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National APSE Conference

#APSE2020 Conference Web Banner

Join us at the 2020 National APSE Conference!

Pre-Conference June 15

General Conference June 16-18, 2020

Denver, Colorado

The 2020 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 people 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.

About the Conference
Request for Proposals
Conference Schedule
Meet Us In Denver
About the Conference

Employment First: Elevated

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.

Attendees had the advantage of:

  • Education and networking 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
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What Does Employment First Mean?

Employment First means that employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving assistance from publicly funded systems. Simply put, Employment First means real jobs, real wages.

Employment in the general workforce means regular jobs like everyone else in society: in typical work settings, working side-by-side with people without disabilities, earning regular wages and benefits and being part of the economic mainstream of our society.

APSE supports Employment First to facilitate the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and community.

The APSE National Conference attracts key influencers and stakeholders representing employers, communities, agencies, and services. APSE members are the very people and organizations impacted by Employment First; citizens with disabilities, and their families, universities, rehabilitation counselors, agency personnel and service providers. 

The National Conference is designed to provide actionable ideas, state-of-the-art programming, as well as tools, solutions, and technologies that will empower you to take directly back to your business, home and community to impact change. Come ready to learn, network, and do!


Will my employer help me attend?

APSE has created a template letter of support letter. We also suggest using the information from the website to help your employer see the benefit of attending the 2020 national APSE conference.

Do you know several people who would like to attend the national APSE 2020 conference in Denver, Colorado? You can get $50 off of each additional professional registration if you register multiple people at the same time.

Early Bird Rate

Best Deal! Ends January 31, 2020

Registration SelectionMember RateNon-member Rate
Professional Registration$380$480
Self-Advocate/Immediate Family/ Student Registration$255$355
One Day Registration$230$330

Pre-Conference Registration

Register for the pre-conference workshops for Monday, June 15, 2020. These workshop-style sessions are 3-hours in length. There are 3 tracks available for sessions: Innovative Practices, Organizational Growth, & Grassroots Advocacy. Sign up for one or both pre-conference sessions when registering to maximize your time at #APSE2020!
Member Rate - One session: $110; Two sessions: $160.
Nonmember Rate - One session: $160; Two sessions: $210.


February 1, 2020 - April 30, 2020

Registration SelectionMember RateNon-member Rate
Professional Registration$480$580
Self-Advocate/Immediate Family/ Student Registration$305$405
One Day Registration$230$330

Regular Rate

May 1, 2020 - June 16, 2020

Registration SelectionMember RateNon-member Rate
Professional Registration$580$680
Self-Advocate/Immediate Family/ Student Registration$355$455
One Day Registration$230$330
Request for Proposals
Image of APSE 2020 conference graphic

Employment First: Elevated

APSE is looking for sessions that are data-driven and have an interactive component. We encourage you to develop presentations that are outside of the traditional lecture format. Consider your planned techniques, interactive exercises, or other methods you will incorporate into your presentation to promote learning by and among attendees. We encourage the blending of content sharing and active participant learning. Sessions including teaching methods such as simulations, fishbowls, world café, story-telling, or other formats are some of the options you might consider.

APSE accepts presentations with the following expectations:

  • Presenters demonstrate exceptional expertise around proposed content.
  • Sessions are focused on participant learning, not lecture.
  • Sessions are not intended to be a platform for selling products and services.
  • Presenters are required to provide all slides and handouts that reflect session content for attendees by May 29, 2020.
  • Learning objectives are tailored to the learning level designated.
  • Topics are forward-thinking, challenging, and reflect the mission of Employment First.

Submission Deadline:

Submissions must be completed by December 13, 2019, at 5 p.m. EST. Confirmation of receipt of your proposal submission will be emailed to the lead presenter.

Presenters are limited to (1) Pre-Conference Submission, (1) presentation submission (breakout session, campfire conversation), and (1) APSE Talk for a maximum of 3 presentation submissions total.

**Notify us within 24 hours if you do not receive an email confirmation. It is your responsibility to re-submit or contact the APSE office at 301-279-0060.**

Conference Session Formats

We recognize that one learning size does not fit all, so the 2020 APSE National Conference will feature different types of sessions for presenters to engage with conference attendees.

Below is a brief description of each to help you determine the best fit for your
presentation content and style.

Topical Breakout Session

Description: Engage with participants in learning about a session topic and how to apply it to your work.

Duration: 60 or 75 minutes
Dates: June 16-19, 2020
Room Set Up: Classroom

APSE Talks

Description: Following the model of Ted Talks, prepare a concise presentation that allows you to share your perspective with attendees on a topic through no more than 5 slides.

