Advocacy Manager

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Access Living is a Chicago-based cross–disability organization governed and staffed by a majority of people with disabilities.

Access Living fosters the dignity, pride and self–esteem of people with disabilities and enhances the options available to them so they may choose and maintain individualized and satisfying lifestyles. To this end, Access Living offers peer–oriented independent living services; public education, awareness and development; individualized and systemic advocacy; and enforcement of civil rights on behalf of people with disabilities.

Access Living recognizes the innate rights, abilities, needs and diversity of people with disabilities, works toward their full integration into community life and serves as an agent of social change.


This management position is focused on supervising and managing the projects of both policy analysts and community organizers in Access Living’s Advocacy Department. The Advocacy Manager will not only ensure alignment of Department activities with mission and strategic goals, but will also work towards ensuring that those activities are inclusive, and that staff are supported in professional development in disability policy and community organizing. The Advocacy Manager will also support Access Living’s internal accountability processes and support ongoing organizational efforts to center disability justice.

Front line staff supervised are currently working on disability community organizing and disability policy in the following core areas: healthcare/home and community based services, housing, transportation, education, racial justice, immigration. Additionally, some work is being done in employment and reproductive justice.


  • Supervise community organizing and policy staff to ensure ongoing progress on campaigns and policy work on disability issues. Ensure alignment with Access Living’s mission and strategic goals; ensure that deadlines are met.
  • Work with staff to develop annual reporting outcomes and ensure staff meet outcomes and/or revise them as necessary.
  • Ensure staff meet data reporting goals and stay within budget. Conduct staff annual performance evaluations.
  • Coordinate organizers’ work on Power to the People, the coalition of Access Living’s community organizing groups, as well as managing and developing their monthly development curriculum.
  • Support advocacy department trainings/professional development.
  • Support Director of Advocacy on the coordination of government affairs efforts and emerging initiatives.
  • Support/coordinate with the Director of Communications for public relations efforts, and with the Development Department for fund raising/philanthropic reporting.
  • Support/coordinate dialogue and collaboration with the Independent Living and Civil Rights Departments.
  • Represent the Advocacy Department on internal workgroups as needed.
  • Develop curricula and guides on disability organizing and policy approaches.
  • Develop other supporting materials for the Advocacy Department as needed.
  • Ensure consistent accessibility and inclusiveness of Department’s community/internal activities.
  • Supervise interns and volunteers as needed.
  • Other activities as needed.


3-5 years experience as a manager preferred. BA preferred in public policy, community development or political science. Must have excellent writing and reporting skills.


  • Experience with disability-related policy and community organizing.
  • Preferred – understanding of Independent Living Philosophy, disability justice, the overall disability movement, and grasp of complex topics in disability and inclusion.
  • Understanding of various community organizing models as well as policy coalition building approaches is a plus.
  • Candidates should have an understanding of how to frame and report outcomes for disability policy and community organizing.
  • Comfortable with public presentations to a variety of audiences.
  • Commitment to furthering the leadership of underserved communities.


Ability to travel within state; may need to travel out of state on occasion.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


If interested, please send a cover letter, resume and no more 5 pages of writing samples, preferably related to this positon.

No phone calls, please.