A unique conference is planned for March 30th and 31st in Newark, Delaware and will feature a prominent Pittsburgh area businesswoman.

Tech Summit 2002 is an innovative career awareness event designed for 9th grade students. At the event, 5000 students from northern Delaware will converge to learn about high-tech careers and what skills and education are required to succeed in these fields. From a series of varied workshops, students will select presentations which pique their interests.

The Bender Consulting Services, Inc. workshop will be entitled "Technology Levels the Playing Field for All People of Ability," and will be presented by President and CEO, Joyce Bender and Systems Consultant, Jim Homme. Ms. Bender will lead a general discussion of "disability" as it relates to a person's ability to succeed in a career in the Information Technology industry. Homme, who is blind, will continue this discussion, adding further insight by describing personal issues and experiences. Homme will also lead an interactive demonstration of JAWS, a powerful assistive technology product that enables blind users to operate computers. Students will be selected from the audience to participate in the demonstration. They will also have access to a wide variety of informative exhibits.

On June 4, 1999, Joyce Bender was honored by President Clinton at the White House with the President's Award for her commitment and dedication for her work. This is America's highest honor given to an individual who has furthered the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities.

The Newark exhibit will be entitled "Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities," and will be staffed by Vice President for Recruitment and Technology, Mary Brougher, and Delaware Manager, Wade Churchfield. The exhibit will highlight representative assistive technology products such as Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), Braille keyboard, and TTY. The exhibit is intended to show students both with and without disabilities how successful all people of ability can be with the help of available technology.

The event will take place at the First USA Riverfront Arts Center. For more information, contact Joyce Bender at 412.787.8550.