Joyce Bender, Founder of Bender Consulting Services, announced today an important program that will be a national initiative for the company in 2023. Known as the Bender/Coelho Disability Consortium, this partnership between Bender and former Congressman Tony Coelho, Author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, is aimed at securing competitive employment by hiring 10 people with disabilities from Bender at 10 different corporations. Specifically, the consortium will work with Corporate America to fill these 100 positions by the end of 2023.
This effort comes at a critical time for people with disabilities seeking employment. It has been over 30 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was passed and signed into law. While great strides have been made through the ADA on various issues impacting our community, the team at Bender understands that unemployment in this community remains at a staggeringly high level – sadly, the needle has not moved in the area of employment.
In forming this consortium, Joyce Bender said that “Having a job is not only about financial security, it is about self-worth, respect, and dignity. Without competitive employment you are never, ever free in this country.” Through this powerful and innovative idea, Joyce and Tony will highlight these corporate leaders in the national media, to demonstrate the incredible business value when hiring people with disabilities. As Joyce states, “This high unemployment of people with disabilities has gone on too long – it is time for employment, not awareness.”
As the primary author of the ADA, Tony Coelho brings unparalleled experience and vision to this effort. Tony has been fighting for disability rights his entire life; Tony, like Joyce, lives with epilepsy and understands the fight to overcome the barrier of stigma. When asked about the consortium, Tony said that “The ADA was and is a transformative piece of legislation, but it is not the end of our fight, not by a longshot. We have so much work left to do for so many, and that starts with individuals with disabilities having abundant access to employment opportunities across the country. I look forward to working with Joyce and her team to make this happen.”
Bender Consulting Services, Inc. was founded in 1995 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. Bender Consulting Services operates across the United States. We believe that all people with disabilities should have access to freedom, through competitive employment. Since 1995, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. has been at the epicenter of disability diversity, equity and inclusion growth and innovation. Bender provides disability employment expertise in the areas of recruitment, workplace mentoring, strategic planning, training, and digital accessibility. Bender is a small business, a certified woman-owned business, and a certified disability-owned business.