Dr. Brien Smith

April 26, 2011
Hosted by Joyce Bender

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Episode Description

Joyce welcomes Dr. Brien Smith, chair-elect of the national Epilepsy Foundation. Discussed on the show will be his goals for the organization during his two–year tenure as chair, which will begin in mid-May 2011.

Disability Matters

Disability Matters

Tuesday at 11 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Competitive employment and empowerment for people with disabilities is the emphasis of this show. Broadcast live and captioned in real-time for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, we discuss how people with disabilities can secure career opportunities, and how employers, organizations and individuals can support employment and empowerment of people with disabilities.

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Joyce Bender

Joyce Bender

Joyce A. Bender is the CEO and president of Bender Consulting Services, Inc. Bender Consulting recruits and hires individuals with disabilities, across the United States and Canada for competitive career opportunities in the public and private sectors. In 1985, Joyce survived a life-threatening accident caused by a misdiagnosis of epilepsy. Due to her personal experience living with both epilepsy and a hearing disability, she founded Bender Consulting Services, Inc. in 1995.

Joyce is the past-chair of both the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the national Epilepsy Foundation. She has received awards from both the Bush and Clinton administrations.

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Episode Directory

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

“In Remembrance”

Joyce welcomes members of the band “In Remembrance”. The band performed at the 2010 National Epilepsy Walk in Washington, D.C. as Nick Harris, the band’s original drummer is living with epilepsy. Through music, the band seeks to remind its audience that fallen soldiers are our country’s heroes and should never be forgotten. This is a message inspired by the death of Capt. Brian S. Letendre (the older brother of lead singer Nick Letendre), who lost his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom on May 3, 2006. Guest “In Remembrance”

Episode Listing:

Jim Abrahams

Joyce welcomes Jim Abrahams to the show, who is an American film writer, director, and producer. Mr. Abrahams is also the co-founder, and executive director of the Charlie Foundation, which was established in 1994 in order to raise awareness about the ketogenic diet as a treatment for childhood epilepsy. The modern success of the diet has led to new demands on the medical community. In order to meet these demands, the Charlie Foundation has expanded its priorities to include educational programs for dietitians and neurologists as well as support for clinicians and researchers working to perfect its administration. Guest Jim Abrahams

Episode Listing:

Susan Axelrod

Joyce’s honored guest is Susan Axelrod, president and founding member of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). In 1998, Axelrod and two other mothers, frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of uncontrollable seizures and the side effects of medications, joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure for epilepsy. Mrs. Axelrod is also the wife of David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama. Discussed on the show will be her commitment to finding a cure and for increasing public awareness of epilepsy through the use of the media, as she did on the October 25, 2009 episode of 60 Minutes. Guest Susan Axelrod

Episode Listing:

Allison Baker

Joyce welcomes Joseph LaMountain, Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the National Epilepsy Foundation, and two students from the Kids Speak Up Campaign, Jonathan McCalla, and Allison Baker. They will discuss the campaign, which brings together kids with epilepsy with U.S. congressmen. The group urges members of Congress to help secure a better future for children with seizures by supporting federally funded medical research, programs that improve access to appropriate care, and public health education to reduce discrimination against people with epilepsy. Guest Allison Baker

Episode Listing:

Bill Baldwin

Joyce welcomes Bill Baldwin and Christina Coulston, two high school students from Fox Chapel School District who recently participated in the Bender Leadership Academy. The class prepares high school students with disabilities for the world of work. Bill and Christina will both share what they learned in the class, and how they will apply it to their future career plans. Guest Bill Baldwin

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Kevin Bales

Joyce welcomes Dr. Kevin Bales, world renowned author, expert on modern slavery, and president of Free the Slaves, the US sister organization of Anti-Slavery International (the world’s oldest human rights organization). He will discuss how we can end slavery and human trafficking. Guest Kevin Bales

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Samir Bangalore

Joyce welcomes Dr. Samir Bangalore to the show. Affiliated with Sunrise Hospital Medical Center, in Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Bangalore is a specialist in Neurology including experience with epilepsy. In addition, he has won numerous awards including the Patients' Choice Award. He will discuss his expertise with epilepsy, and the importance of increasing the awareness of epilepsy to help individuals who are living with it. Guest Samir Bangalore

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Stephen Bennett

Joyce welcomes Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, (UCP). He will discuss the mission, programs and services of this organization. Guest Stephen Bennett

