DOBE Spotlight Series: Bender Consulting
Disability:IN highlights various disability-owned business enterprises (DOBEs) through the DOBE Spotlight Series. If you’d like more information about Disability:IN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program, please contact Cami@disabilityin.org.
Bender Consulting Services is a Disability:IN certified disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE) recruitment and employment placement company for people with disabilities. The team and Bender Consulting finds employment for individuals with disabilities who have expertise in information technology, finance and accounting, engineering, human resources, mathematics, biology, and other professional areas.
In 1985, Joyce Bender, experienced a life-threatening accident caused by a seizure that left her with a skull fracture, a 60% hearing loss in her right ear, and the realization that she was a person living with epilepsy. Prior to the accident, Joyce had an extensive background in executive search. Once she rehabilitated, she used her professional skills to help people with disabilities find jobs. Realizing the significant barriers to employment for people with disabilities, Joyce decided to leverage her passion for disability employment with her expertise in executive search. She founded Bender Consulting Services, Inc. in 1995.
Joyce was heavily involved with the President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. The President’s Committee would evolve into what is now the Office of Disability Employment Policy within the U.S. Department of Labor. Disability:IN, previously the U.S. Business Leaders Network (USBLN), was an initiative founded by the President’s Committee. Joyce knew of the longstanding reputation of Disability:IN and the expertise available within the organization. When Disability:IN launched the Supplier Diversity Program, Joyce knew it made good business sense to participate. “Certification as a disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE) set Bender apart as a key entity to increase supplier diversity with the customers we serve,” Joyce Bender said.
Aside from being certified through Disability:IN, Bender Consulting is also a certified women-owned business. Joyce believes the Disability:IN process, though purposefully rigorous, is highly credible and looked upon favorably by the business community. While the company now has over 20 years of experience recruiting, hiring, accommodating, and mentoring people with disabilities at work, Joyce believes certification as a DOBE adds further credibility to Bender’s reputation in the disability employment space.
According to Joyce, becoming DOBE certified has had many benefits. One of the greatest has been the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other DOBEs. One such collaboration developed into iDisability™, a learning platform that provides 15-minute modules on a wide variety of disability employment topics, such as communicating with, interviewing, hiring, and accommodating individuals with disabilities. Another honor was being asked by the U.S. State Department to represent the U.S. in information exchanges on disability employment in Panama, South Korea, and Indonesia.
Joyce has attended the Disability:IN Annual Conference for several years. She finds it to be a great way to connect with other disability suppliers and potential customers looking to learn and grow in the business space. “I would absolutely encourage anyone with a passion for disability employment to attend. It has become one of the premier conferences of the disability community.”
Bender Consultants don’t just understand disability as a business model, they understand it on a personal level. The company’s leadership, as well as approximately 90% of its staff, are individuals with disabilities. Their expertise is useful to their customers, all of whom are seeking to be employers of choice for people with disabilities.
Disability:IN’s Supplier Diversity Program was designed to help certified DOBEs advance contract opportunities with corporations as well as government agencies. By having a procurement model based on diversity and inclusion, corporations and DOBEs achieve greater economic self-sufficiency, positive community impact, and strengthen the American economy. For more information about this certification program and others we provide, please contact Cami@disabilityin.org.
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