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Disability Matters


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.

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.


Pittsburgh, PA




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.




3 Penn Center West, Suite 223 Pittsburgh, PA 15276 1-866-472-5788


Mission of Variety the Children's Charity

Joyce welcomes Charlie LaVallee, CEO of Variety the Children’s Charity to the show. Variety the Children’s Charity is a non-profit organization that strives to enable children with disabilities to live life to the fullest with a focus on mobility, communication, and social interaction throughout 71 counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They will discuss the programs and services of this non-profit organization, and the importance of giving to this cause during the holiday season.


Business/Disability Community Together to Employ Disabled

Joyce welcomes the Honorable Tony Coelho, author, and principal sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Tinamarie Duff, Global Lead, with the Disability Focused Employee Resource Group at Bristol-Myers Squibb to the show. To see the employment of people with disabilities increase, we need the business community and disability community to work together. Hear both distinguished guests discuss this issue in-depth.


Epilepsy Alliance America

As November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, Joyce welcomes two members of the board of Epilepsy Alliance America, Allison DeBattista, founding member and serves as board member of the Epilepsy Alliance Louisiana Also Liza Gundell, Chief Executive Officer of Epilepsy Services of New Jersey. Epilepsy Alliance America is a nation-wide network of community-based epilepsy organizations who are dedicated to confronting the spectrum of challenges created by seizures through the promotion of...


Highmark, Inc. Committed to Hiring People with Disabilities

Joyce welcomes Deborah Rice-Johnson, President, and Chief Growth Officer for Highmark, Inc. to the show. Ms. Rice-Johnson will share her story of success and how she started her career at Highmark and rose the President of Highmark, Inc. from entry-level positions such as, claims processing and customer service. Among other topics discussed will be her role within the organization today, how much the organization has grown over the years and the locations in which, Highmark operates. Also...


Mission of SimpleHealth

Joyce welcomes Carrie SiuButt, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SimpleHealth to the show. At 13, Carrie was diagnosed with dystonia, a rare movement control disease. For her walking became excruciatingly painful over time. Living with this disability, in February 2020, she joined company SimpleHealth as CEO. It was on the brink of failure. She and her team dug in and grew the business 10x in 12 months. Founded in 2018 and based in New York City, SimpleHealth makes reproductive wellness...


National Disability Rights Leader, Jonathan Young

Joyce welcomes National Disability Rights Leader and the originator of Disability Mentoring Day, Jonathan Young to the show. Jonathan served at the White House during the Clinton administration as the Disability Liaison to the President. Currently, Jonathan is the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Akero Therapeutics in South San Francisco. Akero Therapeutics is a clinical-stage cardio-metabolic company developing transformational treatments for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a...


Mission of the Careers 2B Program

Joyce welcomes Gary Dick, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Highmark Health Solutions to the show. He will be discussing his organization’s long-standing commitment to hire people with disabilities through the Program he created, Careers 2B™. The Careers2B™ Program serves as a national workforce development model to address the lack of professional work experience barrier to competitive employment for people with disabilities and improve employment outcomes for talented professionals with...


Innovation in Technology for People with Disabilities at Pitt

Joyce welcomes Dr. Rory Cooper, who early this year was appointed the University of Pittsburgh’s (Pitt's) first-ever assistant vice chancellor for research for STEM-health sciences collaborations. Dr. Cooper is world-renowned for his inventions and patents when it comes to wheelchair technology. He will further discuss the work being done in this area at the University of Pittsburgh and share other ways that he has dedicated his life to improving the lives for people with disabilities...


Mission of the Advanced Leadership Institute

Joyce welcomes Evan Frazier, President and CEO of the Advanced Leadership Institute to the show. Conceived in 2016 with a vision to address the lack of Black executive management in Pittsburgh's corporations, TALI partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to create an executive leadership academy to educate, develop, and position Black leaders for meaningful advancement in corporate and community roles. Mr. Frazier will discuss this mission in detail and share how the mission addresses...


University of Harford’s Commitment to Students with Disabilities

Joyce welcomes Mark Boxer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the University of Hartford to the show. Named to this post in June of 2020, he will discuss how he has carried over the same commitment to hire people with disabilities that he held at Cigna to help all students including those with disabilities at the University of Hartford.


