This position serves as an advocate for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) program of the Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO). The GAO is the federally-mandated protection and advocacy system for individuals with developmental disabilities in Georgia pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §15041 et seq. Protection and advocacy (P&A) systems are mandated under federal law to protect people with disabilities from abuse and neglect and to advocate for the human and legal rights of people with disabilities. The priorities of GAO's PADD program are (1) to protect individuals with developmental disabilities from, and to pursue a remedy for, incidents of abuse and/or neglect; (2) to respond to allegations of discrimination and legal rights violations of individuals with developmental disabilities in Georgia; and (3) to promote the integration and self-determination of persons with developmental disabilities in the community.
The PADD Advocate will engage in individual and systemic advocacy on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities who are subject to abuse or neglect, or who are institutionalized or at risk of institutionalization. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a deep sense of identification with people with disabilities, particularly people with developmental disabilities, and will have advocacy experience. This position reports to the PADD Director.
Major tasks and responsibilities
1. Investigate complaints or requests for advocacy from people with developmental disabilities, family members, friends, or other concerned parties.
2. Investigate abuse and neglect in institutional and community-based settings.
3. Provide individual advocacy to people with developmental disabilities. This includes meeting with the person, identifying issues, determining a course of action, developing appropriate advocacy strategies, and encouraging self-advocacy, when appropriate.
4. Consult with professionals such as attorneys, physicians, psychologists, therapists, educators, and others to identify options and barriers for individuals.
5. Monitor state and private facilities such as institutions, group homes, personal care homes, day programs, and others for compliance with federal and state laws protecting the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities.
6. Assist people with developmental disabilities in their community with their advocacy and systems change efforts.
7. Support organizational projects and initiatives that foster self-determination and self-advocacy and that support ordinary citizens to stand by and with people with disabilities.
8. Participate on task forces, coalitions, and committees.
9. Maintain accurate, confidential files documenting advocacy services provided.
10. Assist in preparing reports to funding sources.
11. Perform related tasks consistent with skills, abilities, and general responsibilities as required.
1. Effective and professional communication skills, including demonstrated writing skills.
2. Interpersonal skills to maintain productive working relationships with all staff and to work in interdisciplinary teams with other professionals.
3. Organizational skills to successfully complete multiple priorities and tasks and meet self-imposed and externally-set deadlines.
1. A sense of identification with people with disabilities and a dedicated commitment to the rights of people with disabilities.
2. A Bachelor’s degree in a related field or a combination of life experience and education demonstrating a likely capacity to perform the requirements of the position.
3. A strong commitment to the improvement of quality of life and protection of rights for people with disabilities in Georgia.
4. Ability and willingness to travel throughout the state of Georgia.
5. Ability to pass a background check.
1. Background in Social Role Valorization and related training.
2. Specialized knowledge in disability or related field.
3. Experience advocating with and for persons with disabilities.
4. Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications including Word, Outlook, Excel, web-based report creation, and generic database management.
5. Reliable transportation, insurance, and valid driver’s license or access to transportation.
6. Experience providing training to diverse groups of people.
PLEASE SUBMIT a cover letter and resume by Friday, March 15, 2013, to:
PADD Advocate Search
Georgia Advocacy Office
150 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 430
Decatur, GA 30030
Or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
*****FAXED APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED*****
Georgia Advocacy Office is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a diverse workforce. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.