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.

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Recent Disability Matters Podcast Episodes

Bender/Coelho Disability Leadership Initiative

Tue, 14 Sep 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Following the passing of Bender Consulting Services President, Mary Brougher, Joyce Bender, Founder and CEO, has joined forces with former Member of Congress, Tony Coelho, the primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to expand Bender’s decades of service in honor of Mary’s lifelong work to engage corporations in the fight for disability rights. This new program called Bender/Coelho Disability Leadership Initiative, will focus on the retained search of people with disabilities for corporate, organizational and advocacy board seats. Guest host, Laura Randa, Chief Commercial Officer at Curio Digital Therapeutics, Inc., Board Member of American Association of People with Disabilities, and Co-Chair Executive of Women in Bio, Capital Region will interview Joyce Bender and Tony Coelho on their partnership and goals for this new initiative.



Encore The Japanese Commitment to Disability Inclusion

Tue, 07 Sep 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Exciting news! Hear a show from Japan on the commitment to disability inclusion! Joyce is thrilled to welcome Megumi Kawakami a certified deaf interpreter accredited by Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and Martin Dale-Hench, Japanese - English Translator who has worked at companies such as Amazon.to the show. Ms. Kawakami will tell her story about how she managed as a child who is deaf in Okinawa, Japan and how that inspired her to became one of the only ASL/JSL interpreters in Okinawa, Japan. In addition, she will share her impressions of Gallaudet University in the United States where she attended college and explain what that was like for her. Mr. Dale-Hench will share his story of how he became and advocate people who are deaf in Okinawa, Japan and give his thoughts on how Japanese who are deaf are treated in their society.



Encore HMHS’ Commitment to the Employment of People with Disabilities

Tue, 31 Aug 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes back to the show, Mick Malec, president, of HM Health Solutions. Mr. Malec will discuss his commitment, as well as the organization’s commitment, to the employment of people with disabilities. His leadership is instrumental in the partnership of Highmark with Bender Consulting Services and the success of the employment of people with disabilities within the company.



Encore Mission of the Bender Leadership Academy

Tue, 24 Aug 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomed to the show Scott Hammerstrom, manager of programs and partnerships for Bender Leadership Academy. This non-profit organization has been serving students with disabilities since 2001. 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. Scott discussed his role in the organization and the various programs and services it offers students with disabilities. Also joining Joyce on the program was Maryann Kostelic, Transition Coordinator, with the Central Valley High School School in Monaca, PA and two of the district’s students, Courtney Sullivan (11th grader) and Taylor Rogers ( 12th grader) who recently benefited from the classes offered by the Bender Leadership Academy. Each shared how the classes have helped them prepare for the world of work.



Encore: Joyce's Honored Guest, Senator, Tom Harkin-Don't Miss This!!!

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce’s honored guest is former Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). As we prepare to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 2021, the Senator will discuss the journey to get the legislation passed, its importance, and how critical it is to continue advocating for the independence and employment of all people with disabilities.



HMHS’ Commitment to the Employment of People with Disabilities

Tue, 10 Aug 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes back to the show, Mick Malec, president, of HM Health Solutions. Mr. Malec will discuss his commitment, as well as the organization’s commitment, to the employment of people with disabilities. His leadership is instrumental in the partnership of Highmark with Bender Consulting Services and the success of the employment of people with disabilities within the company.



Tue, 03 Aug 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Laura E. Randa, disability advocate and chief commercial officer of Curio Digital Therapeutics, Inc. to the show. The company is focused on pioneering digital health in women's health. Its first product is in the post-partum depression area to help women going through this. She will share the company’s important work with this population, and also talk about her advocacy work on behalf of all people with disabilities.



Commemorating the 31st Anniversary of ADA!

Tue, 27 Jul 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes former democratic congressman from California and statesman, The Honorable Tony Coelho, and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to the show. Since we celebrated the 31st anniversary of the signing of the ADA into law, on July 26, 1990 yesterday, Mr. Coelho will share his personal story of living with epilepsy. Also, he will share the steps in the effort to get the ADA signed into law and the progress we have made since the ADA was passed. 31 years ago.



Joyce's Honored Guest, Senator, Tom Harkin-Don't Miss This!!!

Tue, 20 Jul 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce’s honored guest is former Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). As we prepare to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 2021, the Senator will discuss the journey to get the legislation passed, its importance, and how critical it is to continue advocating for the independence and employment of all people with disabilities.



31st Anniversary of Signing of ADA- Part 2

Tue, 13 Jul 2021 07:00:00 GMT

Joyce welcomes Tari Hartman, Squire founding CEO of EIN SOF Communications, and Mary E. Dolan, executive director, FDR Memorial Legacy Committee to the show. EIN SOF Communications is a woman-owned small business specializing in disability-inclusive diversity and public policy in strategic marketing the disability community and employment consultation. The mission of the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee s to preserve the memory of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s catalytic involvement in issues of equality and opportunity, as celebrated at the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. Both guests will share their advocacy work in support the ADA at their respective organizations and their thoughts on the importance of the signing of this landmark legislation into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, and what it has meant to Americans with disabilities.



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