Technology Careers for People with Disabilities

Frequently we are asked why Bender Consulting Services, Inc. fills so many job roles in technology.

Technology careers are embedded in the foundation of Bender Consulting Services. Even before Bender Consulting Services was an idea, CEO and founder, Joyce Bender, was working in talent acquisition as a technology search consultant, placing high level technology professionals with some of the most premiere employers in the Pittsburgh area.

It was Joyce’s connection to this field that attracted the attention of a local technology training program for people with disabilities – she understood what employers looked for when hiring technology talent and had extensive knowledge of screening and interviewing practices. Her volunteer work with this program impressed upon Joyce not only the barriers that people with disabilities faced when seeking employment, but also the talent, drive, and commitment found in this community. She began working with some of the students pro bono to help them find employment in technology. This work sparked a crusade fueled by a passion for disability employment equity and a commitment to excellence in talent programming. Is it any wonder that her first placements were in technology?

Something else has always attracted Bender to the technology field – the tangible energy of innovation. The disability community is no stranger to innovation; many modern staples in the built and virtual environment have come from the necessity to remove barriers for people with disabilities. From curb cuts to automatic doors, to speech-to-text, to texting, we have come to rely on these conveniences in our daily lives, regardless of disability.

There has long been a precedent at Bender for support from leaders within the technology field. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have often stepped forward within Bender’s customer footprint as the first to open their doors and identify opportunities within their functional areas. Over time, customer CIOs have made the best advocates for inclusive employment, because they recognize that the contributions from this community build a talent base that positively impacts the bottom line, and that people with disabilities are eager to take on challenges and enhance productivity and creativity.

Partly a natural evolution of Joyce’s initial dream, and partly growth from word-of-mouth referral from one leader to another, Bender has grown beyond filling only technology jobs. This growth has unsurprisingly largely leaned toward STEM related career fields for obvious reasons. From careers in civil, electrical, and computer engineering, to actuarial science, finance, and accounting, to health care and other science related fields, Bender has found that leaders in these areas have demonstrated an aptitude for creating an inclusive environment, focused on talent over stigma.

It is because of this long and successful history in technology that Bender has, in partnership with Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), called upon CIOs to step forward once more and join us in fighting to turn the tide against unemployment for people with disabilities. The prototype has been built, the reason for investing is clear, and the time for action is now.

Interested in joining the Bender-Coelho Technology Consortium to create jobs for people living with disabilities? Contact us today.