Director, Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy

Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Ontario, Fresno or Remote /
Leadership – Office of Clients' Rights Advocate /
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Individuals who are Deaf or Disabled are encouraged to apply.

Office Location: Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, or Remote within California Only

Salary Range (Depending on Experience):  $123,923 – $166,082 annually

Employment Status: Regular, Full Time, Exempt

Disability Rights California (DRC) contracts with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to provide a program of clients’ rights advocacy services for clients of the 21 regional centers statewide.  DRC provides this program through the Office of Clients Rights Advocacy (OCRA). 
OCRA’s program provides consultation and assistance to regional center clients, including:  serving as a clients’ rights resource to regional center clients, their families, and the community; assisting regional center clients in understanding procedures for initiating fair hearings; obtaining generic services such as IHSS and SSI; asserting and protecting the rights of regional center clients changing their residence, including placement in facilities and judicial commitments to state-operated facilities; investigating denials of rights under Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Section 50540; providing self-advocacy trainings to regional center clients; and providing clients’ rights training to regional center staff and service providers.
The OCRA Director reports directly to DRC’s Executive Director and is a member of the senior leadership team, responsible for day-to-day operations of program activities and office administration, program leadership and guidance, and formulating program priorities.  The OCRA Director is the liaison between DDS and DRC for activities performed under the clients’ rights advocacy contract.  They are responsible for program budgeting and reporting to grantors and other parties. 
The OCRA Director also directs the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program, pursuant to a grant from the Social Security Administration.  WIPA offers free individualized work incentives counseling to eligible individuals living in specific counties. The WIPA program is a free service that helps Social Security beneficiaries who receive benefits based on a disability make informed choices about their employment goals.
Essential functions are the job responsibilities an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation. Director, Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy essential functions include:
Leadership – 60%
·       Lead OCRA and WIPA, including overseeing day-to-day operations and ensuring compliance with contract and grant requirements.
·       Provide direction and supervision to staff, including workload management, training, and mentoring.
·       Engage in budgeting, oversee preparation of required contract and grant reporting.
·       Review and approve expenses consistent with program budgets.
Collaboration and Engagement – 40%
·       Assist with organizational development and planning.
·       Evaluate data, prepare reports, and attend Board Meetings to report on activities as needed.
·       Provide technical assistance and substantive training in areas of expertise to DRC staff.
·       Address systemic problems and issues related to OCRA and it clients by participating with clients, their families, and agencies and organizations such as DDS, Regional Centers, and the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
·       Prepare materials and conduct outreach, education, and training to clients, families, community groups, advocates, and others, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities on issues pertaining to their rights.
Other functions:
- Assist with agency-wide management responsibilities.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Directly supervise senior administrative staff, the WIPA Project Manager, OCRA Managing Attorneys, and OCRA Supervising Clients’ Rights Advocates as necessary to carry out program requirements consistent with DRC’s policies, applicable laws and contract requirements.
Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing direct work; regularly evaluating performance and providing ongoing feedback; working with Human Resources to take correction actions when needed; and addressing complaints and resolving problems.
Juris Doctor degree or equivalent and membership in the California State Bar.  In the alternative, eligible to practice under the Registered Legal Services Attorney Program with admission to the California State Bar required within 3 years.
·       Successfully able to obtain Federal Level 5 Suitability clearance (details below).
·       Demonstrated commitment – through lived experience or employment history – to working with people with disabilities.
·       At least ten years’ experience as a practicing attorney with at least four years of practice in public interest law.  Judicial clerkships or externships may count as up to one year of legal practice experience.
·       At least five years’ experience advocating for the rights of people with disabilities or other underserved groups.
·       At least five years’ experience in employee supervision and management.
·       At least two years’ experience in program administration or fiscal management.
·       Experience with laws, rights, and services as they pertain to people with disabilities, or direct representation of people with disabilities.
·       Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively.
·       Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
·       Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
·       Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse groups of people.
The ability to obtain a Federal Level 5 Suitability clearance is required for access to WIPA program information.  The federal government determines whether to grant the clearance after a background investigation involving a credit check and inquiries to law enforcement, employers, schools, and references for the past five years.
·       Experience as a Clients’ Rights Advocate or Supervising Clients’ Rights Advocate.
·       At least five years’ experience working with people with developmental disabilities.
·       At least five years’ experience in program administration or fiscal management.
·       Ability to communicate fluently and write effectively in Spanish or an Asian language, or able to communicate using American Sign Language.
·       Lived experience as a person with a disability or direct experience as a caregiver of a family member with a disability.
·       Knowledge of programs that serve people with disabilities. 
·       Experience in the disability rights movement or extensive contacts in disability communities.
·       Experience with or extensive contacts in ethnic or language distinct communities.
·       Familiarity and/or extensive contacts with one or more of the following communities:  homelessness, criminal justice, substance abuse or Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Intersex.
Ability to travel routinely, up to 25% of the time, for activities such as stakeholder meetings, supervisory visits, team meetings, board meetings, education, training, or outreach activities.  More travel may be required to meet program or contract requirements.
If you are interested in becoming a part of DRC, please submit the following:
1. Online Disability Rights California Application Form
2. Your resume
3. Cover Letter: We need a workforce that can utilize insights and strategies that can come from both professional and personal experience. In your cover letter, please tell us about yourself and why you are a great fit for this position and for DRC.

At Disability Rights California, we value diversity among our employees because unique perspectives allow us to effectively serve Californians with disabilities from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), Disability (mental and physical), sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, military and veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.

Disability Rights California endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.