Great Things Happen When We Listen with Open Minds
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:26am EST
Over the years I have heard many stories from people within the disability community about discrimination they have faced in many facets of their lives. One of the most common mistakes that people make when they interact with people with disabilities is to assume the person isn’t capable because of their disability.
Adulting is Hard: The Bender Self-Advocacy Challenge
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12:00am EST
Everyone knows that “adulting” is hard; the good news is that learning to become a self-advocate now makes the transition to adulthood easier and builds key strengths that will help you to be successful as a student, an employee, and in your personal life.
Generosity in the Workplace
Friday, January 11, 2019 9:00am EST
What does it mean to be generous in the workplace? Is that generosity measured in dollars and cents, donations to the corporate sponsored nonprofits, or participation in office collections for a colleague’s birthday or the office pot luck holiday celebration? Or is workplace generosity something more than that?
Happy 2019!
Thursday, December 27, 2018 2:36pm EST
I have seen so many great things this year at Bender Consulting Services that encourage me about the future for people with disabilities. We saw an increase for our services in recruitment, digital accessibility, our software product iDisability and management consulting. An increased demand for employing people with disabilities in competitive employment is something that really excites me, but we still have a long way to go in this country.
Not Just the Winter Blues
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 3:06pm EST
According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people across the globe have depression, making it the leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet, less than half of those affected around the world receive treatment even though there are known, effective treatments for individuals with depression. In many countries, fewer than 10% of those with depression receive treatment.
5 Ways to Support Family, Friends and Colleagues with PTSD during the Holiday Season
Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:32am EST
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disability that typically occurs after exposure to a traumatic experience such as combat, assault, natural disaster, the threat of death to oneself or a loved one or a sudden, unexpected, loss of a loved one. The holidays can be a difficult time for people with mental health disabilities, including individuals with PTSD, even if the traumatic event didn’t occur during this season.
The Reality of Living with Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Thursday, December 6, 2018 3:45pm EST
Last month, I shared a blog about epilepsy and what it means to be really aware when it comes to understanding this disability. This month, I would like to take some time to talk about mental health disabilities, another area of disability that although unseen, has great impact on those with the disability but is rarely understood by those who do not have a mental health disability.
Epilepsy and “Real” Awareness
Wednesday, November 21, 2018 3:44pm EST
Every November, we celebrate Epilepsy Awareness Month on a national basis. The key to this month is embracing real awareness; not just a poster. Many people in the U.S. do not understand epilepsy and there are many myths people with epilepsy and advocates are working to dispel.
A Strategic Business Imperative
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:00am EDT
I first met Greg at a Disability:IN conference and I knew right away that this young man was someone who was going to do great things. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I refer to Greg as my son because he is one of those people who I have come to know well enough to be a family member. Greg did a great job with his work at Dow and I knew exactly the company he would be a fit for when he expressed an interest in Pittsburgh.
Making an Impact for Myself and Others
Thursday, October 25, 2018 3:58pm EDT
I will never forget when Mary introduced me to Afrika at the Disability:IN conference in 2017. It didn’t take long to realize that Afrika was someone who shared my passion for creating positive change, in the area of employment for people with disabilities. It was a pleasure to introduce her to the team at LC Industries, who have impressed me so much with their investment in creating new avenues and innovative solutions for employment for people with disabilities.
Disability Mentoring Week Spotlight
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 2:18pm EDT
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a one of the favorite things that my company does during the year to promote employment of people with disabilities. My company has participated in DMD as a volunteer since the beginning and I am so excited at how the Pittsburgh community has supported this event in 2018.
Living My Best Life
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:21am EDT
Today is Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), where employer sponsors bring high school and college students in for a day of mentoring and job shadowing across the United States. At Bender, we have been a part of DMD since the beginning. This year, as a volunteer, we are expecting over 700 students engaging in job shadowing with 36 companies, across 44 locations in the Pittsburgh area. 
Diokete Hupsala. Aim High.
Monday, October 15, 2018 10:22am EDT
Today kicks off the start of events around Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) Opens a New Window. for Bender Consulting Services.
