PITTSBURGH, PA-Joyce A. Bender, President and CEO of both Bender Consulting Services, Inc., and Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc. has been appointed Chair of the National Epilepsy Foundation's Legal and Government Affairs Committee until May 2004.

The committee is responsible for developing public policy at the federal and state levels affecting people with epilepsy. The committee also monitors federal and state legislation, regulation and executive activities, and pursues the Foundation's agenda before these bodies. It also establishes the Foundation's advocacy agenda, supervises the legal advocacy program of the Foundation, advises on the Foundation's involvement in legislation, and advises on all advocacy programs of the Foundation. "I am extremely honored to Chair this committee whose work affects the lives of millions of people with epilepsy," said Joyce.

In 1985, Joyce had a life-threatening accident due to epilepsy, which caused a cerebral hemorrhage that required subsequent brain surgery. Against all odds, Joyce recovered from this accident that left her with a 60 percent hearing loss in one ear and a realization that she had epilepsy. As a result of her personal experience, she developed a passion for helping people with disabilities.

Today, Joyce is a national board member of the Epilepsy Foundation, and a regional board member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western and Central PA. Additionally, Joyce is the Epilepsy Foundation's Chairman of the JobTech project. This project is designed to create career opportunities for people with epilepsy, in the customer service and technology fields.

Joyce's work to empower people with disabilities through employment has led to several prestigious awards including the 1999 President's Award given by President Clinton at the White House. This is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States to an American who furthers the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities. Also, in September 2002, Joyce received the prestigious 2002 Employer of the Year Award from the National Epilepsy Foundation. The award is given to employers who reflect outstanding contributions and commitment to the epilepsy movement and a better quality of life for people with epilepsy.

Established in 1995, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. is a technology consulting company that focuses on creating career opportunities for people with disabilities in the information technology, engineering, finance/accounting, human resources and general business areas. Incorporated in 2001, Bender Consulting Services of Canada provides the same services to Canadian companies and hires Canadians who have disabilities. For more information on Joyce A. Bender and her companies, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. and Bender Consulting Services of Canada, Inc., visit Bender Consulting or Bender Consulting C..