Registration for the 2017 APSE National Conference

The National APSE Conference is the only national conference focused solely on the advancement of Employment First.

The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) National Conference brings together more than 1,000 community leaders, businesses, and individuals with disabilities from across the country and around the world to network and discuss state-of-the-art strategies to ensure equitable employment for all citizens with disabilities. Join us and take advantage of:

  • Education and networking opportunities
  • 2 On-Site CESP™ Exam Opportunities
  • Pre-conference sessions followed by 2.5 days of more than 100 high quality, interactive breakout sessions by national experts
  • Dozens of Exhibitors
  • National Awards

Registration for the General Conference is sold out.

June 19, 2017 - Pre Conference

June 19, 2017 - Students and Families for APSE

June 20-22, 2017 - General Conference

Held at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront

1401 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97201

Conference Agenda

Monday, June 19th

Student and Families for APSE

8am-9am: Continental Breakfast

9am-10:00am: Opening Keynote & Welcome

10:15am-noon: Concurrent Breakout sessions in 3 tracks                        

  • Track 1: For Students in Transition Services                         
  • Track 2: For Parents/Family members of Students receiving Transition Services                         
  • Track 3: For Transition Services Personnel

noon-1:30pm: Extended Luncheon & Networking 

1:30pm-3:30pm: Concurrent Breakout sessions in 3 tracks                       

  • Track 1: For Students in Transition Services                        
  • Track 2: For Parents/Family members of Students receiving Transition Services                        
  • Track 3: For Transition Services Personnel 

3:45pm-4:30pm: Closing Keynote

Monday, June 19th


9am-noon: 3 Concurrent Preconference Sessions

1pm-4pm: 3 Concurrent Preconference Sessions

9am-4pm: 2 CESP Exams

4:30pm-7pm: Chapter Leadership Summit (invite only)  

  • Awarding: Rebecca McDonald and Wendy Wood Award

Tuesday, June 20th

2017 National APSE Conference

Day 1: General Conference

7am-5pm: Exhibiting

7am-8am: Continental Breakfast

8am-9:30am: Opening Session: APSE Welcome, Followed by the Keynote then Awarding: APSE Professional Award, APSE Best Practice Organization Award, APSE Public Policy Advocate of the Year Award, Dave Hammis Innovation Award

9:45am-11am: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

11:20am-12:20am: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

12:20-2pm: Lunch on your own

2:15pm-3:30pm: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

3:50pm-5:05pm: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

5:30pm-7pm: Welcome Reception

Block Party to Celebrate Employment For All: OR APSE, Washington APSE and WISE invite you to attend a walk and block party in downtown Portland, leaving from the conference hotel.

Wednesday, June 21st

2017 National APSE Conference

Day 2: General Conference

7am-5pm: Exhibiting

7am-8am: Continental Breakfast

8am-9am: APSE Membership Meeting (APSE Members only)

9:15am-10:30am: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

10:50-12:05pm: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

12:05-2pm: Luncheon, Keynote and Awarding: APSE Employer Awards, Personal Achievement Award, Got Mike! Educational Leadership Award

2:15pm-3:30pm: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

3:50pm-5:05pm: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

7pm-11pm: APSE Karaoke (in the hotel)

We have designed a track (just on Wednesday) that is specifically for employers who are looking for more information on hiring diversity initiatives and practices. These sessions are employer-led for employers. Find out more information about this session here.

Thursday, June 22nd

National APSE Conference

Day 3: General Conference

7:30am-8:30am: Continental Breakfast

8:30am-9:30am: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

9:45am-10:45am: 10-12 Concurrent Breakout Sessions

11am-Noon: Closing Remarks and Keynote

Opening Keynote Speaker: Senator Sara Gelser began her service in the Oregon House of Representatives in 2005 and was sworn into the Oregon State Senate in 2016. She currently chairs the Senate Human Services Committee.  Her legislative efforts have focused on serving vulnerable and low income populations, with a special emphasis on education, sexual and domestic violence, child abuse, and foster and incarcerated youth.  Her legislative accomplishments include the modernization of Oregon’s rape statute, the prohibition of the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools, and legislation to improve Oregon’s child welfare system.  In 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Sara to serve on the National Council on Disability, and the appointment was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the US Senate.  Prior to her legislative service, Sara worked for the Oregon Department of Human Services and she taught parent education courses through Linn Benton Community College. Sara received her BA from Earlham College, and an MAIS from Oregon State University.

Wednesday luncheon keynote will be provided by:

Closing Keynote Speaker: Wally Tablit is the current Vice President of Employment Services with AtWork! in Washington State. Wally is a recognized leader in the field of Supported Employment with over 18 years experience working with people with disabilities. He is known as a strong collaborator and colleague among employment providers. An energetic and motivating leader, Wally’s enduring passion to cultivate and build highly efficient teams fuels his efforts to nurture and mentor the next generation of leaders. Wally is involved with many key projects and strategies to help successfully implement the Employment First movement. Wally currently serves as President of Washington State APSE.

Wally believes everyone should have a place in their community, a mission for their life, and a signature theme song.

