The APSE is a national non-profit membership organization that was founded in 1988 under the name, "Association for Persons in Supported Employment."
The APSE has a new initiative referred to as, 'HR Connect,' that offers consultation services to assist businesses with connecting to and partnering with people with disabilities, who are not only one of the strongest labor pools in America; they are also one of the strongest customer pools in the nation.
The APSE currently has chapters in thirty-five states as well as the District of Columbia. They have members from every one of the fifty states in America, Puerto Rico, and a number of nations from around the world. The organization promotes and supports the only annual national conference that focuses entirely on the advancement of integrated employment.
Among the goals the APSE has are:
Help establish and expand equitable employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Work with federal, state, and local policy makers to increase funding for integrated employment.
Promote employment opportunities for all people, through local, regional, and national networks.
Advocate with federal, state, and local legislators for legislation promoting integrated employment.
Raise awareness within the business community as to the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities.
Advocate for social change to help those with severe disabilities achieve a lifestyle that approximates that of individuals without disabilities.
The grassroots movement of the organization is something that is open for participation. Membership is open to anyone who desires to be a part of the commitment to ensuring that integrated employment continues to both improve and grow. The APSE's very mission is to lead in the advancement of equitable employment for people with disabilities. In order to accomplish their mission, the organization presents education and advocacy related to the value of integrated employment. They address issues that expand the implementation and growth of integrated employment services, and improve employment practices so people with disabilities as well as communities experience quality employment services that produce meaningful outcomes. The APSE promotes policy development on multiple levels; national, state, and local - that enhance both economic and social empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities.
Establishment of a number of committees has added some very strong capabilities to the APSE. The people who participate on and with these committees perform a variety of functions, promoting the mission of the organization. The committees at the APSE include:
Business and Marketing Committee: The Business and Marketing Committee promotes the value of employing people with disabilities, strengthening the viability of the APSE. It accomplishes its goals by educating, teaching, and informing business leaders and others in society about the economic value of employing people with disabilities.
Communication Committee: The Communication Committee facilitates communication between the National APSE Office, APSE Board, APSE Chapters, public policy makers, employers, and people in the public at large. The committee's goal is to make sure that APSE members are kept up-to-date in regards to events on national, state and local levels in relation to the employment of people with disabilities. Their responsibilities include the dissemination of information which impacts employment of people with disabilities through the APSE website, as well as through the organization's newsletter to members.
Conference and Training Committee: Of the concepts that the APSE has embraced, concepts related to advancing employment and connecting people are high among them. The Conference and Training Committee plays an important role in relation to these concepts. They have a role in the gathering of resources to design, support, as well as deliver, a premier annual national conference that brings together hundreds of professionals and stakeholders in the field of employment. The APSE provides leadership, is committed to it, and provides resources, direction, and supports training and staff development of thousands of professionals who work with people with disabilities.
Public Policy Committee: The primary function of the Public Policy Committee is advising APSE's Executive Director. The committee assists in both development and implementation of public policy strategies that are consistent with the organization's mission and strategy plan too. Members of the committee work together and with the Executive Director to define recommendations for both direction and priorities for the APSE's public policy efforts. Committee members also work with the Executive Director to present items to the Executive Board for approval before action is taken. Public policy, in relation to this committee, includes legislation and regulations, administrative policies that impact the integration of people with disabilities in community employment and funding policies, appointment of key government posts, as well as budget allocation.
APSE Members are a very important part of every thing the APSE does, to say the very least. The committees at the APSE perform important functions; members help to make the organization what it is today. Among the members of the APSE are:
Chesterfield Employment Services, Richmond, VA
Creative Employment Opportunities, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
Kaposia, Inc., St. Paul, MN
Life Skills, Inc., Employment Options, Bowling Green, KY
Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities, Jackson, MS
Philadelphia MRS, Philadelphia, PA
Westchester ARC, Hawthorne, NY
Staff members at the APSE work with other forms of advocacy organizations. They work with Congress, the Senate, as well as the Administration in order to ensure that the nation's policies meet the goal of improving integrated employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Issues that are extremely important such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Social Security Ticket-To-Work, and others - are watched over so that people remain updated on the work of Congress and Federal agencies in regards to employment of people with disabilities - www.apse.org
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