Colorado Nonprofit Association

Director of Adult Advocacy

Organization: The Arc- Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties

Organization Type: 501(c) (3)

Department/Group: Advocacy Team

Location: Based at The Arc’s office with regular off-site responsibilities. All positions at The Arc are up to 80% remote.

Position Type: Full time, exempt position. Some nights and weekends are required. 

Reporting: Reports to Senior Director of Advocacy Programs who serves as Leader/Manager/Coach (LMC)  

Accountability: Accountable to people served by The Arc and our entire staff team

Leader/Manager/Coach (LMC) to: Senior Adult Advocates and Adult Advocates

  

Position Description

This Director of Adult Advocacy will focus time, attention, skills and experience towards ensuring that The Arc – Jefferson, Clear Creek, and Gilpin Counties delivers exceptional advocacy supports to community members with IDD, with a focus on adults ages 35 and up. This position collaborates with the Advocacy Team and provides leadership/management/coaching to Senior Adult Advocates and Adult Advocates. Because of your extensive experience you will also be expected to engage in training and supporting Adult Advocates and to provide individual advocacy in alignment with our mission, vision, values and peoples’ individual preferences and needs. 

Leadership/Management/Coaching Role:

● Serve as LMC to Advocates; guide their personal growth and development and support them to do the same for one another.

● Collaborate with other Directors to promote advocacy learning, understanding and ensure appropriate responses to community needs.  

● Provide a process and framework grounded in The Arc’s culture for onboarding and training new Advocates.  

● Review cases with Advocates you are supporting and be available for case consults to support other team members.

● Provide the Senior Director of Advocacy Programs with regular updates on the issues facing the people we are serving through advocacy and any trends that are observable.

● Actively model and reinforce the principles in The Human Element embraced by our chapter and on which all staff are trained.

● Actively model and reinforce The Arc’s Core Values at all times.

● Support and foster a cohesive Advocacy Team that serves people with IDD and their family’s birth through end of life.

● Recognize the need for balance in advocacy work, and between work and personal life; model it, support it, and insist on it, among the Advocacy Team. 

● Help identify and communicate opportunities for professional development for all Advocates. 

Individual Advocacy (for individuals and families in need of tools and resources to overcome obstacles and move in the direction of their own choosing):

● Provide advocacy at the appropriate level to individuals with IDD and family members/guardians as cases are referred to you. 

● Empower, inform, guide, and educate people with IDD to strengthen their advocacy skills.

● Engage in creative supported decision-making and person-centered problem solving on issues such as housing, employment, social security, relationships, and pregnancy/parenting.

● Support people in navigating complex benefits systems and connect individuals to appropriate community resources.

● Explore future planning and identify available community resources, agencies, and services appropriate for meeting the identified needs of adults with IDD.

● Provide advocacy in a legal setting without providing legal advice. This advocacy may be for victims, survivors, and/or alleged perpetrators.

● Understand assessments and reports and articulate their meaning to individuals with IDD and others, explaining how they relate to the individual’s needs.

● Support the intake process as determined by the Senior Director of Advocacy Programs along with the Advocacy Team.

● Keep abreast of best practices in advocacy and self-advocacy, both in Colorado and in other states.

● Keep abreast of the latest laws and regulations, advances in technology, and best practices in supporting individuals with IDD.

● Maintain up-to-date information regarding advocacy interactions in The Arc’s database; collaborate with the Senior Director of Advocacy Programs and other Directors to use data to inform The Arc’s programs, including training and systemic advocacy. 

Trainings and Advocacy Outreach:

• Collaborate with the Senior Director of Advocacy Programs and other Directors to identify and communicate with Advocacy Team about trends and opportunities for new trainings. Collaborate with team on the creation and implementation of these trainings/opportunities.

• Ongoing development and implementation of existing community trainings such as Crisis Intervention Training and Information for Community Centered Boards.  

• Identify appropriate Advocacy Outreach opportunities in the community and coordinate participation with the Advocacy Team.

Self-Advocacy:

• Uphold the values of self-determination and empowerment; support people to speak for themselves.

• Co-Direct and engage in all self-advocacy group advisory duties; this includes some evening and weekend responsibilities. 

• Coordinate the review and update of guidelines for advisors for People First of Jefferson County, with support of People First participants. These guidelines must be approved by People First members. 

• Co-Lead the coordination and planning of self-advocacy events with team support.

• Support members of People First and Speaking for Ourselves in our service area to serve as officers of either organization as appropriate.

• Collaborate with other chapters on self-advocacy initiatives across the region and state. 

• Stay abreast of issues and advances in the self-advocacy movement and share this information to support The Arc’s growth in this area.

Systemic Advocacy (to help shape or change policies and procedures that affect people with IDD):

• Participate in committees of interest in collaboration with Advocacy Team. 

• Share committee information and developments with the Advocacy Team. 