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Edwin Black

Edwin Black, author of War Against the Weak and Peter Demas, and Justin Strawhand, producer and director respectively of the film, War Against the Weak. They will discuss these works, which highlight the history of the American eugenics movement. The film is the winner of the 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival Award for best feature film. Guest Edwin Black

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Marca Bristo

Joyce welcomes Marca Bristo, President and CEO of Access Living in Chicago, Illinois. Discussed on the show will be her duties as President and CEO of Access Living, Chicago and her reflections on President Obama signing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities on July 24, 2009, at the White House. Guest Marca Bristo

Episode Listing:

Suzanne W. Broadhurst

Suzanne W. “Suzy” Broadhurst, active Western Pennsylvania public service volunteer Guest Suzanne W. Broadhurst

Episode Listing:

Kelly Buckland



Executive Director of the National Council of Independent Living (NCIL), from his earlier July 7, 2009, visit on the show. The discussion will center around a celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and what the ADA means to the independent living centers across the United States. Guest Kelly Buckland

Episode Listing:

Lawrence Carter-Long

Joyce welcomes Lawrence Carter-Long, executive director of Disability Network of NYC. He will discuss his work with this non-profit organization, which brings people, government and industry together to find solutions to the problems faced by New Yorkers with physical, visual and hearing disabilities. The organization strives for full inclusion of people with disabilities into the vast civic, social and economic life of New York City. Guest Lawrence Carter-Long

Episode Listing:

Jeanette Chelius

Joyce welcomes Jeanette Chelius, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania. Discussed on the show will be the goals that this affiliate has achieved and set for itself. In addition, Ms. Chelius will share her perspective on issues faced by people with epilepsy in her community – from employment to medication. Finally, she will share her commitment to helping the National Epilepsy Foundation meet its goals. Guest Jeanette Chelius

Episode Listing:

The Honorable Tony Coelho



Tony Coelho, the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a major supporter of the ADA Amendments Act, signed by President Bush on September 25, 2008. Among topics discussed will be the recent activity associated with passing this piece of legislation, the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, on July 26, 1990, and his New York Law School Lecture Series.

• Served as Interim CEO of the National Epilepsy Foundation.

• Author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed in to law July 26, 1990.

• Majority Whip from 1987 to 1989, third ranking position in the House leadership.

• First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 from CA. Guest The Honorable Tony Coelho

Episode Listing:

Raymond Comenzo

Joyce welcomes Amy Hawthorne and Dr. Raymond Comenzo, Medical Director of the Blood Bank, Stem Cell Processing Laboratory; The Neely Cell Therapy and Collection Center at Tufts Medical Center, and an attending physician in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, and Departments of Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Comenzo has a large active clinical practice devoted exclusively to patients with plasma cell disorders such as multiple myeloma and systemic light-chain amyloidosis (AL), and also sees many patients with other forms of amyloidosis often because their diagnosis is unclear. They will discuss their personal experience with amyloidosis and its effects not only on the people diagnosed, but their family as well. Also discussed will be the mission of the Amyloidosis Foundation. Guest Raymond Comenzo

Episode Listing:

Scott Cooper

Joyce welcomes Scott Cooper, Founder of the It’s Our Story project at, http://dmi-us.blogspot.com. Scott will discuss the creation of this blog and project. Scott is on a one year journey of America adding new voices and images to the DMI archives that currently house over 785 video portraits and 4,000 images. After 18 months of interviews and another 18 months of organizing, 548 voices are ready to be transcribed, encoded, and engineered into an accessible website that truly will free the voices of Americans with disabilities telling their story of living with a disability in time for the 2010 Anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Guest Scott Cooper

Episode Listing:

Michael Couch

Joyce welcomes Michael Couch, President of Michael Couch & Associates Inc., a versatile consulting practice focused on dramatically improving the capability of organizations, teams, and individuals. Discussed on the show will be the mission of this consulting company and its commitment to encouraging a diverse workforce which, includes people with disabilities. Guest Michael Couch

Episode Listing:

Christina Coulston

Joyce welcomes Bill Baldwin and Christina Coulston, two high school students from Fox Chapel School District who recently participated in the Bender Leadership Academy. The class prepares high school students with disabilities for the world of work. Bill and Christina will both share what they learned in the class, and how they will apply it to their future career plans. Guest Christina Coulston

Episode Listing:

