Disability Matters with Joyce Bender focuses on the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities. Episodes feature prominent disability leaders such as Congressman Tony Coelho, Governor Dick Thornburgh, Andy Imparato and senior executives from the private sector.

Listen right here, subscribe on your favorite podcast app, or tune in on VoiceAmerica Channel every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. The toll free caller/listener number is 1-866-472-5788. Tell your friends!

Disability Matters is one of the first international talk radio shows/podcasts with real-time captioning. Click here for real-time captioning during the show!

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Recent Disability Matters Podcast Episodes

Disability Rights Activist, and Author, Emily Ladau

Tue, 18 Jan 2022 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist, Communications Consultant, and Author to the show. Ms. Ladau will be discussing her advocacy work and her latest book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally.



Tue, 11 Jan 2022 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Peter Blanck, Chairman, Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) to the show. Mr Blanck will discuss the mission of BBI and its latest efforts to reach around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, former dean of SU’s School of Education and a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities.



Bender Leadership Academy/Mary Brougher Mental Health Initiative

Tue, 04 Jan 2022 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes to the show Scott Hammerstrom, Manager of Programs and Partnerships for Bender Leadership Academy. Joining Scott on the show will be Leanne Thomas, Account Manager, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. and Chief-of-Staff for Joyce Bender, CEO. Each guest will talk about the mission of the Bender Leadership Academy and the Mary Brougher Mental Health Initiative. This program was started to honor the life and work of the late President of Bender Consulting Services, Inc., Mary Brougher.



Year-end Reflections on Accomplishments/Goals

Tue, 28 Dec 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes back to the show, Maria Town, President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD); Holly O’Donnell, President & CEO, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; and Peri Jude Radecic, CEO, Disability Rights Pennsylvania. It’s the annual year-end show with these national disability rights and Pennsylvania state leaders to reflect on accomplishments of the past year, issues that have not been accomplished, and goals for 2022.



Tue, 21 Dec 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Keisha Lalama, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO) Education Director, Associate Professor of dance at Point Park University, and choreographer to the show, Christine Kobus, board member of the CLO also joins the show. Joyce will be discussing a future partnership opportunity planned with the CLO. Both guests will be discussing the mission of the New Horizon’s Program. For 25 years, the CLO New Horizons program has been teaching performing arts to people with disabilities. Among the topics discussed will be what the theater experience does to help improve the self-esteem of people with disabilities.



2021 Graduates of Bender Leadership Academy

Tue, 14 Dec 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes to the show Scott Hammerstrom, Manager of Programs and Partnerships for Bender Leadership Academy. Joining Scott on the show will be Asher Jordan, graduate and winner of the Academy’s 2021 Sam Miller Award and Zoe Whitman, graduate, and winner of the Academy’s 2021 Linda Dickerson Scholarship Award. This non-profit organization has been serving students with disabilities since 2018. It accomplishes the mission of competency-based workforce development through a continuum of learning. Its goal is to increase long-term competitive employment for youth with disabilities. The Bender Leadership Academy delivers competency building programs that enable students with disabilities to engage in educational, empowerment and work opportunities, celebrate successes, and set and achieve career journey goals. Each guest will talk about what it means to them to have received this recognition and how they plan to be disability leaders in the future.



North Way Christian Community Church

Tue, 07 Dec 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Pastors, Scott Stevens and David D’Angelo of North Way Christian Community Church in Wexford, PA to the show. Both members of the clergy for this congregation of faith will discuss the programs and services offered at this church during the holidays and year-round as well. In addition, they will discuss the mission of this non-denominational church.



Fundraising for 2022 Mardi Gras for EAWCPA

Tue, 30 Nov 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Audrey Russo, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council to the show. Ms. Russo will be honored as the Epilepsy Association of Central and Western PA (EACWPA) 2022 Mardi Gras King on Fat Tuesday, March 1, 2022, the organization’s annual fundraising gala. When it became clear that a gala would not be possible in 2021, Audrey Russo, really stepped up! She and Joyce Bender, EAWCP Board Chair, personally reached out to the Pittsburgh corporate community to urge them to support the 2022 Mardi Gras Campaign, ensuring that the EAWCP would have the funding it needs to support important programs and services. Pittsburgh came through even though there was no party, Joyce and Ms. Russo will discuss this in-depth.



Mission of Variety the Children's Charity

Tue, 23 Nov 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Charlie LaVallee, CEO of Variety the Children’s Charity to the show. Variety the Children’s Charity is a non-profit organization that strives to enable children with disabilities to live life to the fullest with a focus on mobility, communication, and social interaction throughout 71 counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They will discuss the programs and services of this non-profit organization, and the importance of giving to this cause during the holiday season.



Business/Disability Community Together to Employ Disabled

Tue, 16 Nov 2021 08:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes the Honorable Tony Coelho, author, and principal sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Tinamarie Duff, Global Lead, with the Disability Focused Employee Resource Group at Bristol-Myers Squibb to the show. To see the employment of people with disabilities increase, we need the business community and disability community to work together. Hear both distinguished guests discuss this issue in-depth.



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You can find archived episodes of Disability Matters with Joyce Bender going back to 2005 on our VoiceAmerica Channel.

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