 1990. We have curb cuts, video relay, accessible transportation, housing, digital accessibility, and protection from companies that discriminate based on disability. While the needle has moved on employment for people with disabilities somewhat, there is much more work to do to address this stubborn unemployment problem. The reason I founded Bender Consulting Services 25 years ago, was to address this very issue. I knew people with disabilities could work and succeed, if given the opportunity.

One evening changed my life when I had a seizure at a movie theatre. I would never have dreamed that someday, I would launch a company that would become known internationally and spin off two other ventures, iDisability and the Bender Leadership Academy.

When I started on this crusade, I had a lifetime goal of hiring 100 people with disabilities. This seemed like such a lofty goal or impossible dream. I will never forget that feeling I had when I reached that number, and then reached 1,000 and still growing. Each time a person with a disability gains employment, I am still just as excited as I was 25 years ago. Each hire is still a momentous occasion and a win for the disability community.

I read once that if you want to be successful at work; it must be a crusade and they were right. I am on a crusade for the competitive employment of people with disabilities and the journey continues.

You can be part of the journey if you hire people with disabilities. You can change a life and provide something that person has never had – freedom through competitive employment. Realize the talent, value and contributions our community has to offer your workforce and contact us today. 

Lead On!

Joyce A. Bender