Carolyn Crates

Joyce welcomes Jane Orringer, Carolyn Crates, and Chris Cugini, high school students with disabilities from Fox Chapel High School in Pittsburgh, PA, who were part of 2008-2009 Bender Student Leadership Academy. This program is taught by Joyce Bender, in partnership with Bayer Corporation. Discussed on the show will be this unique program, which prepares students with disabilities for the world of work. Guest Carolyn Crates

Episode Listing:

Crosby Cromwell

Joyce welcomes Crosby Cromwell, senior manager of Corporate Affairs at Wal-Mart. Guest Crosby Cromwell

Episode Listing:

Chris Cugini

Joyce welcomes Jane Orringer, Carolyn Crates, and Chris Cugini, high school students with disabilities from Fox Chapel High School in Pittsburgh, PA, who were part of 2008-2009 Bender Student Leadership Academy. This program is taught by Joyce Bender, in partnership with Bayer Corporation. Discussed on the show will be this unique program, which prepares students with disabilities for the world of work. Guest Chris Cugini

Episode Listing:

Kareem Dale

Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to President Obama for Disability Policy. A range of topics will be discussed on the show, including October as National Disability Awareness Month, reflecting on the meaning of the Americans with Disability Act to Americans with disabilities and the Obama Administration’s commitment to hiring Americans with disabilities. Guest Kareem Dale

Episode Listing:

Mary Davis

Joyce welcomes Andy Imparato, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Mary Davis, vice president, IT Infrastructure Solutions for CSC. They will discuss the upcoming conference on employment of people with disabilities on November 8, 2010 sponsored by CSC and the events of Disability Mentoring Day, October 20, 2010. Guest Mary Davis

Episode Listing:

Peter Demas

Edwin Black, author of War Against the Weak and Peter Demas, and Justin Strawhand, producer and director respectively of the film, War Against the Weak. They will discuss these works, which highlight the history of the American eugenics movement. The film is the winner of the 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival Award for best feature film. Guest Peter Demas

Episode Listing:

Roger DeRose

Joyce welcomes Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), Roger DeRose, president of Kessler Foundation, Elaine Katz, vice president of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives at Kessler Foundation and Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive. Discussed on the show, will be an in-depth look at the missions of both organizations. The NOD promotes employment and the full participation of America’s 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life; while the mission of Kessler Foundation is to improve quality of life for people with disabilities through discovery, innovation, demonstration, application and dissemination. The organization’s vision is to be a leader in rehabilitation research and grant making to improve independence and productivity for people with disabilities. Guest Roger DeRose

Episode Listing:

Don Dew

The Joyce welcomes Don Dew president and founder of ReachOutUSA, a Kansas-based organization that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual disabled people in the United States. ReachOutUSA provides services for this population of Americans, as well as trainings for agencies and businesses to the show. He will discuss the motivations surrounding his decision to start this organization and the problems that this group face in obtaining services in the social service arena. Guest Don Dew

Episode Listing:

Ryan Dillon

Joyce welcomes Ryan Dillon, who is living with epilepsy, and a member of the Epilepsy Foundation’s national board. After moving to our nation’s capitol to serve as a congressional aide, Ryan finally brought his seizures into the light, by embracing epilepsy and using his experiences to empower others and help raise awareness. As a result of a 5 minute seizure in July 2008, Ryan chose to speak out on the subject, in hopes of raising awareness. Ryan encourages those with epilepsy to tell their story and not be ashamed; he believes everyone with epilepsy can live a normal life. Guest Ryan Dillon

Episode Listing:

Kevin Epling

Joyce welcomes Kevin Epling, co-director of Bully Police USA, a watch-dog organization - advocating for bullied children and reporting on state anti-bullying laws. He is also legislative liaison for Bully Police Michigan, a speaker, and consultant on bullying laws and issues. Mr. Epling knows first-hand about the effects that Bullycide has on families, as his own son, Matthew, committed suicide in the summer of 2002, 40 days after a hazing incident at his high school. This incident has charged Kevin Epling and his wife, Tammy with making sure other children are safe from bullying, hazing and harassment in Michigan schools. Guest Kevin Epling

Episode Listing:

Evan Frazier

Joyce welcomes Evan Frazier, senior vice president of Community Affairs for Highmark Inc. Discussed on the show will be Highmark’s commitment to hiring people with disabilities, community diversity, and its stance on bullying of young people, including those with disabilities. Guest Evan Frazier

