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 35,000 people 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.
Established in 1976 by attorneys Steve Zimmerman and Joe Epstein, Disability Law Colorado (DLC) protects and promotes the rights of people with disabilities and older people in Colorado through direct legal representation, advocacy, education, and legislative analysis. Originally organized as The Legal Center for People with Disabilities, DLC was formally recognized as the state’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System in 1977 at the direction of Governor Lamm and in response to pressure from the disability community. Since that early inception and following nearly 50 years of service, DLC has represented more than 35,000 people with disabilities, provided technical assistance to more than 130,000 people, and reached over 100,000 Coloradans through their education programs and publications.
Working across a wide array of issues, including education, housing, employment, assistive technology, and seniors’ legal rights, DLC provides the following services:
Direct Legal Representation
DLC offers free or low-cost legal services to people with disabilities whose civil or human rights have been violated. Based on set criteria and internal resources, DLC supports Coloradans through full case service, short term assistance and legal counsel, self-advocacy resources and guidance, and referrals to other resources or counsel if applicable.
DLC has the authority under federal law to gain access to facilities and records to investigate allegations of abuse and/or neglect of people with mental illness or developmental disabilities, as well as people in the corrections system. DLC also investigates the unlawful use of seclusion and restraint in schools, including trainings for school districts on the lawful use of seclusion and restraint.
Training & Education
DLC provides training to housing and service providers, schools and school districts, parents, attorneys, policy makers, advocates, employers, ombudsmen, and any agency interested in educating their team about the law. These trainings include general overviews of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Employment Law as well as highly customized topics related to the rights of people with disabilities on a special request basis.
Information & Referrals
Believing that an informed public is the best way to ensure the dignity and rights of people with disabilities are widely respected, DLC is committed to their role as a source of information and referrals for all Coloradans.
Legislative Analysis & Advocacy
With a track record of educating policy makers and legislators about the rights of people with disabilities, DLC has played an instrumental role in getting groundbreaking laws passed in the state. DLC also creates an annual Legislative Scorecard tracking bills and legislations that has the potential to impact the disability community.
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:
The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
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.