job: Disability Policy Associate – RespectAbility

Disability Policy Associate

RespectAbility’s mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. RespectAbility is a diverse, disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities, and that advances policies and practices that empower people with disabilities to have a better future.

We advance a system change agenda that creates access and breaks down barriers to education, employment, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement for diverse people with disabilities. By working in coalition with stakeholders and partners at the federal, state, and local level, and engaging the grassroots, we will advance opportunities for people with disabilities to earn an income, contribute to society, and achieve independence, just like anyone else.

Our innovative work, coalition building, and resources advance best practices to ensure that diverse people with disabilities have the skills, economic opportunities, supports, accommodations, and inclusion they need and deserve to both thrive individually and make their communities stronger. This includes our continued commitment to collaboration with other organizations, including BIPOC and English Language Learner (ELL)-led groups, working in the policy space.

This newly formed position of Disability Policy Associate will join a dynamic policy team. The core focus of this work will be to advance Employment first, cradle-to-career policies that will enable people with disabilities to get the education, skills, access and opportunities they need to thrive.


  • Work with the policy team, board members, volunteers, and partners to achieve the policy and advocacy goals outlined in our strategic plan. See:
  • Work with our team to create and promote widespread use of RespectAbility’s recommendations on disability policy, job seeker supports, employer adoption of best practices, educational attainment, disability entrepreneurship, and more.
  • Support efforts on federal and state policy, including tracking, identifying and seizing opportunities to affect legislative, regulatory and administrative action.
  • Support the team as it collaborates with partners, including federal, state and local government, disability and service organizations, businesses serving not-for-profit organizations and employers to identify and implement key systemic and policy issues solutions to barriers for success.
  • Help to implement strategies and opportunities to educate any impact decision-makers in state capitals on the key issues identified facing people with disabilities, both informally and in the legislative and regulatory process.
  • Help to implement comprehensive strategy to promote both disability entrepreneurship and disability owned business enterprises, including, but not limited to, necessary governmental or regulatory changes, the sharing of best practices between states and the private sector, and enrolling support industries from financial services to entrepreneurship trainers and more.
  • Work with the policy and leadership team on nonpartisan voter guides and political coverage on disability issues. See
  • Assist in the process of training and mentoring apprentices in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Apprenticeship Program.
  • Support team by performing tasks related to organization and strong communication while maintaining confidentiality.
  • Prepare communications, such as memos, emails, invoices, reports, and other correspondence.
  • Write and edit documents from letters to reports and instructional documents, and especially large number of PowerPoint documents.
  • Other duties as assigned in support of RespectAbility’s Policy Department.


  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Strong writing skills. Accurate spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure are critical in this role. Must be proficient in a variety of writing styles, such as creative, professional and technical writing.
  • Deep proficiency with appropriate software including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Zoom and Adobe Acrobat. Willingness and capability to learn how to make documents screen reader accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.
  • Strong organization and executive functioning skills. Must know how to keep yourself and others organized and how to determine which tasks are the most important in a given list.
  • Ability to independently research, gather, and analyze information.
  • Strong personal disability connection is a plus but not required.
  • Spanish language skills a plus but not required.
  • Some experience in advocacy, communications and public policy, and work with policymakers on the same with pre-existing experience in disability policy a major plus.
  • Team player who is upbeat and excited to work in a new, growing and mission-driven organization.
  • Passion for marginalized people and impatience with the status quo.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access as demonstrated by past professional, personal or volunteer efforts around people with disabilities, people of color, underserved communities, underrepresented groups, and other identities.
  • Organized self-starter with the ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Experience in working in vocational rehabilitation, special education, or workforce a strong plus.
  • Organized and systematic research skills that recognize that Google and other search tools represent pieces of a research strategy, not an entire research strategy.
  • Team player who is upbeat, loves working in coalitions, and is excited to work in a growing and mission-driven organization.


Salary will start at $50,000 per year. Healthcare, vacation and other benefits provided. Currently the position is virtual, but as soon as it is safe, the person in this position will work in a hybrid fashion, and should therefore be based in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles, the main locations of our teams. The successful candidate should be prepared to travel for both collaboration and conferences. This is an exempt position, although we do provide courtesy vacation hours for any hours worked past 50.

To apply, please send your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to:

RespectAbility provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, RespectAbility complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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