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The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) is the only national organization focused exclusively on Employment First to facilitate the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and community.

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

Work Colleagues
Employment First is a national systems-change movement and set of values centered on the premise that all people, including those people with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) and community life. 

Competitive Integrated Employment means that all career seekers with disabilities can pursue meaningful work of their own choosing where they earn fair wages, experience full inclusion in the general workforce, and have the opportunity to advance or be promoted, just like anyone else. 


All people with disabilities have access to competitive, inclusive employment in the general workforce.


We believe that everyone can and should work, and have the dignity of determining their career path.

Happy Store Manager

Colorado APSE Board

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Shantelle Rockman, MPH, CPWIC

Director of Job Services with Colorado Enrichment Center and Co-Chair of Employment First Advisory Partnership (EFAP)

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Vikki Ortiz, MS, CESP
Communications Committee Chair

 Curriculum Developer and Trainer with the Colorado Office of Employment First

APSE Emerging Leaders Graduate

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Tiffany Cron, PhD
Vice President

 Director of the Colorado Office

of Employment First

APSE Emerging Leaders Graduate


Holly Ewing

Program Manager with the Center for People With Disabilities

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Kodjo Akakpo

Board Member

Director of Community Integration and Partnership With the Division of Regional Centers (CDHS)

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Karin Cowan
Board Member

Employment Program Director with Common Roots

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Amanda Gillenwater 
Board Member


The Arc People First Volunteer


Heather Hagen 
Board Member

Assistant Director of Employment Services with the Developmental Disabilities Resource 

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Jamie Howard
Board Member

Director of Supported Employment with Friends of Broomfield

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Shira Mandel
Board Member

Director of Freedom Care Services 


Charlene Parris
Benefits Navigation Committee Chair 

Manager with Office of Independent Living 

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Darby Remley
Board Member

Supported Employment Coordinator/Trainer with the

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation


Deirdre Sage
Board Member

IPS Curriculum Developer/Trainer with the Colorado Office of Employment First


Taryn Schmidt

Board Member

Employment Specialist with Integrated Life Choices

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Thomas Wilson
Board Member

Owner/Lead Story Virtuoso with

R&H Creative Storytelling and Advocacy

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