Disability Rights Advocate

Disability Rights Advocate – Full Time

Please visit the careers page of our website to apply or fax resume to 419-885-5005.

The Ability Center (ACT) is a non-profit Center for Independent Living. Together, we will work to make our community the most disability friendly in the nation by increasing independence for people with disabilities, discovering true passions, and changing the community’s perception of disability.

The Disability Rights Advocate acts as a catalyst in creating systemic change that further enhances community-based living options for people with disabilities. The advocate provides the Director of Advocacy, Disability Rights Attorney with administrative support and assists with identifying barriers, researching topics, developing strategies, investigating legal violations, organizing coalitions, and taking proactive measures that work to provide viable solutions. Develops a network of strong and effective consumer advocates as well as providing meaningful and impactful public comments to federal, state, and local agencies is key to this position.

Essential Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with the advocacy team, researches and identifies systemic barriers to Olmstead implementation in Ohio.
  • With assistance, implements investigations and organizes plans of action to address systemic barrier priorities through assisting consumers, policy advocacy, education or community organizing.
  • Maintains a list of local ADA and DE&I coordinators: acts as liaison to local ADA coordinators for advice and complaints.
  • Works collaboratively on compliance reviews and gives technical assistance on compliance with the ADA and FHA.
  • Conducts speaking engagements/ trainings on white papers, brochures, or other educational materials.
  • Monitors local construction for minimum compliance with federal, state, and local accessibility standards. Advocates to improve access by actively providing comment/input on designs as well as support letters for publicly funded projects.
  • Provides testimony, and/ or recruits other persons to provide testimony, at administrative rule and legislative hearings.
  • Assists individual consumers in filing administrative complaints where necessary to investigate barriers.
  • Facilitates Ability Center approval of universal design projects.
  • Assists in providing written or oral public comment regarding rule changes and/or need for policy improvements.
  • Provides consultations with local bodies regarding ADA obligations, self-review, and transition planning.
  • Serves as ACT’s liaison to grassroots groups and workgroups and organizes monthly meetings as assigned.
  • Utilizes social media to effectively organize and rally support and bring awareness to identified barriers in a timely manner.
  • Researches and creates educational materials such as white papers, brochures, or talking points to educate and train consumers on their rights and policymakers on disability issues.

Qualifications: Bachelors’ Degree preferred in Disability Studies, Political Science, Civil Rights, or related field. Demonstrated successful experience advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Ability to gain knowledge of civil rights laws that serve people with disabilities. Demonstrated understanding of disability rights values in daily living (self-determination, person centered services, informed consent, equal opportunity, independence, and inclusion). Excellent interpersonal, relationship building and collaboration skills.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to organize, prioritize, and schedule events. Able to use Microsoft Office. Will travel to consumer and community locations for meetings. Will travel to Columbus periodically for legislative meetings and events. Some evening hours are required.

Essential Physical Demands: Will remain stationary for periods of time at a desk. Will operate a phone, computer, copier, and printer. Will frequently communicate with others in various ways. May frequently move from one office space to another, meeting spaces, and occasionally from one building to another.

At the Ability Center, diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of who we are. We are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of belonging by changing perceptions, and discovering true passions. Our employees are our most valuable asset. Your life experiences, self-expression, and unique capabilities represents our team, and the diverse communities we serve.

ACT is an equal opportunity employer.

The Ability Center is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.

We offer competitive pay and a comprehensive benefit package.