2024 Conference Schedule

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  • Conference app information
  • Schedule-at-a-Glance
  • About our Keynote Speakers
  • Breakout Session Tracks

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Schedule-at-a-Glance* (revised: 6/5/24)

Schedule at a Glance 6_5_24

*Note - schedule is subject to change

About our Keynote Presenters:

Andy Arias is a seasoned disability program manager, policy development professional, actor, and producer with extensive experience in national initiatives. He self-identifies as a disabled, Latinx, and queer individual. Currently, Andy serves as the Component Manager for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and Families at the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC). In this role, he oversees the advancement of cultural and linguistic competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)-Georgetown University NCCC Partnership for Systems Change. 

Prior to his work at the NCCC, Andy served as a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment, collaborating with federal agencies to develop employment policies. He also worked as a System Change Advocate and Program Manager for Orange County and Los Angeles. His projects have consistently focused on creating career pathways for marginalized communities, particularly individuals with disabilities. His expertise in policy development and DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) practices has earned him recognition as a national subject matter expert. 

In addition to his policy work, Andy is deeply involved in the entertainment industry. He has acted in numerous productions and had the privilege of working alongside renowned actors such as Tom Hanks, Mark Ruffalo, and Hilary Swank. As an accessibility consultant, he advises producers and directors on creating greater media visibility for people with disabilities. Andy has also produced films that highlight the intersectionality between disability, LGBTQIA, and Latinx identities, including "The Unicorn Closet" and Extra Special." Currently, he is producing a documentary titled "Dani's Twins," aiming to portray intersectionality and marginalized identities through a diverse disability lens. 

Andy's advocacy extends beyond the entertainment industry. He frequently speaks and trains at universities, high schools, and for Congressional leaders on ADA compliance and the inclusion of people with disabilities and BIPOC communities. He has received multiple awards for his efforts in promoting LGBTQIA and disability equality. 

Furthermore, Andy's leadership experience enabled him to develop and implement a successful youth program in Southern California, serving over 150 young adults with disabilities. The curriculum he created for this program continues to be utilized by County agencies today. Andy's work has also extended to the corporate sector, where he has worked to expand disability awareness and equality. 

Lora Brugnaro during birth, acquired cerebral palsy which is an integral part of who she is and how she lives. She has been employed since 18, mostly in human services; working in various direct service, state positions and for system change organizations which focus on people with disabilities. She lives through grit, humor and doing everything a little differently as her disability demands that she find alternatives in order to live in the main stream.  She has spoken at national conferences such as The American Association of People with Disabilities and APSE-The Network on Employment and has been a contributing author for several Institute for Community Inclusion guides on employment and disability. Her advocacy extends to the classroom where she has spoken to classes of Northeastern, Boston College and Mass General Institute students about accessibility and the experience of living with CP.  Currently she works part-time on a peer mentoring project for a homeless program at a local Boston hospital. She writes poetry when the inspiration strikes and has a manuscript called A Child’s Fire Escape, about the struggle to come to terms with having a disability. Her passions include travel and a horse named. Lola, North End lobster tail pastries and people who keep up with her curious mind. 

Breakout Session Tracks:

  • Effective Practices in Employment
  • Engagement and Community Partnerships
  • Advancing Employment First Through Policy and Research
  • Charting a Course: Funding and Managing Employment Services
  • Innovative Job Coaching Strategies
  • Navigating Job Development and Career Pathways
  • Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Supporting Underserved Populations
  • Emerging Leaders Advancing Employment First

Venue Location

Le Meridian and Sheraton* Charlotte

555 S. McDowell St.
Charlotte, NC 28204

(704) 372-4100

Room Block Reservation Link:
(Valid through May 17, 2024)

*Note - As of May 1, 2024, there is limited availability at the Sheraton.

Thank you to our 2024 Sponsors and Exhibitors!

Accessibility Partners

Corporate Partner

Gold Level Sponsor

Silver Level Sponsor

Bronze Level Sponsor


Host Chapter


Chapter Sponsors



  • ACRE
  • Attainment Company, Inc.
  • Center on Community Living and Careers
  • CESP
  • Colorado Office of Employment First
  • de Moya Foundation
  • DirectCourse / Elsevier
  • ICI UMass
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • LifeSpan
  • Mass Mutual
  • North Carolina Division of Rehabilitation Services
  • North Carolina APSE
  • On Target
  • Project SEARCH
  • SetWorks
  • Therap
  • ThinkCollege
  • Wise