Bender Consulting Services, Inc. is thrilled to be at the forefront of change in the American workforce by assisting companies in developing and implementing innovative strategies to increase representation of people with disabilities in competitive careers. As a woman living with epilepsy and a hearing-loss, I have been a champion for disability employment since 1995, when my own combination of experiences with disability and a background in executive search motivated me to start Bender Consulting Services, Inc. At the time, I became acutely aware of the significant barriers faced by individuals with disabilities in securing employment, but I saw Bender Consulting as a means to contribute to addressing those challenges.
After over 20 years in business, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. has demonstrated success in aligning talented individuals with disabilities with our customers, such as Highmark, UTC, PNC, Comcast, and Cigna. Our recruitment and workplace mentoring services have complemented customer diversity and inclusion initiatives by providing and supporting a professional talent pool in STEM fields such as computer science, engineering, math, and biology. Bender has also filled positions in finance, accounting, customer service, procurement, human resources and other in demand professional fields sought by customers. In addition, over 20% of individuals with disabilities aligned with career opportunities through Bender Consulting Services are veterans. Bender Consulting Services operates on a “no pity” philosophy, requiring that employees meet or exceed performance expectations, regardless of disability. It is important to creating an equal playing field in the workplace, that just as people with disabilities are given the opportunity to succeed, they are also given the opportunity to fail. While the vast majority of Bender Consulting Services hires perform very well and add exceptional value, it is critical that whatever the outcome, performance is achieved on the merit of the person performing the role.
Bender Consulting Services, Inc. brings this philosophy, commitment, and longstanding experience to a collective workforce that is evolving and diversifying as a result of the implementation of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503). Section 503 has the power to be the most effective game changer to ever move the needle on disability employment. These regulations have created new opportunities for people with disabilities to join the workforce, contributing skills, talents, and abilities to the industries that move this country forward. The affirmative action and non-discrimination rule applies to federal contractors and subcontractors, who employ 22% of the American workforce. These employers must satisfy 7% utilization goal of people with disabilities in all job categories. The associated activity will result in a large increase in employment opportunities for members of the disability community.
In addition to increased workforce utilization of employees with disabilities, under Section 503, companies must also exhibit credible action on disability employment and inclusion training. To assist customers in complying with this obligation, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. recently partnered with No Barriers Media to bring to market the iDisability™ eLearning Solution. This product offers just-in-time training in the form of 15 minute modules on a wide variety of disability employment topics, such as communicating, interviewing, hiring, and accommodating individuals with disabilities. The first 20 courses are now available, with 15 additional modules scheduled to be rolled out over the next 18 months. This is an innovation unparalleled in the marketplace. This solution can create a dynamic shift in organizational culture by making content available in a convenient and digestible format that employees can easily pivot into actionable results for meaningful change. In addition to fulfilling Section 503 requirements, iDisability™ can be included as a training tool for employees and hiring managers that can be self-reported in completing the Disability Equality Index, a benchmarking tool used to score companies on their disability diversity and inclusion practices. The iDisability™ eLearning Solution continues Bender’s ongoing efforts in the digital space. Bender Consulting offers our Hightest digital accessibility practice to help customers ensure websites and workplace tools are fully accessible to employees and applicants working in and joining the labor force as a part of increased diversity and inclusion efforts.
The entire team at Bender Consulting is excited to fulfill our responsibility to realize business value for our customers and simultaneously advance disability employment through our full portfolio of service offerings and products. Thank you for your interest in making a difference in the employment of people with disabilities. We look forward to working with you to bring people with disabilities paychecks not pity®.
Joyce A. Bender
President and CEO