Duration: 10-12 minutes
Dates: June 16-18, 2020
Room Set Up: Classroom

Campfire Conversations

Description: Facilitate a conversation with attendees after a 15-minute introduction to a topic. Encourages conversation by inviting comments, insight, and questions.

Duration: 60 minutes
Dates: June 16-18, 2020
Room Set Up: Circular


Description: Opportunity to delve into a topic in-depth, focused on engaging adult learners to leave with tangible ideas and skills.

Duration: 3 hours
Dates: Pre-Conference, June 15
Room Set-Up: Rounds

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2020 General Conference Tracks

-Innovative Practices

-Emerging Trends in Research and Public Policy

-Organizational Growth

-Grassroots Advocacy (Tuesday)

-Business Best Practices (Wednesday)


Important Dates for Presenters

October 30, 2019Optional Webinar about the RFP Process with APSE Staff at 1pm EST. Register here. Webinar link will be posted after for viewing.
December 13, 2019 Call for presentations closes at 5 p.m. EST
*Updated to March 2, 2019Notice emailed to presenters. Confirmation and registration is required by April 1, 2020. Early bird rates are offered to the first two presenters listed on the proposal.Presenters will either be accepted, put on a short wait list, or notified that their session was not accepted.
*Updated to April 1, 2020Presenters must accept their invitation. Selected presenters must be registered (first two presenters per session are eligible for early bird pricing).At this time, those who have not submitted thier acceptance and registered will be pulled from the 2020 National APSE Conference Schedule. 
May 1, 2020All presenters will be emailed with their date and time assignment via the Conference App. 
May 29, 2020All presentation handouts due in the app or email to 
June 16-20, 20202020 APSE National Conference

Levels of Learning

APSE National Conference attendees represent a wide array of stakeholders and learning levels. Individuals come to the conference with varying knowledge and experience with Employment First, so APSE stresses the importance of meeting learners where they are.

The learning level is decided by the content of the session, not the intended audience or expertise of participants expected to attend. Attendees of a given session are likely to encompass a wide array of professional knowledge and experience.

When filling out the proposal form, you will be asked to indicate at least one of the three learning levels:

  • Introductory (knowledge): Session will introduce basic building blocks and tactical applications of practices in Employment First. Attendee has introductory employment support knowledge.
  • Intermediate (proficiency): Session will present a more strategic application of introductory knowledge in Employment First. Attendee has experience working with the challenges of encouraging competitive, integrated employment.
  • Advanced (mastery): Session offers a discussion of innovative practices and applications, strategic challenges, and systemic changes. Attendee is a subject matter expert in employment support. The learning level is decided by the content of the session, not the intended audience or expertise of participants expected to attend. Attendees of a given session are likely to encompass a wide array of professional knowledge and experience.
**Submission of a proposal for APSE 2020 constitutes agreement by all presenters to register for the conference and adhere to all of the policies/guidelines outlined in the proposal submission form if the proposal is accepted.
Conference Schedule

2020 National APSE Conference Schedule

Monday, June 15, 2020

Preconference and Chapter Leader Events

9AM-12PM: 3 Concurrent Preconference Sessions
1PM-4PM: 3 Concurrent Preconference Sessions

  • Chapter Leaders please note that the Chapter Leadership Institute will be held from 1PM-4PM. Four free spots per chapter, with additional seats available for $50. Registration information to come!

4PM-6PM: Chapter Leader Reception (RSVP Required)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Day 1: General Conference

Opening Session, Breakout Sessions, Lunch on Your Own and an all-attendee Welcome Reception

Tracks available with content geared toward grassroots advocates, families, educators, and transition-age students.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Day 2: General Conference

Morning Keynote, Awards Luncheon & Featured Speaker, Exhibiting

Track specifically geared toward Business Leaders, with available continuing education credit for Society of Human Resources (SHRM) available.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Day 3: General Conference

APSE Membership Breakfast, Breakout Sessions, Closing Remarks

The conference will conclude by 12 pm.

Large group session with attendees with their hands in the air.
Meet Us In Denver

Reserve Your Room and Explore the City!

Join us in Denver, Colorado for the National APSE 2020 conference, Employment First: Elevated

Experience the beautiful scenery, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center hotel located in the heart of downtown Denver.

Within walking distance, you will find the 16th Street mall, and you can catch an event at the Pepsi Center. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is also within close proximity of the hotel.

Reserve Your Room Today!

Stay at the Hyatt Regency to make the most of your 2020 National APSE conference experience! The APSE hotel block has rooms available starting at $219/night. You can reserve your room by going online or calling 303-436-1234.

Explore Denver

Denver is affectionately known as "the mile-high city," and it includes a vibrant arts and culture scene. Be sure to bring your camera because Denver offers beautiful scenery, with 200 mountain peaks visible from the city.