Episode Listing:

Philip M. Gattone

Joyce welcomes Philip M. Gattone, M.Ed., President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. He will discuss the mission of this affiliate and his personal commitment to helping people with disabilities. Guest Philip M. Gattone

Episode Listing:

Carol Glazer

Joyce welcomes Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), Roger DeRose, president of Kessler Foundation, Elaine Katz, vice president of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives at Kessler Foundation and Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive. Discussed on the show, will be an in-depth look at the missions of both organizations. The NOD promotes employment and the full participation of America’s 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life; while the mission of Kessler Foundation is to improve quality of life for people with disabilities through discovery, innovation, demonstration, application and dissemination. The organization’s vision is to be a leader in rehabilitation research and grant making to improve independence and productivity for people with disabilities. Guest Carol Glazer

Episode Listing:

Arlene Gorelick

Joyce welcomes Arlene Gorelick, president of the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan since 1989, to the show. Ms. Gorelick will discuss the current mission and goals of this affiliate, as well as the accomplishments this organization has made to bring awareness and assistance to those with epilepsy in Michigan under her leadership. Guest Arlene Gorelick

Episode Listing:

Debbie Goss

Joyce welcomes Debbie Goss, President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Chicago, who will discuss the mission of this organization and explain what they are doing to end the stigma associated with epilepsy. Guest Debbie Goss

Episode Listing:

Christine M. Griffin

Lee Grossman

Joyce welcomes Lee Grossman, president of the Autism Society of America (ASA), who will discuss in depth the mission of this organization that was founded in 1965. The ASA's goal is to increase public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by people with autism as well as their families. Guest Lee Grossman

Episode Listing:

Greg Grunberg

Greg Grunberg, Hollywood actor, and star of HEROES, ALIAS and FELICITY, who will discuss TalkAbout It.org. Mr. Grunberg created this website, and public awareness campaign in collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation, which unites Hollywood celebrities and top health care experts to end the misperceptions and misunderstanding about epilepsy and seizure disorders. Mr. Grunberg, whose eldest son has epilepsy, has dedicated his time, energy, and passion to working toward ending the stigma around epilepsy and bringing public focus on the need to find a cure. -Plays a character who can read minds and control people's thoughts on NBC’s HEROES. -Son Jake, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age seven. Recent brain surgery reduced his seizures to one every few weeks as opposed to every day. -Chair of the National Epilepsy Walk held March 28, 2009, in Washington DC. Guest Greg Grunberg

Episode Listing:

Robert David Hall

Joyce welcomes actor and disability advocate, Robert David Hall of CBS “CSI: Criminal Scene Investigation whose other credits include recurring roles in "The Practice" and "L.A. Law" and guest-starring roles in "The West Wing," and on CBS, "Touched by an Angel," "Brooklyn South" and "Promised Land." Mr. Hall will be discussing the April 30, 2009, episode, which will revolve around his character, “Albert Robbins”. He will also be discussing living with a disability and his advocacy work on behalf of other actors with disabilities as national chair of the Performers with Disabilities committees of both the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA. He also serves as national chairman of the Performers with Disabilities Caucus for SAG, AFTRA and Equity. Additionally, he will discuss his work as a devoted community activist, serving on the board of directors of the National Organization on Disability. Guest Robert David Hall

Episode Listing:

Senator Tom Harkin

Joyce’s honored guest will be Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) of the United States Senate. Senator Harkin will discuss his distinguished career in public service, and his commitment to helping people with disabilities live independent lives through his work in the U.S. Senate. Guest Senator Tom Harkin

Episode Listing:

Seth Harris

Joyce’s honored guest is United States Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Seth Harris. He will discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to increasing the employment of people with disabilities within the private sector, and federal government. Guest Seth Harris

Episode Listing:

Amy Hawthorne

Joyce welcomes Amy Hawthorne and Dr. Raymond Comenzo, Medical Director of the Blood Bank, Stem Cell Processing Laboratory; The Neely Cell Therapy and Collection Center at Tufts Medical Center, and an attending physician in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, and Departments of Medicine and Pathology. Dr. Comenzo has a large active clinical practice devoted exclusively to patients with plasma cell disorders such as multiple myeloma and systemic light-chain amyloidosis (AL), and also sees many patients with other forms of amyloidosis often because their diagnosis is unclear. They will discuss their personal experience with amyloidosis and its effects not only on the people diagnosed, but their family as well. Also discussed will be the mission of the Amyloidosis Foundation. Guest Amy Hawthorne

