EXEMPT, FULL-TIME (36 hours/week)
Posting Date: September 20, 2023; Priority Application Date: October 20, 2023
Anywhere in Colorado (hybrid)
A significant portion of DLC’s work is helping individuals with disabilities when they make a service request. These requests are made by phone, email, and mail and can be made by the individual themselves or another individual on behalf of an individual with a disability. The Advocacy Specialist is responsible for providing information and referral, technical assistance, and short-term advocacy to these individuals by answering calls, emails, and letters as well as conducting interviews with potential DLC clients. The specialist acquires and maintains up-to-date information about all program priorities and community resources. The specialist also coordinates work with the lead attorney for the self-advocacy team, as well as other staff within DLC.
The Advocacy Specialist reports directly to the Intake and Self Advocacy Support Services Attorney Team Leader. This position does not have any direct reports.
The following duties are an overview of the primary duties and responsibilities of the Advocacy Specialist and should not be considered an all-inclusive list.
- Responds to incoming calls (in real-time whenever possible), emails, and mailed intakes to obtain information and identify and assess the legal issues during intakes
- Determining whether a concern fits within the DLC’s area of work or will be addressed by referrals or other supports
- Provides information, referrals, and technical assistance. Provides short-term assistance to people with disabilities, their family members, advocates, and others, which includes, but is not limited to, referrals to other agencies and organizations, self-advocacy materials, and self-advocacy coaching
- Maintains expertise in all of DLC’s program priorities, services, and community resources
- Maintains expertise in the Disability Advocacy Database (DAD), correctly logging in all intake information
- Provides input for intake discussion at intake staff meetings
- Maintains basic knowledge of current statutes, regulations, and policies affecting people with disabilities
- Respects the values of the disability rights movement, as demonstrated by a commitment to disability culture and language, as well as advancing the public image of DLC as a trusted and competent resource
- Assists the legal team in updating relevant resources for clients interacting with the intake process
- Performs other duties, as assigned
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The individual must also possess these qualifications:
- Ability to work independently in a hybrid or remote environment, as well as under general supervision and on a team
- Determination of suitability from the Social Security Administration within the first six months of employment and the ability to preserve that credential during the course of employment
- Commitment to DLC’s mission, including delivering services with the highest ethics and integrity
- Experience entering data correctly and in a timely manner into a database system such as DLC’s DAD
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal, relationship-building, and collaboration skills to be able to work effectively with others inside and outside of the organization
- Ability to interview clients, identify potential issues, and screen clients for the fit with DLC’s services
- Ability to conduct and synthesize research and provide accurate, relevant, and current information to clients
- Demonstration of appropriate and professional behavior in working with members of the public who may often be in crisis
- A commitment to understanding and updating knowledge about disability legal issues, including how to work with people with disabilities of all kinds
- Proficiency with office technology, databases, Microsoft Suite applications, and other relevant applications, such as Zoom
- Experience conducting triage of client needs in a fast-paced environment that includes phone, email, online, and mailed intake requests
- Diligence and attention to detail in maintaining accurate records and following records retention guidelines
- Ability to provide coaching about self-advocacy strategies that are effective and respectful of clients’ needs
- Willingness to adapt intake and self-advocacy coaching services and processes toward continuous improvement and creative problem-solving
- Understanding of and commitment to legal ethics for nonlawyers, the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, and the National Disability Rights Network’s standards
- At least two years of experience advocating with or for people with disabilities and/or other marginalized populations
- Ability to work nonstandard hours and/or travel, as needed
- High school diploma or G.E.D.
The following qualifications are highly desired to advance DLC’s work, but they are not required:
- Bachelor’s or advanced degree in a relevant field, such as social work, legal studies, or public policy
- Experience working in a customer service center role
- Experience working with ASL interpreters, assistive technology, people whose primary language is not English, and accessibility problem-solving
The Advocacy Specialist must live within Colorado or be willing to relocate to Colorado before they begin the position.
DLC promotes a mostly remote work environment, with the understanding that employees will travel and meet in person as needed to conduct their job functions and collaborate with other staff members, the Board, clients, and partners. (DLC currently has office space in Denver, which is available for employees’ use, but not required.) DLC provides equipment to employees to work successfully in a remote environment, including, but not limited to, laptops and phones.
DLC provides reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The hiring range for this position is $45,867-$68,800 annually, full-time (36 hours/week), depending on experience. (For reference, $57,300 represents DLC’s salary for people with 5 years of experience in a similar position.) Disability Law Colorado offers competitive salaries; generous leave; and an excellent benefits package, which includes a 403(b)-retirement savings plan and medical, dental, vision, life, and short-term and long-term disability insurance. DLC employees also enjoy a 36-hour workweek as full-time employment, as well as flexible hours.
We encourage candidates with disabilities and others with lived experience and diverse backgrounds to apply.
Candidates should submit a cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume to Esther Brieno at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20, 2023, with the subject line: Advocacy Specialist Application, for priority consideration. Candidates wishing to mail or fax their materials, instead, may send them to:
Esther Brieno, Operations Manager
Disability Law Colorado
455 Sherman Street, Suite 130
Denver, CO 80203
FAX: (303) 722-0720
(Salary Range: $150,000 - $180,000 annually + benefits)
Led by a mission to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado through direct legal representation, advocacy, education, and legislative analysis, Disability Law Colorado (DLC) has represented more than 35,000people with disabilities, provided technical assistance to more than 130,000 people, and reached over 100,000 Coloradans through their education programs and publications over its 50-year history. Building upon this track record of success, DLC now seeks nominations and applications for its next Executive Director (ED).
