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HEALTH EQUITY AND DISABILITY LAW FELLOW

POSITION OVERVIEW

The effects of the COVID crisis are still present in our communities. People with disabilities have experienced significant impacts, including barriers to healthcare access and necessary community-based services. The DLC has funded a time-limited fellowship position to address this concern. The Health Equity and Disability Law Fellow (Fellow) ensures that individuals with disabilities have equal access to health care and services and are free from placement in unnecessarily restrictive settings. The duties of the Fellow range from working in congregate care and/or institutional settings to ensure community integration and Olmstead rights (Olmstead Rights), to coordinating with government and community organizations on healthcare issues, including COVID-19 and the public health workforce. This position is time-limited and funded by a federal grant through September 30, 2024.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

The Health Equity and Disability Law Fellow reports directly to the Facilities Attorney Team Leader. The Fellow has no direct reports. The Fellow will collaborate across the organization, including with the Outreach and Communications Manager, Public Policy Liaison, attorneys, and advocates. 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

The following duties are an overview of the primary duties and responsibilities of the Health Equity and Disability Law Fellow and should not be considered an all-inclusive list:

  • Develop approaches to identify and provide information and advocacy to people with disabilities in congregate care or institutional settings who may be appropriate for discharge to safer, integrated settings.
  • Conduct outreach to communities, especially those not traditionally reached, across the state and provide trainings to individuals with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and other stakeholders.
  • Develop targeted informational, self-advocacy, and social media materials related to accessing public health care options and COVID-19 vaccines, as well as expanding the public health workforce for people with disabilities.
  • Plan and execute activities (e.g., collaborating with other organizations, identifying efforts to expand the public health workforce for individuals with disabilities, and increasing outreach for equitable healthcare efforts) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 and other public health care concerns.
  • Cultivate partnerships and participate in events focused on COVID and public health care that are led by or focused on marginalized communities, such as communities of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, Tribal nations, primary speakers of languages other than English, and unhoused people. 
  • Monitor relevant public policy developments and participate in local, state, and federal conversations as appropriate.
  • Monitor developments in resolving Department of Justice (DOJ) findings of Olmstead violations in Colorado and engage with communities for solutions and feedback.  See DOJ findings letter for details: https://www.ada.gov/olmstead/documents/colorado_lof.pdf. Once resolved, track compliance with DOJ resolution.
  • Assist with investigations, monitoring, and client work, including litigation (if a licensed member of the Colorado Bar), as assigned and appropriate.
  • Attend Board meetings, as requested by the Director of Legal Services and/or Executive Director.
  • Consistently promote a professional image of DLC and enthusiastically support the ideals, mission, and goals of DLC.
  • Assist with producing data and reports for grant requirements and other needs.
  • Work collaboratively in a team environment with a spirit of cooperation. 
  • Exhibit work performance consistent with the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and the National Disability Rights Network’s Standards.
  • Exercise discretion, independent judgment, and ethical approaches in job performance.
  • Perform other duties, as assigned.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The individual must also possess these qualifications:

  • Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited law school.
  • Ability to work independently in a hybrid or remote environment, as well as under general supervision and on a team.
  • At least one year of experience working with or volunteering in communities experiencing intersectional discrimination and/or health equity barriers.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstration of appropriate and professional behavior in working with members of the public who may often be in crisis or frustrated with service availability.
  • A commitment to understanding and updating knowledge about public health and disability legal issues, including how to work with people with disabilities of all kinds.
  • Diligence and attention to detail in maintaining accurate records and following records retention guidelines.
  • Commitment to providing services and advocacy that are focused on continuous improvement, the values of the Protection and Advocacy System, integrity, disability justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Expertise using Microsoft Office products and other technology, such as Zoom, printers, scanners, file-sharing platforms, databases, timekeeping software, and other applications required to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • Demonstrated expertise in producing accurate toolkits, informational materials, and/or multimedia materials in plain language.
  • Comfort with offering training to a variety of audiences within DLC’s mission.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel throughout the state and work nonstandard hours, as needed for monitoring, investigations, training, advocacy, and litigation.
  • Ability to triage multiple responsibilities, adapt to client needs (e.g., communication, language, cultural, disability access), foster collaborative problem-solving, strengthen relationships, and address external and internal concerns and needs.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

The following qualifications are highly desired to advance DLC’s work, but they are not required:

  • Bilingual or multilingual.
  • Experience practicing civil rights law, especially disability law.
  • Member in good standing of the Colorado State Bar.
  • Work experience or formal education relating to public health, particularly health inequities.
  • Experience practicing law or serving as an advocate in a nonprofit environment.
  • At least one year of experience providing training or education to a range of audiences.
  • Familiarity with relevant systems, including jails, prisons, state hospitals, nursing homes, regional centers, Community Centered Boards, special education, Medicaid, guardianship, group homes, and/or host homes.
  • Experience developing materials that are linguistically, culturally, and disability accessible and relevant.
  • Experience working on federal grants.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Applicants for this position must live in Colorado or be willing to relocate to Colorado before they begin the position.  DLC is promoting a mostly remote work environment, with the understanding that employees will travel and meet in person as needed for conducting their job functions and collaborating with other staff members, the Board, clients, and partners. (DLC currently has office space in Denver, which is available but not required for employees’ use.) DLC provides equipment to employees to work successfully in a remote environment, including, but not limited to, laptops and phones. This position might require periods of frequent travel to support the outreach duties, however.

DLC provides reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs and participate in the recruitment and interview processes. For support with the application process, please contact Esther Brieno at ebrieno@disabilitylawco.org

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

The hiring range for this position is $60,000 to $65,000 annually, depending on experience. Disability Law Colorado offers competitive salaries; generous leave; and an excellent benefits package, which includes a 403(b) retirement savings plan and medical, dental, vision, life, and short term and long-term disability insurance. DLC employees also enjoy a 36-hour workweek as full-time employment, as well as flexible hours.

APPLICATION PROCESS

We encourage candidates with disabilities and others with lived experience and diverse backgrounds to apply. DLC will consider applications as they are received. Candidates should submit a cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume to Esther Brieno at ebrieno@disabilitylawco.org with the subject line: Health Equity and Disability Law Fellow by December 1, 2022, for priority consideration. Candidates wishing to mail or fax their materials, instead, may send them to:

 

Esther Brieno, Operations Manager

Disability Law Colorado

455 Sherman Street, Suite 130

Denver, CO  80203

FAX: (303) 722-0720