Episode Listing:

Brenda High

Joyce welcomes Brenda High, author of Bullycide In America, and founder of Bully Police USA, a watch-dog organization - advocating for bullied children and reporting on state anti-bullying laws. She will discuss in depth, the origin of the creation of her book, this organization and of www.jaredstory.com. Brenda’s son Jared committed Bullycide as a result of being beaten up and bullied at school. In addition she will discuss ways that the problem of Bullycide is being addressed across the country. Guest Brenda High

Episode Listing:

Celia Hindes

Joyce welcomes Celia Hindes, executive director of Variety the Children’s Charity in Pittsburgh, PA. The topic will be the mission and programs of this non-profit agency dedicated to enriching the lives of children with disabilities throughout Southwestern, PA. Guest Celia Hindes

Episode Listing:

Neva Hirschkorn

Neva Hirschkorn, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California to the show. Discussed on the show will be the goals that this affiliate has achieved and set for itself. In addition, Ms. Hirschkorn will share her perspective on issues faced by people with epilepsy in her community. She will also reflect on how her affiliate can help the National Epilepsy Foundation. Guest Neva Hirschkorn

Episode Listing:

Gerald Homme

Joyce welcomes Gerald Homme, chairman of the Bender Lead On Team and two other members of this youth-run advocacy group, Laura Thien, and Staci Foster. They will discuss in depth, the mission of the Bender Lead On Team. Through respect, determination, and unity this team will aid our youth in the advocacy of individuals with disabilities, particularly in the field of employment, anti-bullying, and college support. The group is led by, comprised of, and run by people with disabilities who will break through the adult-filter and become self-advocates and leaders within our communities. Guest Gerald Homme

Episode Listing:

Andy Imparato

Joyce welcomes Andy Imparato, president and CEO, of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). He will be discussing the mission and goals of the country's largest cross-disability membership organization, organizing the disability community to be a powerful voice for change – politically, economically, and socially. Guest Andy Imparato

Episode Listing:

Elaine Katz

Joyce welcomes Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), Roger DeRose, president of Kessler Foundation, Elaine Katz, vice president of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives at Kessler Foundation and Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive. Discussed on the show, will be an in-depth look at the missions of both organizations. The NOD promotes employment and the full participation of America’s 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life; while the mission of Kessler Foundation is to improve quality of life for people with disabilities through discovery, innovation, demonstration, application and dissemination. The organization’s vision is to be a leader in rehabilitation research and grant making to improve independence and productivity for people with disabilities. Guest Elaine Katz

Episode Listing:

Jonathan J. Kaufman

Joyce welcomes the President and Disability Strategist, for disabilityworks, Inc., Jonathan J. Kaufman. As a person with Cerebral Palsy, Mr. Kaufman will discuss the mission of his consulting firm, which helps corporations, government agencies and educational institutions develop strategies and initiatives that add value to those institutions and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. In addition, he will discuss his other advocacy work in support of advancing independence for all people with disabilities. Guest Jonathan J. Kaufman

Episode Listing:

Lewis Kull

In memoriam of the late Lewis Kull, member of the Board of Directors of ABRET, Joyce will replay the March 18, 2008 show of “Disability Matters with Joyce Bender” with him and Janice Walbert, Executive Director. Guest Lewis Kull

Episode Listing:

Dr. Ann Kulze

Dr. Ann Kulze, nationally recognized expert and motivational speaker in the areas of nutrition, healthy lifestyles and disease prevention Guest Dr. Ann Kulze

Episode Listing:

Joseph LaMountain

Joyce welcomes Joseph LaMountain, Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the National Epilepsy Foundation, and two students from the Kids Speak Up Campaign, Jonathan McCalla, and Allison Baker. They will discuss the campaign, which brings together kids with epilepsy with U.S. congressmen. The group urges members of Congress to help secure a better future for children with seizures by supporting federally funded medical research, programs that improve access to appropriate care, and public health education to reduce discrimination against people with epilepsy. Guest Joseph LaMountain

Episode Listing:

Charlie LaVallee



• Recently featured on the August 11, 2013 edition of PCN Profiles, a public affairs program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network that profiles notable Pennsylvanians.

