Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Independent Living Officer Job Description

Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Independent Living Officer (FULL-TIME)

Able South Carolina (Able SC) is South Carolina’s premier organization promoting disability rights, independence, and equity for individuals with disabilities. Serving throughout the state, Able SC promotes individual leadership, creative teamwork, and cultivates a shared pride in the future of an inclusive state. 

Able SC offers a competitive salary with benefits including health, dental, vision, life, Employee Assistance Program, and contribution to a retirement plan. Paid leave includes vacation, sick leave and 18 holidays annually.


The VP and Chief Advocacy and Independent Living Officer (VP-CAILO) is responsible for creating opportunities to advance the rights and justice for people with disabilities, while focusing on the intersections of disability. Able SC’s advocacy efforts align with our commitment to “nothing about us, without us.” The person identified for this position will also lead the organization’s advocacy goals, and leads and oversees the consumer advocacy, Independent Living and Information and referral services. In consultation with Able SC’s President & CEO, the VP-CAILO develops, manages, and executes Able SC’s advocacy agenda. The VP-CAILO also leads Able SC’s position statements as it relates to persons with disabilities and steers grassroots advocacy. The VP-CAILO  serves as a member of the decision making leadership team. This position is in direct delegation of the President & CEO. 

TO APPLY: Please email your cover letter and resume to No phone calls please. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Location: Columbia, SC

Hours: Full-time, Exempt, 40 hours per week

Salary Range: $70,000 - $95,000

Supervisory Responsibility: Supervises three department directors. 


  • Co-develop and lead the organization’s advocacy goals. 
  • Analyzes proposed legislation and policy changes and develops policy recommendations.
  • Assist with legislative advocacy and develop relationships with local and state lawmakers. 
  • Expand the reach of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy to staff, consumers and the community at large.
  • Serve as an advocate and leader for the rights of people with disabilities within all intersections.
  • Develop goals for new strategic partnership efforts and provide leadership to implement them, including development, expansion and oversight.
  • Participate in meetings representing the organization and elevating the IL philosophy. 
  • Lead on preparation of position papers on key disability areas.
  • Monitor emerging needs among the disability community, funders and stakeholders and develop/revise advocacy initiatives. 
  • Assists with capacity building for the relevant services. 
  • Lead Able SC-hosted advocacy events and participation in critical event meetings, which includes but isn’t limited to partner coordination and working closely with the events team on  technology and logistics, ensuring accessibility, agenda strategy, and developing talking points.
  • Maintain a high level of knowledge of current thinking around effective strategies for advocacy and partnerships in the disability rights and social justice fields.
  • Partner with Able SC leadership staff to align activities with organizational priorities.
  • Support staff and partners in identifying and executing advocacy efforts. 
  • Supervise and provide leadership, oversight, education and evaluation with the Director of Independent Living Services, Director of Consumer Advocacy and Community Training, and Director of Information and Referral Services. 
  • Engage with stakeholders and decision makers about the importance of working with disability-led organizations and including people with disabilities in any services, policies, or decisions regarding people with disabilities. 
  • Build and foster alliances and networks that enhance rights and collaboration.
  • Assist in data collection and impact stories as a way of generating an evidence-based practice. 
  • Lead the evaluation process of advocacy, independent living, and information and referral services. 
  • Oversee the coordination, integration, and delivery of relevant programs, related services, promoting collaborative relationships between program areas and ensuring that the expectations of funders, partners, and other stakeholders are consistently met.
  • Develop a team-based environment to motivate and empower staff to work collaboratively toward vision and goal, by clearly communicating Able SC’s vision, implementing yearly staff development plans and mentoring.
  • Accountable for oversight, planning, and evaluation of relevant program activities.
  • Directly supervise relevant directors to build their skills and confidence so that they can mentor, encourage, and motivate all staff.
  • Provide assistance and guidance on how to troubleshoot relevant services and staff performance challenges.
  • Represent the organization with consumers, funders, partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Create and support a high performing culture within relevant services with Able SC’s workplace culture and philosophy. 
  • Identify and create leadership and professional development opportunities for relevant staff.
  • Establish annual goals, departmental and staff goals and objectives and track results against these goals as well as accountability protocols.
  • Ensure the delivery of all goals and outcomes relevant to this position.
  • Disseminate updates, trends, and other timely information regarding disability rights laws like the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), Rehabilitation Act to staff, consumers, and the community at large.
  • Assist in providing technical assistance to appropriate agencies and community groups. 
  • Lead in events and conferences that promote the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Gather and compile data regarding disability rights and access issues into reports for internal use and public dissemination.
  • Participate, advocate, and train in meetings where disability rights and access should be furthered with a focus, but not limited in Employment, Transportation, Housing and Intersectional Rights Movements.
  • Research and promote internal policies that will further intersectionality with other marginalized groups to include all traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • Protect consumer and agency information by adhering to confidentiality standards.
  • Identify and address systemic issues as it relates to people with disabilities.
  • Employ professional judgment and continue professional development.
  • Assist with coordinating staff meetings, workgroups, and committees.
  • Carry out additional assignments as delegated by supervisors in a timely manner.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Services or related field. Master’s degree preferred. 
  • Minimum of 10 years of leadership experience in disability rights, disability justice, or independent living.
  • Experience with social justice change, advocacy or lobbying.
  • Lived experience with a disability. 
  • Knowledge of the service system, benefits, entitlements and supports utilized by people with disabilities. 
  • Experience with working in teams to accomplish goals. 
  • Experience in the delivery of presentations and training to groups required. 
  • Experience with writing position statements on advocacy topics.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Must have reliable transportation.  
  • Must be able to operate a computer. 