Bender/Coelho Disability Leadership Initiative

Following the passing of Bender Consulting Services President, Mary Brougher, Joyce Bender, Founder and CEO, has joined forces with former Member of Congress, Tony Coelho, the primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to expand Bender’s decades of service in honor of Mary’s lifelong work to engage corporations in the fight for disability rights. This new program called Bender/Coelho Disability Leadership Initiative, will focus on the retained search of people with...


Encore The Japanese Commitment to Disability Inclusion

Exciting news! Hear a show from Japan on the commitment to disability inclusion! Joyce is thrilled to welcome Megumi Kawakami a certified deaf interpreter accredited by Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and Martin Dale-Hench, Japanese - English Translator who has worked at companies such as Amazon.to the show. Ms. Kawakami will tell her story about how she managed as a child who is deaf in Okinawa, Japan and how that inspired her to became one of the only ASL/JSL interpreters in...


Encore HMHS’ Commitment to the Employment of People with Disabilities

Joyce welcomes back to the show, Mick Malec, president, of HM Health Solutions. Mr. Malec will discuss his commitment, as well as the organization’s commitment, to the employment of people with disabilities. His leadership is instrumental in the partnership of Highmark with Bender Consulting Services and the success of the employment of people with disabilities within the company.


Encore Mission of the Bender Leadership Academy

Joyce welcomed to the show Scott Hammerstrom, manager of programs and partnerships for Bender Leadership Academy. This non-profit organization has been serving students with disabilities since 2001. It accomplishes the mission of competency-based workforce development through a continuum of learning. Its goal is to increase long-term competitive employment for youth with disabilities. The Bender Leadership Academy delivers competency building programs that enable students with disabilities...


Encore: Joyce's Honored Guest, Senator, Tom Harkin-Don't Miss This!!!

Joyce’s honored guest is former Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). As we prepare to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 2021, the Senator will discuss the journey to get the legislation passed, its importance, and how critical it is to continue advocating for the independence and employment of all people with disabilities.


Disability Advocate, Laura E. Randa

Joyce welcomes Laura E. Randa, disability advocate and chief commercial officer of Curio Digital Therapeutics, Inc. to the show. The company is focused on pioneering digital health in women's health. Its first product is in the post-partum depression area to help women going through this. She will share the company’s important work with this population, and also talk about her advocacy work on behalf of all people with disabilities.


Commemorating the 31st Anniversary of ADA!

Joyce welcomes former democratic congressman from California and statesman, The Honorable Tony Coelho, and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to the show. Since we celebrated the 31st anniversary of the signing of the ADA into law, on July 26, 1990 yesterday, Mr. Coelho will share his personal story of living with epilepsy. Also, he will share the steps in the effort to get the ADA signed into law and the progress we have made since the ADA was passed. 31 years ago.


31st Anniversary of Signing of ADA- Part 2

Joyce welcomes Tari Hartman, Squire founding CEO of EIN SOF Communications, and Mary E. Dolan, executive director, FDR Memorial Legacy Committee to the show. EIN SOF Communications is a woman-owned small business specializing in disability-inclusive diversity and public policy in strategic marketing the disability community and employment consultation. The mission of the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee s to preserve the memory of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s catalytic involvement in issues...


Commemorating 31st Anniversary of ADA

Joyce welcomes back Kelly Buckland, executive director of the National Council of Independent Living (NCIL), and Maria Town, the president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and to the show. As our nation prepares to commemorate the 31st Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law by President H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, both guests will reflect on the impact of this landmark legislation on the lives...


Fred Maahs, Jr.-Passionate Advocate for People with Disabilities

Joyce welcomes Fred J. Maahs Jr., president of FJM Solutions, LLC. FJM Solutions, LLC, offers options for people with disabilities to live and thrive in the community with greater independence. It accomplishes this in several areas including: providing service to corporations, connecting them to experts in the field; offering companies the methodology to build a more inclusive workforce; providing expertise for the travel and tourism industry on accessibility, accommodations and other issues...