About the Organization
Disability Rights Wisconsin works to ensure that individuals with disabilities are free from abuse and neglect, are able to exercise their civil rights, have access to education, and can participate meaningfully in their communities. DRW is the state’s designated Protection and Advocacy system and manages numerous additional programs that protect the rights of people with disabilities through individual and public policy advocacy. Our core values of diversity, dignity, independence, accessibility, inclusion, human rights, and liberation drive our work.
Disability Rights Wisconsin commits to creating a diverse and culturally competent workplace and to providing culturally competent services to our clients. A diversity-informed and culturally competent approach to disability rights recognizes the intersectional nature of oppression experienced by people with disabilities who experience oppression across multiple identities. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment at DRW for individuals with diverse identities and focus our services on injustices that occur at the intersection of disability and other marginalized identities such as race, cultural and ethnic heritage, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, sexual orientation, and religious traditions. Diversity in this context means identities and/or individuals from historically oppressed and marginalized groups.
Reports to the Managing Attorney of the Victim Advocacy Program
Location: Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay or Rice Lake Wisconsin
The Advocacy & Outreach Specialist is responsible for providing direct advocacy assistance and representation to individuals with disabilities who have been victims of crime on a variety of disability-related and victim service issues. The Advocacy & Outreach Specialist will also take part in significant outreach efforts to victim service and disability service providers. Other duties include administrative tasks related to case maintenance and reporting, information and referral, systems advocacy, and training.
- Develop an outreach plan and perform outreach activities, with an emphasis on reaching culturally diverse groups and organizations, about DRW and the services of the Victim Advocacy Program around the state. Outreach will be to a wide variety of direct services providers, law enforcement, and interdisciplinary teams.
- Maintain effective working relationships with individuals with disabilities, advocacy groups, victim service providers, and disability service providers; represent DRW on task forces, coalitions, and committees concerned with issues relevant to DRW priorities and people with disabilities.
- Participate in intake, referral, case acceptance and quality assurance functions on the Victim Advocacy team. Collect client information in preparation for group case acceptance meetings or meetings with supervisor, participate in group case acceptance meetings, inform person requesting assistance of decision to accept or deny case, and make appropriate referrals.
- Extensive direct client contact providing advocacy or representation to individuals with disabilities statewide, including meeting with individuals personally at DRW offices, in client homes, and/or in community settings; this includes making some independent judgments about advocacy strategy in the field.
- Provide information, guidance, consultation, and technical assistance over the telephone to individuals who call for help on advocacy issues pertaining to people with disabilities who are survivors of crime.
- Maintain a caseload of individuals needing advocacy assistance including: giving information, advice and self-advocacy assistance in person or over the phone; accompanying clients to court proceedings to obtain restraining orders; assisting client navigate criminal justice systems including reporting crime to law enforcement, discussing charges to be filed with prosecutors, and drafting victim impact statements to be read at sentencing; intervening or collaborating directly with law enforcement, service providers, government/school administrations and others as necessary; or
- Participate in interdisciplinary teams as a representative of the Victim Advocacy Program.
- Complete required intake and case recording forms and maintain accurate records of client interactions and case progress.
- Consult and collaborate with other DRW advocates on individual cases and advocacy issues.
- Develop and maintain resource files on topics including legal rights of individuals, victim’s rights, grievance procedures, and other advocacy resources, victim service and disability related organizations.
- Maintain client and project files both electronically and in paper files. Comply with DRW client data reporting requirements, compile and organize client statistical data.
- Develop, organize, and maintain resource files on assigned substantive and advocacy topics and advocacy resources and disability related organizations.
- As assigned, participate on internal DRW work groups or teams to develop appropriate advocacy strategies and programming for working on behalf of people with disabilities.
- At least 6 months of paid or unpaid work providing advocacy and/or support to survivors of crime.
- At least 6 months of paid or unpaid experience doing the following: interviewing people; identifying a problem and creating a plan to solve the problem; and negotiating or assisting someone in negotiating to achieve a solution to a problem.
- Demonstrated competency and ability to work with diverse populations.
- Excellent listening, verbal, and written communication skills.
- Basic computer skills including email, word processing, and use of the internet.
- Travel statewide required.
- Ability to present material in an effective manner to a variety of audiences.
- Fluency or strong proficiency in American Sign Language, Hmong, or Spanish.
- Direct paid or unpaid experience with people with mental illness and other disabilities.
- Bachelor’s Degree in a field relevant to providing advocacy and support to victim/survivors of crime or people with disabilities.
- Familiarity with state laws pertaining to victim rights, restraining orders, and divorce.
- Familiarity with the Wisconsin criminal legal system.
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice issues.