• Has worked for more than 30 years to raise awareness in the community of the issues of uninsured children and adults, grieving children and their families, children with special health care needs and their families, children who have been physically and/or sexually abused, and children who are homeless.

• Previously served as the director of the Homeless Education Network (HEN). HEN is a collaborative initiative of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) and seeks to advocate and develop resources for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

• Has directed the Caring Program for Children, the first private sector initiative in the nation providing healthcare coverage for children in low income families who were ineligible for Medicaid. By working with members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor’s Office, the Caring Program was used as the model for what is now known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of Pennsylvania.

• Has also been involved extensively on a national platform creating and implementing the federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Guest Charlie LaVallee

Episode Listing:

Madonna Long

Joyce welcomes Madonna Long, Managing Editor of Chloe Magazine Online. Ms. Long will discuss the mission of this full scale women's magazine for women who are disabled published with the intent to showcase the positive impact that that women with disabilities are having in the workforce and in the community. Guest Madonna Long

Episode Listing:

Kathy Martinez

Joyce’s honored guest is Kathy Martinez, United States Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in the Department of Labor. During the show Assistant Secretary Martinez will share what it means to her to have been selected by President Obama for this new role within ODEP. Additionally, she will discuss how she believes she will be able to work within the Obama Administration to increase employment for Americans with disabilities. Guest Kathy Martinez

Episode Listing:

Jeannie Maul

Ms. Maul is Vice President and Global Account Executive for the DuPont account as part of CSC’s Managed Services Sector with Global Responsibility for New Business Development, Account Performance, Marketing and Financial Management to DuPont. Guest Jeannie Maul

Episode Listing:

Jonathan McCalla

Joyce welcomes Joseph LaMountain, Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the National Epilepsy Foundation, and two students from the Kids Speak Up Campaign, Jonathan McCalla, and Allison Baker. They will discuss the campaign, which brings together kids with epilepsy with U.S. congressmen. The group urges members of Congress to help secure a better future for children with seizures by supporting federally funded medical research, programs that improve access to appropriate care, and public health education to reduce discrimination against people with epilepsy. Guest Jonathan McCalla

Episode Listing:

Julie McCawley

Joyce welcomes Julie McCawley , an 11th grade youth leader with the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Foundation (SJS). Discussed on the show will be her leadership role, how she deals with bullying in school, and her recent luncheon with Michelle Obama. Guest Julie McCawley

Episode Listing:

Robert F. Norton

Joyce welcomes COL Robert F. Norton, USA-Ret., deputy director Government Relations, for Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). He will discuss the mission of MOAA, which is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. MOAA's highest priority is providing first-class service to its members. They are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community. Guest Robert F. Norton

Episode Listing:

Jane Orringer

Joyce welcomes Jane Orringer, Carolyn Crates, and Chris Cugini, high school students with disabilities from Fox Chapel High School in Pittsburgh, PA, who were part of 2008-2009 Bender Student Leadership Academy. This program is taught by Joyce Bender, in partnership with Bayer Corporation. Discussed on the show will be this unique program, which prepares students with disabilities for the world of work. Guest Jane Orringer

Episode Listing:

Geoff Pope

Joyce’s honored guest is Geoff Pope, cornerback, NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. Geoff will discuss his off the field charity work with the National Epilepsy Foundation and his personal reason for getting involved to inspire those with epilepsy to persevere and live independent lives. Guest Geoff Pope

Episode Listing:

Gail Pundsack

Joyce welcomes Gail Pundsack, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation in Colorado. Ms. Pundsack will discuss the mission and programs of this affiliate. Guest Gail Pundsack

Episode Listing:

Audrey Russo

Joyce welcomes Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Discussed on the show will be the mission of this organization, as well as the ways in which the group gets involved in the business community to foster and encourage the hiring of people with disabilities. Guest Audrey Russo

Episode Listing:

Kristin Schkade

Joyce welcomes Kristin Schkade, Chair of the Epilepsy Foundation’s National Youth Council, which is comprised of 10 young adults, ages 18 to 24 who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the epilepsy community. Ms. Schkade will discuss her experience on the council and her work as manager of the Epilepsy Foundation’s Texas youth camps. Guest Kristin Schkade

Episode Listing:

Steven B. Shivak

Joyce welcomes Steven B. Shivak, executive director of the American Diabetes Association of Western Pennsylvania. Among the topics discussed on the show will be the fact that diabetes is considered a disability and as such, is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also discussed will be the rise in cases of diabetes among children and youth and what can be done to change this alarming trend. Guest Steven B. Shivak

