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LEAD Center Presentations Support the 2015 National APSE Annual Conference

June 30, 2015

For the first time, the LEAD Center participated in the National Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 23-25, by providing two presentations on strategies to improve the employment and economic advancement of individuals across the spectrum of disability. In addition, the LEAD Center sponsored an exhibit booth at the conference to provide information and resources for enhancing integrated employment and expanding economic advancement. The conference drew more than 1,000 attendees from around the United States and globally, including employers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, developmental disabilities and mental health state agency employees, community employment providers, university faculty and students, researchers, school transition staff, and people with disabilities and their families. Attendees who participated in the sessions reported the information they received from LEAD staff about WIOA from a disability perspective was compelling and timely. LEAD presentations included:

Successful Employment via WIOA & Local American Job Centers - In this session, participants learned about the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) from a disability perspective and the doors it can open for people with disabilities. LEAD presenters, Rebecca Salon and Elizabeth Jennings, discussed how best to partner with and access American Job Centers' (AJCs) supports and services that are available to people with disabilities. They also shared action steps and the role that participants can play in WIOA implementation and the creation of their State's Unified State Plan.

APSE TALK: My American Dream: Each Individual's Right to Earn Money and Save Money - Many people with disabilities and the people who support them believe that they should not work full-time and that their dreams should be limited by the constraints of current systems. In this session, attendees learned about the possibilities for people with disabilities to become economically self-sufficient and the importance of identifying and pursuing their individual American Dream. They also explored the importance of enabling one's dream to become a catalyst to setting financial goals, engaging in benefits planning and pursuing employment, all critical to living full and self-determined lives.