Pittsburgh area business woman, Joyce Bender, will be a part of an historic signing of the Work Incentives Improvement Act, which President Bill Clinton will sign at the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC on Friday, December 17, 1999 at 9:30 a.m.

The Work Incentives Improvement Act eliminates many of the restrictions on Medicaid and Medicare funding for people with disabilities who want the opportunity to work. The Act will provide $150 million, over a five-year period, in healthcare infrastructure grants to states encouraging people with disabilities to return to work. The Act also provides for a "ticket to work" program which will enable people with disabilities on Social Security to obtain vocational rehabilitation and employment services.

"Joyce Bender's commitment to furthering the employment of Americans with disabilities is unsurpassed. Instead of focusing on barriers, she looks for challenges. By developing a network within the Information Technology industry, Joyce has been able to identify current needs as well as provide "foot in the door" opportunities for IT professionals with disabilities," said the President's Award Committee Chairman, Tony Coelho.

Joyce Bender is President of Bender Consulting Services, Inc. and Bender & Associates, International. She is involved in numerous community, state and national efforts aimed at enhancing the employment of people with disabilities. Several years ago, Bender miraculously recovered from a brain hemorrhage that was a result of an accident caused by an epileptic seizure. She never forgot about the people she met in rehabilitation. She has been finding jobs for people with disabilities ever since.

Bender Consulting Services, Inc. is located at Penn Center West in Pittsburgh and is owned and operated by Joyce Bender. In 1995, Bender started Bender Consulting Services, Inc., a for-profit company that hires technical experts with disabilities. About 80 percent of her employees have disabilities. Demand has been so strong that Bender will soon be opening an office in Harrisburg.