Community Integration Advocate

Disability Rights South Carolina (DRSC) is a private, statewide nonprofit which protects and advocates for the legal, civil and human rights of people with disabilities. DRSC believes that people with disabilities are people first, and are the primary decision makers in all areas of their life. Our goals include Safety and Protection, Community Integration, and Equal Access for people with disabilities. This position plays a vital role in achieving these goals.

DRSC is restructuring its team approach to focus on Community Integration, and has plans to expand its work in this area.

The Community Integration Advocate for Disability Rights South Carolina (DRSC) shall work under the general supervision of the Advocacy Coordinator for Community Integration. The Community Integration Advocate will be a part of a team comprised of other Advocates and Attorneys who are working on Community Integration. The Community Integration Advocate team focus on the rights of a person with a disability to live, work, and participate in their community. This team advocates for education, employment, and access to the community. Team advocates also work with clients to strengthen their self-advocacy skills through resources and education. This position is full time and classified as salaried-nonexempt from overtime pay under federal Department of Labor regulations.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to

  1. Directly protect the rights of, and advocate on behalf of, individuals with disabilities through provision of information and referral and direct advocacy services, maintaining an active caseload as assigned by Advocacy Coordinator for Community Integration. Such caseload may include individual and/or systemic advocacy for people with developmental, mental or physical disabilities primarily in the areas of education and employment, and community access.
  2. Advise Advocacy Coordinator for Community Integration and appropriate legal personnel on policy issues and case problems/questions having legal implications.
  3. Maintain accurate up-to-date client records in the prescribed format. This includes the timely completion of client narratives and documentation for required reports and electronic data entry.
  4. Timely submit all internal DRSC forms and records as required.
  5. Assist Advocacy Coordinator for Community Integration, as needed, to develop and implement action plans to meet the goals of systemic work.
  6. Keep abreast of relevant developments in disability law, regulations and policies of state agencies.
  7. Initiate and maintain contact with volunteer and consumer organizations, service providers, and other relevant groups and individuals at the direction of the Advocacy Coordinator for Community Integration, acquiring a working knowledge of, and sensitivity to, minorities and residents of rural communities through information, training, and interaction with community leaders and organizations established in rural and minority communities.
  8. Assist in training of staff, volunteers, interested citizens and professionals in areas relevant to the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities.
  9. Advise Advocacy Coordinator for Community Integration of training and technical assistance needs.
  10. Participate in Team meetings.
  11. Other duties as requested.

Required Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college in education, psychology, social work or a related field; and one to three years of relevant work experience.
Master’s level from accredited college is preferred.

Desired Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Commitment to the mission, vision and values of Disability Rights South Carolina, and to the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Ability to work with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds and a demonstrated understanding of the overall organization and relationships among and between service areas and teams.

Ability to coordinate case research and perform overall case management. Problem solving skills including the ability to influence, facilitate, mediate, negotiate and manage groups and individuals.

Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others, maintain confidentiality; and to deal effectively with and negotiate through confrontational situations and stressful interactions.

Knowledge of systems providing services to people with disabilities, disability laws and regulations, and the ability to communicate with people with disabilities.

Proficiency in oral and written communication, computer literacy.

Must be able to travel within the state. May be required to travel out-of-state for trainings or conferences.

How to Apply:

Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume via mail, fax or email to Lorie Boddie, Finance & Human Resources Manager, 3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 208, Columbia, SC 29204 or email at [email protected] Deadline for submission is Friday, November 12th, 2021.

State background checks will be requested.

No phone calls please.

EOE. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit our website at https://www.disabilitrightssc.org.