Bender Consulting Services, Inc. Mourns the Passing of Bender President, Mary Brougher

August 13, 2021

Contact: Sherry Lapaglia (412) 787-8567


Bender Consulting Services, Inc. Mourns the Passing of Bender President, Mary Brougher

It is with great sadness and loss that Bender Consulting Services announces the passing of Bender President and lifelong disability rights advocate, Mary Brougher. Over these past few days, Mary was doing one of the things she loved most, which was being outdoors, hiking and enjoying nature’s beauty. Mary experienced a tragic accident during this outing, one that claimed a life that was full of energy and unconditional love for all she knew.

Joyce Bender, Founder and CEO of Bender, said that “While this will take time for all of us to process, let me say simply that Mary was my rock. All of those who loved and cherished Mary will celebrate her life, not just over the coming days, but in the years to come, by emulating her joyful spirit and tireless advocacy by doubling our efforts to support the disability community. Mary’s physical presence is gone but her heart and spirit must live on in our work to honor the life she lived.”

Tony Coelho, the primary author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Chairman of the Bender Advisory Board, said in a statement that “Mary was a fierce advocate for disability rights, one who led with her enormous heart, intellect and work ethic that was second to none. Mary’s loss is one that will be felt across the disability community and by all those who had the honor of knowing and working with her.”

Maria Town, President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), issued the following statement: “Mary Brougher was a force for good in every way and led a life of purpose. She was a champion of disability employment and supported so many people with disabilities on their personal and professional journeys. A friend to everyone she met, Mary’s boundless energy and enthusiasm for life was infectious, making her loss all the more painful. Her impact on the disability community will continue for years to come, and she will be deeply missed. ”  

In addition to serving as President of Bender and as an employee of Bender since 1994, Mary’s passion for disability rights extended to her leadership as a Board Member at the Bender Leadership Academy, which she helped establish in 2018 to expand opportunities for employment of people with disabilities from youth through adulthood. For those who want to honor Mary’s life, who want to send condolences to the family and who want to carry on Mary’s work that was at the core of who she was, Mary’s family and the team at Bender ask that you make a contribution to the Bender Leadership Academy in her honor, which you can do by visiting here. Mary Brougher Press Release