PITTSBURGH, PA-Bender Consulting Services, Inc., (Bender Consulting ), a Pittsburgh, PA-based consulting firm that provides competitive employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in information technology, engineering, finance/accounting, and general business areas will receive the prestigious 2002 Employer of the Year Award from the National Epilepsy Foundation. The award is given to employers who reflect outstanding contributions and commitment to the epilepsy movement and a better quality of life for people with epilepsy.

Joyce A. Bender, President and CEO of Bender Consulting , has epilepsy. In 1985, Joyce had a life-threatening accident due to epilepsy, that caused a cerebral hemorrhage that required subsequent brain surgery. Against all odds, Joyce recovered from this accident that left her with a 60 percent hearing loss in one ear and a realization that she had epilepsy. As a result of her personal experience, she developed a passion for helping people with disabilities. Out of that passion, she founded Bender Consulting , in September 1995. Since then, Ms. Bender received national recognition in June 1999, by winning the President's Award from President Clinton at the White House. The award is the highest honor given to an American who furthers the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities. This recognition has led to the company's expansion into Canada, with the development of Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. (Bender Consulting C) in October 2001. Bender Consulting C is a separate company with a similar mission to Bender Consulting . Bender Consulting C provides employment opportunities for Canadians with disabilities in Toronto.

The award will be given to Bender Consulting during this year's EFA conference in New Orleans, LA, on September 14, 2002 at its annual Awards Banquet. For further information on the EFA or Bender Consulting /Bender Consulting C visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org and www.benderconsult.com.