Episode Listing:

Bobby Silverstein

Darius Weems and Logan Smalley

Darius Weems and Producer/Director, Logan Smalley, discuss the documentary Darius Goes West. The documentary revolves around Darius, a teenager with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, who, because of his disease, had never left his hometown of Athens, Georgia. Therefore, in the summer of 2005, with the help of eleven young friends, Darius sets off on a road trip across the United States, testing wheelchair accessibility, with the ultimate goal of reaching Los Angeles in the hopes of funding Darius’ wheelchair customizations from an appearance on MTV Guest Darius Weems and Logan Smalley

Episode Listing:

Brien Smith

Joyce welcomes chair-elect of the National Epilepsy Foundation, Brien Smith, M.D., Director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Smith will discuss his current service on the Epilepsy Foundation Board of Directors, and is the current treasurer of the National Board of Directors, as well as chair-elect of the National Professional Advisory Board. Guest Brien Smith

Episode Listing:

Joel Snyder

Joyce welcomes Joel Snyder, founder, president, and CEO of Audio Description Associates. He is currently serving as the Director of the American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) new Audio Description Project, designed to boost awareness of description in all formats throughout the United States and establish ACB as a leading producer of broadcast media description. He will discuss his work in depth. Guest Joel Snyder

Episode Listing:

Anastasia Somoza


Anastasia Somoza, speaker during the first night of the Democratic National Convention on July 26, 2016. Guest Anastasia Somoza

Episode Listing:

Donna Stahlhut

Joyce welcomes Donna Stahlhut, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas (Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth). During the show she will discuss the ways in which this chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation is helping those with epilepsy live with this disability and how the chapter is helping to end the stigma that is associated with epilepsy. Guest Donna Stahlhut

Episode Listing:

Justin Strawhand

Edwin Black, author of War Against the Weak and Peter Demas, and Justin Strawhand, producer and director respectively of the film, War Against the Weak. They will discuss these works, which highlight the history of the American eugenics movement. The film is the winner of the 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival Award for best feature film. Guest Justin Strawhand

Episode Listing:

Humphrey Taylor

Joyce welcomes Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), Roger DeRose, president of Kessler Foundation, Elaine Katz, vice president of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives at Kessler Foundation and Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, a service of Harris Interactive. Discussed on the show, will be an in-depth look at the missions of both organizations. The NOD promotes employment and the full participation of America’s 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life; while the mission of Kessler Foundation is to improve quality of life for people with disabilities through discovery, innovation, demonstration, application and dissemination. The organization’s vision is to be a leader in rehabilitation research and grant making to improve independence and productivity for people with disabilities. Guest Humphrey Taylor

Episode Listing:

Dick Thornburgh

Joyce welcomes former Governor of Pennsylvania and Attorney General of the United States, Dick Thornburgh and his wife Ginny Thornburgh to the show. The Thornburgh’s will share their impressions of the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary. Guest Dick Thornburgh

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Ginny Thornburgh

Joyce’s honored guest is Ginny Thornburgh, director of the Interfaith Initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The initiative’s mission is to support people with disabilities and their families as they seek spiritual and religious access. She will discuss her work with this project, and a life long career as an advocate for people with disabilities. Guest Ginny Thornburgh

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Joe Valenzano

Joe Valenzano, president and CEO of Exceptional Parent Global Communications (EPGC), Inc., discusses his advocacy work through the magazine to help parents of children with disabilities. Guest Joe Valenzano

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Janice Walbert

In memoriam of the late Lewis Kull, member of the Board of Directors of ABRET, Joyce will replay the March 18, 2008 show of “Disability Matters with Joyce Bender” with him and Janice Walbert, Executive Director. Guest Janice Walbert

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Stephanie L. Walsh, MSW, LSW

Joyce welcomes Stephanie L. Walsh, MSW, LSW, executive director of The Center for Victims of Violence and Crime (CVVC), in Pittsburgh, PA. Discussed on the show will be the mission of the CVVC, which is a community-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to healing trauma, resolving conflict, and ending violence. Guest Stephanie L. Walsh, MSW, LSW

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Kathy West

Joyce welcomes Kathy West, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. Ms. West will discuss the mission and programs of this affiliate. Guest Kathy West

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