About the Track: See all 12 sessions below!

Diversity in Employment Services Keywords: intersectionality, equity and inclusion, chapter and grassroots efforts, mental health, disability-specific, veterans, aging, race, LGBTQ+

PLUS JOIN TUESDAY! Virtual Networking with a focus on the "Diversity in Employment Services" Track happening Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Therap services logo.
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Colorado Office of Employment First - Work Elevated. Logo is a mountain with a yellow trend line up and to the right.

#2021APSE Virtual Conference
14th-18th June 2021

Small group networking opportunities daily

Large all attendee sessions with keynotes and panel speakers

Your registration includes access to the videos after the live event until September 2021
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Sun over green hills art. Text: "ILLUMINATE" in an orange gradient. Text: "2021 APSE Virtual Conference: Lighting the Path Forward for Employment First."

Monday, June 14, 2021

12 PM - 1 PM EST

#2021APSE Opening General Session: Welcomes & Business Panel
JOIN on Facebook Live for the opening panel on Monday, June 14th from 12-1 pm EST!
That's 11 am Central, 10 am Mountain, 9 am Pacific
In this timely conversation moderated by Julie Christensen, we will shine a light on concepts of intersectionality and why inclusion initiatives within the business community should be reflective of all facets of social identities (disability, race, gender, class, marital status, faith, etc.). How do we create space to talk about issues of inclusion, inequality, and injustice within the workforce? Panelists will discuss strategies for creating a culture of inclusion and will share stories and best practices for developing and implementing inclusive policies and practices in the workplace.
Image of presenters, a white older man, a Black younger man.

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM EST

Forgotten No More: BIPOC Leaders in the Disability Rights Movement

As a continuation of the APSE 2020 keynote celebration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we take a closer look at the Black, Indigenous, People of Color who have disabilities, have shaped the disability rights movement, and enriched our culture. Participants will learn about our heroes who, through their courage and conviction, fought for equality and laid the foundation of the four “pillars” of the ADA; full participation, independent living, equality of opportunity, and economic self-sufficiency.

Keywords: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), disability rights as civil rights, intersectionality

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EST

Identifying Vocational Rehabilitation Outreach and Service Training Priorities: A National Survey from Diverse Perspectives

The Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment’s (VRTAC-QE) is a federally-funded project with the goal of increasing the knowledge and skills of state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and community partners that help people with disabilities achieve career advancement and competitive integrated employment. In 2021 we completed a series of needs assessment surveys to identify the perspectives of multiple groups and stakeholders about the needs and priorities for training about VR outreach and services. We received responses from persons with disabilities and their family members, community-based employment services providers, advocacy groups, employers, and VR counselors and administrators. We will discuss key findings including the priorities of the different groups, where services and outreach are most needed, and how APSE professionals can inform and participate in local and national training opportunities.

Keywords: Quality Employment, Training Needs, Supervision, Organizational transformation

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM EST

Engaging Diverse Communities Through Innovation and Targeted OutreachLaptop showing 3 presenters, 2 Black men, 1 white woman.

The session will provide state agencies, non-profits, provider agencies, families, and self-advocates with tools on how to identify and better serve diverse communities in their state/region. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in discussion with team members from the District of Columbia who have developed innovative programs, interactive bilingual conferences, surveys, and toolkits for diverse communities within the District.

Keywords: Equity, Diversity, Employment, Discovery

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EST

The Secret Rulebook: What Autistic Employees and Their Supporters Need to Know About Unspoken Expectations at Work

Every workplace has its own unique culture and expectations. For most neurotypical people, new ways of interaction and general conduct are absorbed without much ado. Autistic workers often rely on more direct communication and may benefit from guidance around hidden agendas. From the not-exactly-optional office party to the questions nobody told us were rude, the office and the factory floor are packed with social landmines. This presentation will help employment specialists recognize the ways in which unwritten rules become barriers and will offer suggestions for making the secret rulebook more legible.

Track 2: Workplace Supports and Job Coaching

Keywords: Autism, hidden agenda, social engagement, rules, workplace culture

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM EST

The Intersectionality of Race, Disability, and Employment Through the Project SEARCH Lens

This session will introduce attendees to the Project SEARCH internship training program, which is designed to improve employment outcomes for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The presenters will discuss Project SEARCH intern demographics (e.g., disability category, secondary diagnoses, racial/ethnic backgrounds, and geographic location of residence). The presenters will then discuss intern demographics as a potential factor in the rate and quality of employment following completion of the Project SEARCH program.