Closing Keynote Speaker: EricMatthes works for the for the Arc of King County in Washington as the Community Change Champions Program Coordinator along as a civil rights activist. His program at the Arc is a resource for people with I/DD and the community at large. The program is led by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who promote disability awareness and organizes advocacy activities. The program focuses on disability awareness and acceptance, employment real work = real pay, and legislative advocacy.

Eric wants everyone to know this about people with disabilities: I’m not your inspiration, I’m a man, I’m not special.

He also states "Living an inclusive life at work, in the community, at home, and at play is important to me. It gives me self-respect, and it helps me to earn the respect of others. If you have to use an R- word when referring to me, I hope the word is RESPECT exchange the word retarded for the word respect and start seeing helping the world becoming a better place... 

Do Not work on me. Work with me."

Keynote Speaker: Kathy Martinez is senior vice president and head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo. In this role, she oversees the development and execution of enterprise business and marketing strategies supporting people with disabilities and their families.  Martinez defines strategies related to online and physical accessibility for customers and team members, hiring and promotion of team members with disabilities, national non-profit partnership programs, and disability-owned suppliers.  

Martinez joined Wells Fargo in 2015 from the U.S. Department of Labor where she served as the assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Prior to that, Martinez was executive director of the World Institute on Disability and she served on the National Council on Disability, the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the State Department’s advisory committee on disability and foreign policy.

Thursday Keynote Speakers: 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Speaker: As Managing Director, Office of Disability Inclusion, Jim Sinocchi will work closely with senior leaders across the firm to establish consistent standards and processes to better support employees with disabilities. The office will also support employees who care for disabled family members.

Jim joins JPMorgan Chase & Co. from IBM where he led global workforce communications. This included working across multiple internal and external channels to create awareness and understanding of IBM's Human Resources and Diversity programs, policies and initiatives. He also served as co-chair for the IBMers with Disabilities Global Task Force. 

Jim is keenly aware of the issues and challenges facing people with disabilities as he sustained a spinal cord injury early in his business career. He has been active in creating awareness and understanding of living with a disability through his blog, View from the Chair. He has served on the boards of Jawonio, an organization focused on the well-being and equality of people with disabilities, and the Human Rights Commission in Rockland County, NY. He is also a board member of Abilities Inc, part of the Viscardi School -- a special education school in NY for severely disabled students. Diversity and inclusion remain imperative to JPMorgan Chase's corporate culture. 

Jim previously served as the Corporate Communications Director for IBM’s Workforce Communications organization in Armonk, New York. His role was to ensure IBM’s HR programs complemented IBM’s image as a technology leader and employer of choice. He was also responsible for creating messages and materials that described IBM’s HR efforts around the world in venues that included media relations, internal communications and events. In addition, he served as lead co-chair executive for the IBMers with Disabilities Global Council.

Wednesday Keynote Speakers: 

Hotel Information

Overlooking the Willamette River, this polished downtown hotel is within 0.5 miles of both Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society. 

Bright, standard rooms are accented with local artwork and feature flat-screens with premium channels, Wi-Fi , coffeemakers, desks with ergonomic chairs, down comforters and granite countertops. Suites add views of the river, living rooms, iPod docks and private balconies. Room service is available. The hotel serves a full breakfast and has a fitness facility, a bistro and lounge, a business center and over 44,000 sq ft of flexible meeting/event space.

The hotel block is now full. However, we have secured an overflow block and this can be found at the link below. Please note the overflow hotel block IS NOT at the conference location. The overflow hotel block will be at the Portland Marriott City Center

Students & Families for APSE Conference

Students & Families for APSE 2017 will take place on June 19th 2017 in Portland OR! This event is open to High School students in Transition, Parents& Families and Transition Teachers. Join us for a full day event including breakout sessions, networking events and engaging keynotes to ensure inclusive employment post high school!

Event schedule for Monday, June 19th, 2017:

8am-9am: Continental Breakfast

9am-10:00am: Opening Keynote & Welcome

10:15am-noon: Concurrent Breakout sessions in 3 tracks.                        

  • Track 1: For Students in Transition Services                         
  • Track 2: For Parents/Family members of Students receiving Transition Services                         
  • Track 3: For Transition Services Personnel 

noon-1:30pm: Extended Luncheon & Networking

1:30pm-3:30pm: Concurrent Breakout sessions in 3 tracks.                    

  • Track 1: For Students in Transition Services                        
  • Track 2: For Parents/Family members of Students receiving Transition Services                        
  • Track 3: For Transition Services Personnel

3:45pm-4:30pm: Closing Keynote 

If you receive Comprehensive Waiver funded supports through the K-Plan, 

you might be able to attend the event at no charge! 

Please note that the Students & Families for APSE Conference is not included 

in the National Conference pricing and will need to be purchased separately.  

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Reach the right people in the right place by securing your sponsorship opportunities today!

Registration for exhibitors is now closed. If you have questions about exhibiting and/or sponsoring the 2017 APSE National Conference please contact Macey Chovaz at (301) 279-0060 or

Meet our Contributor Sponsors

Meet our Exhibitors

Meet our Silver Sponsors

Meet our Gold Sponsors

Meet our Supporter Sponsors

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