As a woman living with epilepsy and a hearing-loss, I am thrilled to experience the increase in demand for talented individuals living with disabilities. In effect since March 2014, the “disability employment” game-changer, the reformed Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act rule has created new opportunities for people with disabilities to access freedom, through competitive employment. This affirmative action and non-discrimination rule applies to federal contractors and subcontractors who employ 22% of the American workforce. These federal contractors and subcontractors are now reaching to satisfy an aspirational goal of 7% of people with disabilities in all job categories; the associated activity will result in a big boost in employment opportunities for us. People with disabilities want Paychecks not Pity®.
Since 1995, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. has demonstrated success in aligning talented individuals with disabilities with our customers, such as Highmark, Inc., Bayer Corporation, and CSC. Our recruitment and workplace mentoring services have complemented our customers’ diversity and inclusion initiatives by providing and supporting a professional talent pool in STEM fields such as computer science, engineering, math, and biology and other in demand fields such as finance, accounting, customer service, procurement, human resources and many other disciplines. In addition, over 20% of those hired are veterans with disabilities…individuals who have fought for our freedom should always have access to careers after serving our country.
I regret that I was not present at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990; at that time, I was not yet immersed in the disability community. But, I am pleased to see the increase in employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities, as we prepare for the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2015.
All of us on Team Bender are excited to fulfill our role in providing relevant value and service to advance disability employment. At last, President George H. W. Bush will see, “the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down!”
Joyce A. Bender
President and CEO