We Believe

APSE believes in real jobs for real pay for all people with disabilities: Employment First.

We believe that everyone has abilities to contribute and that their work should be recognized and rewarded with fair pay, creating inclusive workplaces. We believe that employment enriches and adds meaning to every life, and that workplaces and communities are enhanced when they embrace differences.

A man with a disability works in a shop, a woman is paying by credit card.

Realizing Employment First takes the coordinated efforts of advocates, employers, and policymakers. It also requires a robust Medicaid program, to both ensure the health of employees with disabilities and as a major donor of employment services and supports for individuals with disabilities.

Employment First is the next chapter in the civil rights of people with disabilities. It is built on the hard work and sacrifices of heroes, and grows stronger with the contributions of people from every walk life. Learn more about what we believe and become a part of APSE’s thriving community.

We have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and to invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities.

—Stephen Hawking
Chart showing inclusion as many colored dots together in a circle; exclusion with all green dots in the center but other colors along the outside; segregation as green dots in the main circle with other colors in a separate, smaller circle; integration as a small circle

Employment First

Find out what defines the movement, read up on best practices, view fact sheets, and the resources that you need.


Learn the basics of Medicaid, how it supports the employment of people with disabilities, threats to the program, and what you can do to protect it.

Action Alerts

This is the spot to find information on the policies needed to improve and preserve Employment First. Learn the issues and find the tips, tools, and contact information to make you the strongest advocate you can be!

Public Policy Priorities

APSE has identified threats that will likely constitute our legislative focus for the remainder of the year.