A Word from new IN-APSE President Brian Gilbert

Greetings IN-APSE members!

As the 2018 Indiana APSE Chapter President, I’m very excited to serve you in this role and am confident that we will continue making great strides in promoting competitive, community employment as the first and preferred option for all people with disabilities.

In the field of Supported Employment, my focus has been working with individuals who have a serious mental illness. Since 2014, I have been the Vocational Services Coordinator at Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health. Our core belief is that all people with disabilities who want to work, should be given the opportunity to pursue their goals. Working with job seekers is based on individual strengths and needs, and our approach to Supported Employment is based on principles of the Recovery Model, and the IPS model of Supported Employment. Our Employment Consultants work regularly out in the community and are constantly looking for new employer contacts and partnerships.

This year will be my 6th as a part of the IN-APSE Board of Directors, and we have many exciting projects coming up! After helping Indiana become the 17th state to pass Employment First legislation, our attention will shift to getting people involved with their local lawmakers to advocate for specific changes that will best support those we serve. Our new website is up and running, and as we fine tune the details, it will become an excellent source of information regarding Employment First, and supporting individuals with disabilities. Our newest sub-committee focuses on supporting transition aged people with disabilities and has been working tirelessly to become the “go to source” for information and support. They have put together some great information and this year will focus on spreading the word.

Last year’s state conference was one of our biggest EVER with nearly 250 attendees! This year, we plan to build on that success, as well as address some of the logistical issues that we faced. We are confident that this year’s conference will be even better #Celebrate.

It is because of all of you that the Indiana chapter has always been one of the biggest and best APSE chapters in the country. Our goal is to continue that tradition as we move forward in promoting Employment First across the state.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at brian.gilbert@eskenazihealth.edu

Thank you and Happy New Year!