Director of Policy and Advocacy, Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE)
Julie Christensen, LMSW, PhD, is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at APSE – the Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst. Prior to joining APSE, she was the Director of Iowa’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), at the University of Iowa. Julie’s background encompasses work in schools, not-for-profits, government and higher education. For the past 15+ years, her career has centered around improving quality of life outcomes for at-risk youth, including youth with intellectual and development disabilities, through promoting employment and access to leisure and recreation opportunities in inclusive settings. She currently maintains an adjunct faculty appointment in the University of Iowa School of Social Work. Her research and policy work has focused in the areas of transition, employment, quality of life, and leisure and recreation participation of people with disabilities across the lifespan. Julie also currently serves as the Senior Disability Policy Fellow for the Harkin Institute at Drake University.