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2024 National APSE Board Nominee: Steve Upchurch, IN

2024 National APSE Board of Directors At-Large Candidate

MEET THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2024 NATIONAL APSE BOARD OF DIRECTORS: CLICK to read about all nominees before the election ends on March 18.

The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:

Family Member of a Person with a Disability, State Agency Representative

Describe your history/nature of involvement/interest in promoting competitive integrated employment in your state. Additionally, explain why you are passionate about competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities:

I have served as a member of the Indiana chapter’s Board of Directors since January 2017, and was involved with supporting Indiana’s Employment First legislation which passed that year. I have served the same amount of time as the Training Director for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation. I am committed to helping individuals with disabilities to achieve full inclusion in the community and the workplace. I actively support the Arc of Indiana’s advocacy efforts, and have a son with Autism who is president of the Self Advocates of Indiana. I believe that individuals with disabilities have the right to live, love, work, learn, play, participate and pursue their dreams in their community, and I am committed to help those within my sphere of influence to realize these goals.

What relevance does/should APSE and its chapters/members have in national and state conversations regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion?

I serve as a DEI&A leader in my agency and also serve on the Council of State Administrators of VR (CSAVR) DEI&A Professional Network. I believe that APSE does have a responsibility both nationally and in its chapters to promote productive conversations on DEI&A topics. The nation is growing more culturally diverse, and industry professionals must rise to meet the challenge of providing culturally relevant and appropriate services to our diverse constituents.

What skills, knowledge, or lived experience do you have that will contribute to strengthening and growing the financial health of APSE and promoting its mission to advance employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities?

I do have knowledge and experience in fundraising for not-for-profit organizations, including the Indiana APSE chapter. I have served as our chapter conference chair three times during my Board tenure, which involved soliciting sponsorships and adhering to a budget. I am committed to Employment First for individuals with disabilities, and seek to help them understand their benefits and work incentives. As a parent of an individual with a disability, I have the lived experience perspective as well. It is rewarding to see my son become and advocate himself for others with disabilities.

Biography

Steve Upchurch is the current president of the Indiana chapter of APSE, and is the Training Director for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Steve has served on the Board of Directors for the Indiana APSE chapter since January 2017. He is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Center for Innovative Training in VR; the steering committee for the VR Technical Assistance Center on Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE); and on the Council of State Administrators of VR (CSAVR) DEI&A Professional Network. Steve is the father of a son with a developmental disability who is becoming a disability advocate himself, currently serving as Advocacy Fellow with the Arc of Indiana and as president of the Self-Advocates of Indiana.

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