The National Federation of the Blind is a membership organization of blind people from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. As America's civil rights organization of the blind, the Federation is a coordinated network of skilled advocates, resources, and programs that raise expectations of the blind in society and create opportunities for blind people to live the lives they want. The staff of the Federation are central to the organized blind movement by providing support, professional expertise, and daily contributions to the success of the organization. Working under the direction of the Federation's elected President, the staff advise the organization's leadership and contribute to the vibrant, energetic, and collaborative culture of the organization that raises expectations throughout society.
The Advocacy and Policy Department of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is responsible for the coordination and management of all federal legislative and regulatory advocacy; membership support with education, employment, and social security issues; and the administration of the NFB-NEWSLINE® system, a national information access service for blind and print-disabled Americans.
The Advocacy and Policy Specialist reports to the Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy. This role requires an efficient, multitasking individual capable of applying thoughtful analysis to the legislation and policies that affect blind Americans, as well as the ability to articulate, educate, and persuade varying audiences with regard to NFB’s policy priorities. Must have the ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends, various day trips, and some overnight travel in order to meet a variety of external deadlines. This role requires a person with working knowledge regarding the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, specifically as they relate to blind people, and will require assisting members of the NFB with questions in these areas.
- Providing information and answering questions over the phone and in writing regarding all aspects of the SSDI and SSI programs.
- Assisting members with SSDI and SSI forms, and in some cases acting as a claimant representative.
- Drafting model legislation and policy letters.
- Analyzing legislation and regulations.
- Preparing regulatory responses.
- Assisting in the development of national and state-level legislative strategy.
- Making presentations to legislative staff and members of Congress.
- Coordination and communication with NFB membership.
- Participating in working groups to advance the policy priorities of the organization.
- Advising the President of the National Federation of the Blind on advocacy and policy objectives.
- Working to strengthen the membership of the organization.
- Performing other duties as assigned.
- Demonstrated experience and knowledge of the SSDI and SSI programs.
- Demonstrated experience and knowledge of the legislative and regulatory process.
- Superior ability in written and oral communications.
- Strong analytical reasoning in evaluating current and potential regulations, legislation, and other policy documentation.
- Demonstrated ability to function on teams or individually, depending upon task required, and to move quickly and efficiently from one task to another.
- Flexibility in undertaking other duties as required.
Education and Experience
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in political science, public policy, history, English, law, or related field is preferred.
How to Apply
We seek individuals who wish to identify with a cause and to assist in advocacy for a group long denied equal opportunity to succeed or fail on the basis of ability, and not be denied opportunity on the basis of society’s stereotypes.
This job is open until filled. Applicants should send, preferably via email, a résumé and cover letter indicating salary requirements to: Human Resources, National Federation of the Blind, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone 410-659-9314, ext. 2488; fax 410-685-5653; email HR@nfb.org.
The National Federation of the Blind is an equal opportunity employer. Accordingly all terms and conditions of employment will be carried out without regard to race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, marital status, age, or disability. For more detailed information about our commitment to equal opportunity in employment, please email a request to HR@nfb.org.