Disability Rights Advocate, Healthcare and Public Access

(Full Time or Job Share Opportunity)

The Ability Center (ACT) is a non-profit Center for Independent Living serving seven counties in NW Ohio. With the assistance of competent, professional staff, and the support of volunteers, ACT works for the rights and concerns of people living with disabilities on local, state, regional, and national levels. Our mission is to advocate, educate, partner, and provide services supporting people with disabilities to thrive within their community.

ACT is an equal opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and do not discriminate. The Ability Center is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. All candidates must pass an FBI/BCII background check if position is offered.

Position Summary: 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 works to increase accessibility to, and usability of health care and public access. The advocate assists with identifying barriers, researching topics, developing strategies, investigating legal violations, organizing coalitions, and taking proactive measures that work to provide viable solutions. Forming connections with public officials as well as providing meaningful and impactful public comments to federal, state, and local agencies is key to this position.

Main Essential Functions:
• Ensures that all established goals meet the departments work plan as well as the agency’s strategic plan.
• Works collaboratively with the Advocacy Team to establish department priorities, goals, and action steps.
• Develops an in-depth knowledge of how the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and other federal, state, and local laws work for people with disabilities.
• Develops an in-depth knowledge of federal and state policy affecting health care and public access for persons with disabilities.
• In collaboration with the Advocacy Team, identifies systemic barriers to Olmstead implementation in Ohio in the areas of Health Care and Public Access and assists in prioritizing which issues the Advocacy Team will focus on.
• In collaboration with the Advocacy Team, investigates identified systemic priorities in Health Care and Public Access to partners, and implements plans of action through assisting consumers, policy advocacy or community organizing.
• Monitors federal and state Medicaid rulemaking, policy changes, and amendments to civil rights laws.
• Maintains a list of local ADA coordinators and acts as Ability Center main liaison for advice and complaints.
• Works with Advocacy Team on compliance reviews and gives technical assistance with the ADA in public spaces.
• Conducts speaking engagements and meets with policymakers on white papers, brochures, or other educational materials.
• Assists consumers with Medicaid or DODD hearings where necessary to investigate health care and public access barriers.
• Provides testimony, and/ or recruits other persons to provide testimony, at rule and legislative hearings.
• Assists individual consumers in filing administrative complaints where necessary to investigate barriers.
• Provides consultations with local governmental bodies regarding ADA obligations, self-review, and transition planning.
• Drafts public comments or testimony on bills affecting persons with disabilities in the areas of Health Care or Public Access.
• Develops relationships with state and local consumer advocate groups; identifies barriers and directs action where appropriate.
• Utilizes social media, as well as other platforms, to effectively rally support and bring awareness to identified barriers.
• Creates educational materials such as white papers, brochures, or talking points to educate and train consumers on their rights and policymakers on disability issues.
• Assists in planning public forums, meetings, and/or conferences to further the goals of the systems advocacy strategic plan.
• Attends policy workgroups where necessary to further the goals of the systems advocacy strategic plan.

Qualifications: Bachelors’ Degree preferred in Disability Studies, Political Science Civil Rights, or related field. Successful experience advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities. Previous experience leading systems change efforts. Knowledge of State & Federal Civil rights laws that serve people with disabilities. Awareness of healthcare system, accessibility requirements, and funding mechanisms. Demonstrated understanding of disability rights values in daily living (self-determination, person centered services, informed consent, equal opportunity, independence, and inclusion).

Ability to effectively organize & facilitate collaborative group processes, team building, & coalition efforts. Excellent interpersonal, relationship building and collaboration skills. Ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions. Should have excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to plan, prioritize, and schedule events as well as speak in public forums. Able to use Microsoft Office software, including but not limited to Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. Will be required to travel to consumer and community locations, seminars, and/or professional meetings; some evening hours required.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described within this job description must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The person in this position will need to remain stationary for periods of time working at a desk; will need to occasionally move about inside the office to access office supplies, file cabinets, office desk, computer, etc. The employee will operate a computer, copier, and printer. The employee will frequently move from one office space to another and occasionally from one building to another. The person in this position frequently communicates with others; converse, convey, and exchange accurate information. The position will occasionally require the employee to operate a personal and company owned vehicle, meet with individuals outside the regular work location, and work at venues outside the regular work location.

To apply: https://www.abilitycenter.org/news/employmentopportunities/