Japan - Day 9
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:48am EDT
This was our last day in Japan.  We certainly will miss our new and old friends.  These trips always remind me of how people with disabilities around the world all strive to end stigma and increase employment. As you know, I live with epilepsy. A seizure is a seizure no matter where you live, but the stigma is much more pronounced in Japan.
Japan - Day 8
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:46am EDT
Thursday, I had the great honor of speaking at the American Center - Japan. It is always so exciting to speak at the American Center when I speak in another country.
Japan - Day 7
Friday, April 20, 2018 2:40pm EDT
The first thing I found out when I met Fujiwara from the US Consulate was that yesterday’s presentation was picked up by Chunichi Shimbun. This is the most influential media outlet in Nagoya, and they published an article about our presentation.
Japan – Day 6
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:47am EDT
Today was such an exciting day, as it was my first program in Nagoya, Japan!  I spoke at the International Center, at an event arranged by the US Consulate and Aichi Disability Forum. My presentation was “The Economic Benefits of Meaningful Employment for People with Disabilities.” I was introduced by the Principal Officer from the U.S. Consulate, Gary Schaefer.
Japan – Day 5
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:32pm EDT
This was my last day of work in Okinawa with Richard and Makiko; it is always sad to see it end. I love the people with disabilities I have met during my time in Okinawa!
Japan – Day 4
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:20pm EDT
We had an exciting visit today to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST). OIST is an Interdisciplinary Graduate School with a Post Graduate five-year PhD Program in Science. The university recruit students and faculty worldwide and the language used at the university is English. OIST is so impressive and it is in a magnificent setting!
Japan - Day 3
Monday, April 16, 2018 1:58pm EDT
We met Richard and Makiko in the morning, and traveled to meet Yutaka Takamine, the president of Empowerment Okinawa, and eight other members from various organizations related to social welfare and disability.
Japan - Day 2
Friday, April 13, 2018 12:37pm EDT
This was a great day!  I especially loved it because I spent time with high school students with disabilities, and everyone knows how I love young people with disabilities!
Japan – Day 1
Thursday, April 12, 2018 2:21pm EDT
Today is my first full day in Okinawa to begin our program with the US Embassy on the Economic Benefits of Employing People with Disabilities in Japan.
Bender Consulting Services and Highmark Health to Partner in Innovative Pennsylvania Mentor Protégé Program
Monday, April 9, 2018 1:56pm EDT
When Robert James, Supplier Diversity Manager from Highmark, called and told me Bender Consulting was selected by Highmark as a Protégé in Governor Wolf’s newly launched Mentor Protégé program, I was thrilled.  What a great honor to be selected as Protégé by the company that helped me found Bender Consulting Services.  Launched by Governor Wolf, this program levels the playing field for diverse, small businesses in Pennsylvania as they compete for state contracts.
Indonesia - Day Six
Monday, October 9, 2017 9:16am EDT
On day six, we met Karen, the Cultural Attache, and Caroline in the morning in the hotel lobby.  We then went to a coffee shop for a breakfast meeting with the media to discuss the program in Indonesia and my personal story.  At first, we were worried about the reporters not showing up since it is the rainy season, but
Medan, Sumatra - Indonesia - Day Five
Monday, October 9, 2017 8:40am EDT
Friday morning we went with Caroline to a brunch at a restaurant in a very upscale part of Medan. We met with government officials and business organizations to discuss disability employment. If I have not mentioned this before, the main language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia.
Medan, Sumatra - Indonesia - Day Four
Monday, October 9, 2017 8:29am EDT
It was time to leave the island of Java and the two cities we visited, Yogyakarta and Jakarta ,and fly to Medan, Sumatra. Sumatra is the fifth most populous island in the world. It is the sixth largest island in the world with rain forests, elephants, orangutans, tigers, and active volcanoes.
Jakarta, Indonesia - Day Three
Monday, October 9, 2017 8:25am EDT
I left Yogyakarta early in the morning and flew in to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Jakarta is the capitol of Indonesia and the U.S.
Yogyakarta, Java - Indonesia - Day Two
Friday, October 6, 2017 9:40am EDT
This was another exciting day in Indonesia. We met with Jed Dornburg and Pira Vindiartha from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, in the city of Yogyakarta, Java.  They are two more wonderful people!
Bali, Indonesia - Day One
Thursday, October 5, 2017 12:08pm EDT
I am so excited and honored to represent the United States in Indonesia as an expert on the employment of people with disabilities.
South Korea Trip 2017 - Day 5
Saturday, July 1, 2017 12:00am EDT
It is so appropriate that my last day in Seoul was all about Epilepsy! As you know, I was so impacted last year when I discovered the horrible stigma towards people living with epilepsy. Although we still have progress to make the U.S., the situation is far worse in South Korea! In South Korea, the term for epilepsy is Cerebro Electric Disorder.
South Korea Trip 2017 - Day 4
Friday, June 30, 2017 10:37pm EDT
I was so honored to speak at a hearing at the National Assembly on Friday morning. This is the South Korean equivalent of our U.S. Capitol.  It was such a special day for me and very personal.
South Korea Trip 2017 - Day 3
Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:53pm EDT
We met the fabulous intern from the Embassy, Haydee, and met Geonhyeong at TBS News for a morning radio show; the only English radio show in Seoul. This is a very impressive station in the media square.  It was a great interview talking about my reason for being in Seoul, about the high unemployment for people with disabilities in South Korea, and my epilepsy.
South Korea Trip 2017 - Day 2
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:12pm EDT
My second day in South Korea was jammed packed! It was also very hot and humid today, reaching 83 degrees. In South Korea, you see some people walking outside wearing masks due to the pollution from China.
South Korea Trip 2017 - Day 1
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:40pm EDT
Today was the first day of my US State Department sponsored trip to South Korea for the disability program on employment and epilepsy.  Last April, I was asked by the US State Department, at the request of the Embassy in South Korea, to discuss and engage with various groups about the employment of people with disabilities.   I was so thrilled to see Geonhyeong Cho; who works for the US Embassy.
Social Media and the Workplace
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 4:35pm EDT
Social media plays an important role in communicating, branding, and messaging in today’s workplace.   Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are used every day.  Companies are actively adding and contributing to existing social media presences online.  Social media is a powerful tool companies use to reach audiences who may never be exposed to other marketing vehicles. 
Tips for Selecting Quality References.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 11:16am EDT
In addition to building a strong resume and conducting an engaging interview, a critical component to applying and being selected for a competitive position is providing quality references.  References substantiate information provided during an interview or as part of an application.  The objective is to provide external perspective on contributions made to an organization, so it is important to select references that can offer a positive and detailed representation of that effort. Below are tips to choose the best references and prepare them before employers reach out:
The Heart of Disability
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 6:05pm EST
February is American Heart Month. This month raises awareness and educates people on how to prevent a heart attack. Many people list cancer as the condition of which they are most afraid of being diagnosed with in their lifetime, but statistics show that, in reality, more people die each year from heart disease than die from cancer. In fact, 1 in 4 people die from heart disease every year.  Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women and the number one cause of death for women.  Approximately, 610,000 people die every year from heart attack. 
The New Presidential Administration and Questions from the Disability Community
Friday, February 3, 2017 12:44pm EST
Every four years, there is a Presidential election, and Bender Consulting Services, Inc., receives calls from people with disabilities asking for information on the impact of the new administration on the disability community.

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