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the next ED will lead a highly qualified team of 21 dedicated staff delivering individual services, fostering statewide self-advocacy, and pursuing strategic litigation. The ED will oversee all internal finances and the management of a roughly $3 million annual budget. They will also ensure compliance with legal and funder requirements, safeguarding the short- and long-term fiscal and programmatic health of the organization.
DLC seeks an inspiring and skilled leader who will establish strong collaborative relationships, both internally and externally, and work to articulate and implement a strategic vision for the next phase of the organization.
The ideal candidate will have significant nonprofit leadership and management experience within disability rights, legal advocacy, or a closely related field. Strong candidates will demonstrate commitment to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and the ability to mobilize support both internally and externally for strengthening systems and community supports on behalf of the populations DLC serves.
The ED will have a strong ability to effectively empower staff and collaborate with the Board. The ED will represent DLC publicly and will continue to elevate the organization’s profile as a critical, impactful agency, both across the state and nationwide.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The following duties are an overview of the primary duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director and should not be considered an all-inclusive list:
- Provides strategic leadership and effective management of the agency including program planning, compliance, development, budget, and financial oversight.
- Builds a robust, collaborative culture of transparency, active communication, and shared inclusive leadership, working to envision and implement a cohesive organization driven to provide excellent services and one that more fully represents the diversity of Colorado.
- Prioritizes areas in which DLC can optimize operations by reviewing existing internal IT and Human Resource systems in particular, as well as information management practices, and identifying opportunities for advancement.
- Cultivates a strong working relationship with the Board of Directors through effective and
- responsive engagement with all members, both at and between Board meetings.
- Explores cultivation of new donors and stewardship opportunities, identifying and pursuing the potential to broaden and diversify the funding base beyond the current revenue streams.
- In partnership with the Board of Directors and staff, develops, implements, and communicates DLC’s strategic vision among legislators, key partners, and stakeholders.
- Enhances the capacity of the agency to address and evaluate client needs, service priorities, and emerging issues impacting client needs.
- Raises the visibility of DLC by identifying and cultivating strategic and robust relationships with cross-sector partners, key decision-makers, and other relevant local, statewide, and national organizations.
- Guides and supports community organizing and advocacy initiatives.
Serves as an ambassador for DLC internally and externally, inspiring others to take bold action to address systemic issues facing the disability and aging communities.
Directly supervises and mentors the Leadership Team and strives to foster a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- Significant nonprofit leadership and management experience within disability rights, legal advocacy, or a closely related field.
- Demonstrated commitment to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and older people and the ability to mobilize support both internally and externally for strengthening systems and community support on behalf of the populations DLC serves.
- An inclusive, visionary, and transparent leader with demonstrated experience effectively inspiring and empowering staff, board members, and partners toward greater impact in addition to advancing representation through the cultivation of a diverse and inclusive staff.
- Deep appreciation of, and success in, advocacy, community organizing, and mobilizing at various levels.
- Demonstrated leadership in a complex and dynamic organization, including fiscal oversight and budget development experience, revenue stewardship, and familiarity with fundraising.
- Experience developing or improving organizational capacity, with an eye toward opportunities for process improvement and refinement.
- Demonstrated success, internally and externally, as a consensus builder and collaborator.
- Excellent writing, analytical, and communication skills.
- An underlying commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an understanding of the culture and specific challenges faced by persons living with disabilities.
- Ability to represent DLC to a variety of stakeholders and intermediaries in a credible and influential way.
- Self-starter with strong ability to manage a diverse, driven, and successful staff.
- An optimistic outlook, along with the humor, integrity, patience, and perseverance necessary to support mission-driven staff, and to advance efforts to ensure persons living with disabilities have greater access to services.
- Work performance consistent with the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.
Applicants for this position can live anywhere in Colorado or must be willing to relocate to Colorado before they begin the position.
DLC is promoting a mostly remote office work environment, with the understanding that the Executive Director will travel and meet in person as needed for conducting their job functions and collaborating with other staff members, the Board, clients, and partners. The Executive Director often has more in-person and hybrid duties than some other staff members and should be able to access the Denver office space as needed. (DLC currently has office space in Denver, which is available, but not required, for employees’ use.) DLC provides equipment to employees to work successfully in a remote environment, including, but not limited to, laptops and phones.
DLC provides reasonable disability accommodations to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. The salary range for this role is between $150,000 - $180,000 plus health insurance, dental and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, and retirement plan with employer match. Benefits also include a 36-hour full-time work week, sick leave, special needs leave (parental), a minimum of 10 days annual leave during the first year plus eight paid holidays, and paid time off between December 24 and New Year’s Day.
This search is being led by Tamar Datan and Eva Rosenberg of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
Cultivating a diverse and inclusive team of board members, staff members, and partners is an essential component of DLC’s work to advance equity. Candidates of all backgrounds and abilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Disability Law Colorado is committed to providing a work environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and unlawful harassment. Disability Law Colorado’s policy prohibits harassment and discrimination based on age (40 & over); ancestry; national origin or ethnicity; citizenship; immigration status; race; color; hairstyle or hair texture; marital, registered domestic partner or civil union status; pregnancy and perceived pregnancy (including breastfeeding or related medical conditions); religion; sex; gender, gender identity or expression; sexual orientation or an employer’s perception thereof; wage disclosures; lawful off-duty, off-premises activities; because the person is a victim of a crime, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; military or veterans' status; physical or mental disability; family or medical care leave status; or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance or regulation. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.