• Build and maintain relationships with stakeholders/community partners.

• Stay abreast of systemic changes and trends to better inform individual advocacy; offer feedback to appropriate entities and committees as these changes and trends are being developed and discussed. 

Porchlight, a Family Justice Center:

• Participate in The Arc’s onsite rotation, responding to the advocacy needs of victims, survivors and alleged perpetrators with IDD who are served at PorchLight.

• Build community partnerships in an effort to connect victims and survivors with IDD to necessary resources and supports. 

• Participate in the Porchlight weekly onsite partnership meeting and other committees as requested.

Wheat Ridge Regional Center (WRRC):

• Participate in both proactive and responsive advocacy, to meet the needs of people who reside at WRRC. 

• Participate in meetings, committees, and activities of WRRC parents/advocates as needed. 

• Maintain working knowledge of processes related to regional centers/intermediate care facilities (ICF) and other relevant agencies.

• Regularly engage in supportive discussions with interdisciplinary teams and ICF Staff, including medical staff, Speech Therapists, Behavior Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nutritionists, and Executive Leadership. 

• Assist people to transition from care of the WRRC into the community, per the persons’ preferences and needs. 

Guardianship and Medical Proxy:

• Understand The Arc’s current role in both Guardianship and Medical Proxy.

• Act as Primary Guardian Representative for a person for whom the Arc-JCC&G is legal guardian; develop a relationship with this person through regular visits, attending medical appointments, IPP Meetings, creating quarterly reports for the Board of Director’s Guardianship Committee, coordinate with the Guardianship Committee and Executive Director to engage in official decision-making duties, and complete court related documentation. 

• Responsible for sharing and attending to 24/7 on call rotation needs; this role is equally shared by all members of the advocacy team.  

Other:

• Work collaboratively with the Advocacy Team to inform the use of data and project management systems to ensure information is captured and used in alignment with our mission, vision, and values. Ensure team members are tracking and using data consistently. 

• Encourage the gathering and sharing of stories to support people in understanding the mission and work of The Arc.

• Look for ways to repurpose and deliver content to our audiences that meets current needs and modes of learning.  

• Identify gaps in content; work with the Advocacy Team to recommend additional content needed and methods of delivery to better serve our community.

• Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills

Qualifications

• A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of seven years’ experience in the field of IDD, specifically with adults. Internal applicants may qualify with a bachelor’s degree and four years’ experience in the field of IDD, at least two of which are at our chapter.

• Extensive knowledge and experience advocating with and for people with IDD and supporting them to make informed decisions.

• Experience leading and supporting cross functional project teams and team members.

• Extensive knowledge of the intricacies of the systems that support adults with IDD; must be able to mentor others in this area to enhance their knowledge.

• Demonstrated ability to thoughtfully communicate with colleagues, community partners, and team members both orally in and writing.

• Ability to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and weekends.

• Reliable and flexible transportation is required. 

• Commitment to supporting team members to be successful in their work.

• Commitment to supporting a culture of openness, respect and continuous improvement as defined by our chapter.

• Commitment to the mission, vision, values, and work of The Arc.

Knowledge

• Extensive knowledge of the interconnectedness of federal, state, and local programs/systems, as well as programs, services, and benefits in Colorado including HCBS Medicaid Waivers and Social Security benefits. 

• Basic knowledge of mental health first aid and willingness to engage in additional training.

• Exercise best practices in person-centered disability etiquette in alignment with The Arc’s values.

• Extensive experience in fostering professional, authentic relationships with self-advocates.

• Willingness to engage in trauma informed training; advanced ability to support and engage with people with IDD who are survivors of abuse and trauma.

Skills

• Ability to listen and take direction from people with I/DD; extensive experience interacting, speaking with, and demonstrating a respectful and accessible approach to communication during interactions.

• Advanced ability to gather and synthesize information and resources and adjust the presentation of this information based on a person’s comprehension and preferences.

• Ability to lead, manage and coach team members as the situation requires.

• Demonstrated ability to present information clearly in writing, orally, visually, etc.  

• Excellent research and resourcing skills; demonstrated creative problem-solving skills.

• Ability to listen with empathy and compassion.

• High level of organizational and prioritization skills; ability to hear, understand, and prioritize people’s advocacy needs.

• Ability to hear and digest constructive feedback as well as provide real-time constructive feedback to team members in a kind and respectful manner.

• Must have a high degree of self-awareness, a willingness to continually improve performance and communication and a demonstrated ability to foster the same with Senior and Adult Advocates.

• Multi-tasking is critical; must be able to tend to multiple responsibilities and tasks and stay organized.

• Demonstrated ability to set personal and professional boundaries.

• High degree of flexibility and ability to collaborate with team members to ensure on call needs are always met.

• Collaborative approach to supporting people with IDD; demonstrated ability to foster collaboration between professionals/team members.

• Spanish language skills and cultural competency preferred but not required.