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

Arizona APSE is the Arizona Chapter of the National organization. The chapter was created in 2017 by a group of visionary leaders who desired a diverse & inclusive workforce throughout Arizona.


Competitive integrated employment is the preferred daily activity for all working age Arizonans who have disabilities

Guiding Principles

The current low participation rate of Arizonans with disabilities in the workforce is unacceptable. Access to real jobs with real wages is essential if Arizonans who have disabilities are to avoid lives of poverty, dependence, and isolation

All working age Arizonans with disabilities can participate in jobs that provide for meaningful work, with pay at or above minimum wage, benefits, and opportunities for integration with other workers

As with all other individuals, employees with disabilities require assistance and support to ensure success on the job and should have access to supports needed to succeed in the workplace

All Arizonans, regardless of disability, have the right to pursue the full range of available employment opportunities and to earn a living wage in a job of their choosing, based on their talents, skills and interests

Statewide outreach efforts must be diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible for all Arizonans

Policies and practices should be conducive to the employment of Arizonans with disabilities in general and Employment First principles in particular

Benefits counseling should be available to all Arizonans with disabilities who want to work so they understand the options available to them


To expand inclusive employment opportunities for all people with disabilities through education, advocacy, & legislative action

APSE Credentials & Membership

Arizona APSE needs your voice and action in our Employment First movement.

Become a CESP™

The Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP™) credential recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a sufficient level of knowledge and skill to provide integrated employment services to a variety of populations.


Who Should Join APSE?

Self Advocates

Families & Guardians


State Agencies

Employment Providers

Join Us

Make connections, access resources and participate in professional development opportunities!

APSE offers a range of memberships for individuals and organizations. Through membership, you gain timely information, tools and support that help make you the strongest advocate possible.

Are you ready to become a member?

Be sure to use our introductory membership code: AZAPSE

Current Arizona APSE Board Members

Lorie Sandaine, CESP™


Self Advocate

Lorie is a champion for competitive integrate employment & Employment First. She is a Certified Work Incentives Counselor (CWIC), Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP), & Person Centered Plan Facilitator. She is an employment consultant helping to set the expectation for Employment First for all Arizonans.

During the day, she is the Chief Operations Officer for the Women's Foundation for the State of Arizona where they innovate to create social, political, and economic change that achieves equity for women and girls of all identities.

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Jules Hyde


Jules started working as an employment job coach with a local nonprofit in 2013, and decided he found his calling. Jules utilized his people, leadership, and networking skills to grow that program from three locations serving eight families to over twenty locations serving over fifty families. As a director of employment services, Jules committed to dissolving traditional employment programs to adopt programs driven by the Employment First philosophy. He brings high energy and positivity to any table he sits at.  Along with APSEAZ initiatives, Jules continues to work as an employment coach, and

advocates daily for equality in employment for people living with diverse abilities.

Brenda Ranney, CESP™


Self Advocate

Brenda is an APSE Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP), and has served people with disabilities for almost 20 years. Her passion is supporting youth and adults as they transition from special educational systems into competitive integrated employment opportunities. As a person with disabilities herself, Brenda is in the trenches every day helping to lay the foundation.

Kelli O'Toole,


Kelli is the Chief Executive Officer at The Opportunity Tree with locations in Phoenix, Casa Grande, Maricopa and Avondale. She has a diverse background in finance and non-profit leadership. Kelli leads The Opportunity Tree team in providing high quality, person-centered supports that focus on long-term sustainability and innovation.

Lindsey is a young autistic white woman wearing a long sleeved blue shirt

Lindsey Eaton

Self Advocate

Lindsey Eaton is an Arizona native and a proud GCU Antelope. She currently participates in LOPES Academy at the Cardon Center at Grand Canyon University, a two-year program that allows those with disabilities to go to GCU and pursue a college education without a degree. After graduation, she hopes to stay involved within GCU.


Lindsey currently works at Christ Lutheran School as an Office Assistant. Throughout her employment journey, one of her biggest passions has been advocating for those with disabilities to secure competitive integrated employment.

Morgan Hinton

Self Advocate

Morgan is a self-advocate from Chandler who works as a Data Analyst for Precisionist, Inc. He is also the founder and owner of Autism Acceptance Consulting where he offers peer support services and speaking engagements to help understand the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum.

Jason Snead

Self Advocate

Jason is the Research & Communications Specialist with the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Jason graduated in 2016 from Arizona Summit Law School. He currently serves on the Phoenix Mayor’s Commission for Disability Issues and the Arizona ABLE Oversight Committee.

Sam Klein

Sam is the Lead Special Projects Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services. She has worked in the field of transition and disability services since 2013 in both North Dakota and Arizona. Sam is passionate about bringing creativity and evidence-based practices to transition planning.

Hannah Woelke

Hannah has worked in disability services in Tucson for over ten years and supported marginalized people her entire life. She has held a number of positions related to employment services, including being an APSE Certified Employment Support Professional in the past. Her work has also familiarized her with the Independent Living network and she is currently a staff advocate for the Arizona Center for Disability Law. She believes strongly that disability rights are human rights and all people deserve freedom of choice.

Betty is a woman wearing a navy blue cap & gown

Betty Shoen, MA; CRC

Betty began working for DES in September, 1986, and has worked in three different DES programs. Currently serving as the Region 1 Transition Specialist for Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation program, Betty first began working with high school students with disabilities in 2000. When she started working with the “Transition” population, Betty found her passion as well as her career. Betty obtained a Master of Arts in Special Education and Rehabilitation in 2006, and achieved Certified Rehabilitation Counselor status, which she has maintained since that time. Betty’s favorite aspect of her job is connecting students, educators, and other transition partners to resources, and acting as an advocate for youth and families during their transition journey. 

Heather Wolff-Holstein

Heather is currently the Accessibility Administrator at Sonoran University in Tempe, AZ. Heather has been assisting people who have disabilities gain independence and purpose through employment for over a decade as an employment specialist. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Heather is Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) certified.

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Natasha Grant

Natasha is currently the Director of Workplace and Community Inclusion at First Place AZ. She works with

First Place residents on finding gainful employment in their community, according to their personal interests! Natasha also works with organizations/businesses

on how they can best support neurodiverse hires. She has been working in the disability sector for 10 years and believes in empowering individuals with disabilities to be independent and competitively employed, in a job they actually want!

Carrie is woman with brown hair wearing black standing in a side pose with her hand on her hip

Carrie Gibbons, MA

Carrie has been in the education field since 1998, carrying out her belief that education should be multifaceted. As a teacher, she built a partnership with parents to ensure her students unique needs were met. In her classroom fair did not mean everyone got the same thing, fair meant everyone got what they needed to be successful. She has a drive to advocate for students, parents, and teachers in the special education world.

Her desire is to help implement meaningful strategies that can be put into place in the classroom that will benefit all students, including those who have unique learning styles. Carrie is a champion for employment for all and training first responders about best practices when treating a patient on the autism spectrum.

Additionally, Carrie, along with her son, is the owner of 5 Center Focus, a business specifically designed with first responders in mind. Carrie is an Arizona native that loves her hardworking husband, exceptional son, dachshund Ruby, photography, crafts, mountain bike riding & working out at the gym.

Caryn Paye

Arizona APSE strives to have full representation of Board members including persons with lived experience, family members, state agencies, providers, professionals, community partners, employers, and schools representing the diverse culture of Arizona.

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