2022 National APSE Board Election Winner: Maya Cox, Indiana
2022 National APSE Board of Directors At-Large Election Winner!
Maya Cox, Indiana
The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:
Family Member of a Person with a Disability; National Consultant
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 (no more than 500 words):
Promoting competitive integrated employment (CIE) has been Maya’s priority and passion throughout her career. She began this work fourteen years ago at a non-profit in Kentucky that was interested in starting a supported employment program. Maya had the pleasure of learning and growing alongside the program. This direct experience fueled a passion for training and supporting direct service professionals, who are pivotal in this work. After successfully growing the program, she worked at the state-level to support providers in Kentucky, Maryland, and Indiana. Maya is committed to employment specialists having the right training, supports, and systems to work alongside job seekers in gaining and maintaining CIE.
Over the last six years, Maya has supported CIE in Indiana through developing and disseminating training and technical assistance, and supporting VR with systems change support to improve outcomes for job seekers with disabilities. Maya has supported INAPSE by facilitating strategic planning, developing resources, and presenting at state conferences.
Maya’s involvement in CIE is not just her work, but also her passion. As the daughter of an immigrant, she has seen work to change the trajectory of her family’s lives. Work has been pivotal to economic opportunity, gaining access to education, and an improved quality of life. Maya sees employment as having the same potential for others who seek to improve their lives, including people with disabilities. However, individuals who experience diversity often face barriers accessing employment. As a sibling of an individual with a disability, Maya has seen a sample of the barriers and struggles firsthand. As a part of her work, she has seen service systems, culture, and perceptions impact the journey of individuals seeking employment. She has also seen the pivotal role employment has in people who gain and maintain employment. Maya is committed to advancing opportunities, services, and supports for people with disabilities to engage in CIE and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
What relevance does/should APSE and its chapters/members have in national and state conversations regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion (no more than 350 words)?
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are a necessary consideration of employment being the first option for all individuals with disabilities. Each of us has unique experiences, perspectives, values, and priorities. It is important that policies and systems support employment for individuals with disabilities who reflect the diversity across the country. Diversity includes a number of facets including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion/faith tradition, gender identity, and membership in other marginalized communities. Maya believes that APSE, the national leader in employment first, should support training, policies, and practices that shift and inform equitable, culturally responsive systems that result in positive outcomes for all individuals with disabilities, including those with diverse backgrounds. She also believes that APSE plays a role in training employment professionals by infusing cultural competence in person-centered practices.
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 (no more than 350 words)?
Maya contributes both experience and skills to strengthening and improving the financial health of APSE. During her current term on the National APSE Board of Directors, Maya serves as the as the Vice President. In this position, she supports important decision making and financial oversight as the organization navigates the uncharted financial landscape of the ongoing pandemic. Recently, she facilitated an initiative with board members to identify, develop, and implement innovative strategies that promote financial growth of APSE. Moving into the next term, she wants to leverage her experience and understanding of APSE’s resources, partnerships, and strengths to support continued advancement.
Maya Cox, M.Ed., CESP, has both a personal and professional commitment to Employment First and making sure everyone, regardless of ability or circumstance, can experience ‘the good life’. As a sister of an individual with disabilities, she has a personal stake in changing the script and ensuring that individuals with disabilities have a seat at the table. This perspective provides a unique lens to her approach and decision making. Professionally, Maya is a Senior Consultant with Public Consulting Group, where she provides technical assistance and training to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities across Indiana and the United States. She is pleased to currently serve as the Vice President of the APSE Board of Directors and hopes to continue providing support and leadership to the organization in the upcoming term.
Past experience includes working for the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Maryland State Department of Education, and Kentucky Autism Training Center. Maya has fourteen years of professional experience working to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities through direct service, technical assistance, training, and research. Her areas of interest include employment, research to practice, systems change, community inclusion, family supports. Maya received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame, and her Master’s degree from the University of Louisville.