Track 2: Career Exploration, Discovery, and Job Development

Keywords: diversity, equity, inclusion, employment

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EST

Navigating Social/Sexual Challenges in the Workplace

Assisting individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as they navigate the social expectations of the workplace is always a challenge, but when situations of a sexual nature arise, the challenge becomes more complex. This presentation will consider the ways in which society has refused to acknowledge the sexuality of individuals with disabilities from both a historical and modern-day lens, and how this refusal contributes to social/sexual difficulties in the workplace. Employment specialists will leave with tools to proactively prevent and appropriately respond to these situations while simultaneously supporting the healthy sexuality of the people we serve.

Track 2: Workplace Supports and Job Coaching

Keywords: Sexuality, Social/Sexual Supports, Social Inclusion

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM EST

Confronting Complacency: Ableism as a Barrier to Equitable Employment

This session will lead participants through a discussion on how ableism unintentionally permeates disability service provision (with a specific focus on employers, professionals, and providers). Even amongst disability service providers, disability inclusion is not a topic many are proficient in. Many providers of disability employment services are not required to learn about disability rights, history, identity, or culture. Historic exclusion has resulted in minimal exposure and experience living and working alongside people with disabilities equitably. Because of this gap in lived experience and/or acquired knowledge, organizations need to make intentional efforts to re-examine the systems we uphold and operate within, and ensure we include people with disabilities in all components of service planning and delivery. This session will be facilitated with the intent of opening discussion and creating dialogue for those who care about advancing disability employment, and how we can either choose to break down (or continue to build up) barriers to disability employment – especially the intangible, attitudinal barriers people with disabilities still face every day in their pursuit of self-determination.

Track 2: Funding and Management Employment Services and Teams

Keywords: Ableism, Disability Rights, Attitudinal Barriers, Equity

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM EST


Leveraging Electronic Documentation Software to Improve Employment Outcomes. A Panel Discussion

Chances are that you and your organization use electronic documentation software for automating billing and compliance reporting. However, this software can do more than that. Join this session to hear from a panel of vendors of electronic documentation software and learn how to leverage this technology for tracking metrics that matter and improve your program’s effectiveness in assisting job seekers in getting jobs.

Track 2: Technology in the Workplace

Keywords: Employment outcomes, Effectiveness, Quality improvement, Electronic documentation software, Evidence-based

Thursday, June 17, 2021

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM EST

Have You Heard? Groundbreaking Employment First Legislation Passed! Find out Why, How, Lessons Learned and Next Steps

This session will include a review of how Employment First legislation was written and passed with funding to professionalize our thriving supported employment workforce. We will share the process for getting stakeholder input, alongside collaboration with nationally recognized training and certification entities, and how these partnerships strengthened not only our legislation, but Colorado’s vision for what it means to be an Employment First state. We will also include operational strategies, including; meeting employment specialists where they are, making sure employment specialists know this is an investment in them, and providing the flexibility in a diverse array of training options including remote learning. To conclude we will provide lessons learned, our path sustainability and how this opportunity can be applicable to your workforce and most importantly the current and future impact on people with disabilities getting and keeping great jobs.

Track 2: Career Exploration, Discovery, and Job Development

Keywords: Public Policy, Funding, Training and Certification, Remote Learning, Core Competencies

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EST

Keeping it Simple and Significant: SE Strategies for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities

Supported Employment (SE) providers have the honor and challenge of working with individuals with disabilities, connecting them with jobs that allow them to unleash their full potential. This population comes in all shapes and sizes, with unique needs and strengths. Sometimes these needs, especially those with the most significant disabilities, call into question for even the best SE providers if there is a way to move forward. This session will focus specifically on those with the most significant disabilities, their unique challenges, and providing concrete tools for SE providers to properly support those with the utmost need as they pursue and obtain competitive, integrated employment.

Track 2: Workplace Supports and Job Coaching

Keywords: Most Significant Disabilities, Employment Strategies

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM EST

COVID-19 and Employment Supports: What Have We Learned

COVID-19 significantly disrupted the delivery of employment services and supports in difficult and unexpected ways. This session will explore what we have learned from employment consultants who provided supports in this unprecedented time, and what implications their innovations have for employment support in the future. An individual who receives employment support and the employment consultant who supports them will illustrate innovation and the development of practices that inform employment supports in the future.

Track 2: Workplace Supports and Job Coaching

Keywords: COVID-19, employment supports, promising practices, remote supports

Friday, June 18, 2021

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM EST

Peer Supporters Can Lead the Way

Amerigroup Tennessee is partnering with The Arc of Tennessee and disAbility Link Center for Independent Living to train people with IDD to become effective Peer Supporters so that they may support individuals with IDD to lead more self-directed, autonomous, and satisfying lives. These Peer Supporters will have jobs with providers in Tennessee’s Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES program. They will offer guidance and support to other people with IDD to pursue employment, expand their community engagement and social connections, and serve as a bridge to the community for people waiting for services.

Keywords: Peer Support, Managed Care Organization (MCO), NonProfit, Business partnership, waiver support