  • Implements the vision: With the CEO, leads strategic, long-term planning, vision and goal setting to anticipate future opportunities.
  • Expert on disability rights & IL: Practices and teaches disability rights, disability justice,  and the  independent living philosophy. Stays aware of major developments and trends in regards to disability.
  • Senior Leadership: Demonstrates senior leadership with strategic, policy, and budget planning experience in a complex organization.
  • Lead through influence: Instill a coaching culture with an ability to prioritize and communicate with staff about key objectives necessary to achieve organization goals.
  • Building and Managing Teams: Empowers, motivates, coaches, and develops others for the purpose of achieving goals.
  • Execution & Results: Pursues excellence until goals and objectives are met, focusing efforts on removing challenging obstacles and adapting to changing priorities and increasing complexity.
  • Communication: Ability to adjust management and communication style to successfully navigate situations and work with the intended audience.
  • Management: Leads the planning, execution, and evaluation of agency programs and other long-range activities & conducts program reviews, inspections, and/or audits to evaluate programs to ensure compliance.
  • Creative Problem Solving: Resolves difficult or complicated challenges by having the mindset that there are always solutions by looking at the opportunities within the problem.
  • Change Management: Identify and drive organizational and cultural transformation in order to help the organization and staff to adapt to changing demands in the disability community.
  • Accountable and Dependable: Takes personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of deliverables and achieves results.
  • Organizational Knowledge: Uses knowledge of the workings, structure and culture of the organization and state climate to solve problems and accomplish goals.
  • Adaptability & Flexibility: Adapts to changing business needs, conditions, and work responsibilities.
  • Strategic thinker: Possesses the analytical skills to improve overall productivity and elevate the organization including tracking record of effectively identifying and anticipating competitive threats and taking action on the strategic concerns of the organization.
  • Tact: Diplomatically handles challenging or tense interpersonal situations.
  • Plans & Organizes: Coordinate ideas and resources to achieve goals.
  • Dedication: Exhibits long term dedication to the mission of the organization.
  • Innovative and forward thinker: Listens for emerging trends from consumers, staff, volunteers, and community; able to translate new ideas into action.
  • Research and analytical: Examines data to grasp issues, draw conclusions, and solve problems.
  • Results driven: Focuses on results and desired outcomes and how best to achieve them in order to get the job done.
  • Business Savvy: Has a strong business acumen and ability to contribute to strategy and operations; use understanding of key business goals and strategies to deliver on the mission.
  • Business Judgment: Exercises financial, HR and technology management to accomplish the organization’s mission.
  • Attention to detail: Diligently attends to details and pursues quality in accomplishing tasks.
  • Ethical: Serving with integrity and respect in personal and organizational practices by holding self and staff accountable for their actions.
  • Commitment to Excellence: Paves the way to excellence by setting high standards and results.
  • Initiative: Responds appropriately on your own to improve outcomes, processes or measurements.
  • Risk Management: Plans and implements measures that will avoid, overcome or compensate for elements of risk in regard to program and reputation of the organization.
  • Consumer Focus: Builds and maintains consumer satisfaction with the program and services offered by the organization.
  • Decision Making & Judgement: Makes timely, informed decisions that take into account the facts, goals, constraints, and risks.
  • Emotional Intelligence: capacity to recognize their own feelings and those of others, and to manage emotion effectively in ourselves and our relationships.
  • Development: Identifies systems and strategies that enable the organization to meet its financial development goals and carry out its programs and operations.
  • Thoroughness: Ensures that work is complete and accurate; independently follows up with others to ensure that agreements and commitments have been fulfilled.
  • Integrity/Honesty: Foster a high standard of ethics and instill mutual trust and confidence.
  • Policy Enforcement: Enforces policy, rules, law and regulations, and initiates enforcement actions that are fair, objective, and reasonable
  • State and National leadership: Be recognized on the state and national level for their expertise regarding independent living, disability rights, and disability justice.
  • Multitasking: Ability to manage multiple responsibilities at once by focusing on one task while keeping track of others.
  • Tenacious: Stays firm with the commitment to social justice for the disability community.
  • Lobbying: be a registered lobbyist and have the ability to effectively work with the lawmakers. 
  • Political Awareness: identify internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.
  • State and National leadership: Be recognized on the state and national level for their expertise regarding independent living and disability rights. 

Able South Carolina is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, or national origin. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


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