Celebrating Disability Employment Internationally
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:52am EDT
Celebrating Disability Employment Internationally Part 2 of 2: Tatsuya Yohena I will never forget the impact that the people at “e-no” had on me when I visited Japan earlier this year.
Celebrating Disability Employment Internationally
Monday, October 8, 2018 4:25pm EDT
Celebrating Disability Employment Internationally Part 1 of 2: Shinya Uehara
An Exciting New Direction
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 9:05am EDT
I'll never forget when I was approached by Bayer Corporation about an opportunity to partner in an innovative way to address the lack of work experience barrier for people with disabilities.
A Leap of Faith
Monday, October 1, 2018 11:18am EDT
When companies or federal or state agencies ask me what to do to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I tell them one thing – hire someone.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, means more than employing a person with a disability to make the celebration “real.” The competitive employment of people with disabilities changes lives; employment provides freedom and dignity.
Why Some Employees May Still not be Ready to Check the Disability Self-Disclosure Box
Thursday, September 27, 2018 9:30am EDT
One of the most impactful components of the employment regulations associated with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) was that employers could no longer ask questions about medications and disability when considering individuals for hiring or promotional opportunities. For the first time, people like me, who have a disability that is not visible, could not be declined employment based on a question asked during an interview or on an application.
The Power of Disability Owned Business Enterprises
Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:24pm EDT
Disability:IN, recognized as the most prestigious membership organization focused on corporations who want to include people with disabilities in the fabric of their workforce, is the only organization that certifies an entity as a Disability Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE), a Veteran Disability Owned Business Enterprise (V-DOBE) and a Service Disabled Veteran Disability Owed Business Enterprise (SDV-DOBE).
Strategies for Enterprise-Wide Training on Disability Inclusion
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 12:20pm EDT
Over the years, I have talked to many companies who identify themselves at different levels of success when it comes to disability hiring and inclusion. As I began my partnership with Andy Houghton, founder of No Barriers Media, to build out training strategies for our iDisabilityTM product, we talked to many companies to identify what topics would appeal the most to their organizations.
Justice for All: Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and OFCCP
Friday, September 14, 2018 7:22am EDT
On August 2, 2018, Craig Leen, Acting Director of the OFCCP, announced there will be “focused reviews” of all federal contractors and sub-contractors in compliance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. This was a surprise to many at the National Industry Liaison Group’s Conference where the announcement was made by Mr. Leen in an impassioned speech. Mr. Leen knows the need for equality, with two children living with autism. So many people with autism have been shut out of the opportunity to work due to stigma and discrimination in our country.
Shymkent, Kazakhstan - Day 7
Saturday, September 8, 2018 1:29pm EDT
This was our last day in Kazakhstan; it was a quick and powerful trip. In Shymkent, after breakfast, we had an early morning seminar with 10 disability rights leaders, many other people with disabilities, and a couple of NGOs. After the seminar, we had lunch with a disability leader, Igul; she provided additional insight, as we chatted.
Astana, Kazahstan - Day 6
Saturday, September 8, 2018 1:28pm EDT
Veniamin’s colleague, Murat arranged a quick trip in the morning to see Bayterek Observation Tower. It is 105 meters in height, with the top floor at 97 meters, to signify the Independence of Kazakhstan in 1997. I did not go up, because of my fear of heights, but Mary did …back to my ferris wheels phobia of the past! 
Astana, Kazakhstan - Day 5
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 10:23am EDT
Today I am in Astana! This is the Capitol of Kazakhstan! After we arrived and checked in at the Hilton Garden Inn, we met Sabina Ismail, a human rights leader who studied in the ADA Program with Veniamin in 2017. She is now working at an NGO with children with disabilities. She explained how children with intellectual disabilities have been kept at home. The great discrimination comes from the Soviet Union days. She is working to change that stigma.
Pavlodar, Kazakhstan – Day 4
Friday, August 31, 2018 9:05pm EDT
The most important point, before I discuss the day, is to tell you today is a holiday in Kazakhstan. Today is Constitution Day! The day Kazakhstan adopted the Constitution as an independent country. I thought it was so amazing that Mary and I were here today and even more special is the name of the holiday—Constitution Day!

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