Director of Accessibility Strategy and Resources
Amherst College invites applications for the Director of Accessibility Strategy and Resources position. The Director of Accessibility Strategy and Resources is a full time, year-round position, job group and level PT-5. Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst’s students are Pell Grant recipients; 45 percent of our students identify as domestic students of color. Our expectation is that the successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.
Under the direction of the Deputy General Counsel, the Director of Accessibility Strategy and Resources is responsible for the coordination, implementation and enhancement of the College’s ongoing work related to accessibility, in accordance with research and evidence-based best practices and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to individuals with disabilities.
The Director serves as a subject matter expert by providing technical and practical insights to departments to enhance accessibility with an emphasis on universal design and the social model of disability. Beyond day-to-day advising, the Director will assume a project management role in setting the strategic direction of the College’s accessibility initiatives and liaising with various appropriate offices on campus to achieve enhancements to the College’s policies, procedures, and practices related to accessibility. The Director will provide periodic updates to the College’s President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and General Counsel on the progress of these strategic initiatives.
A key component of the Director’s work will be to raise campus awareness of the importance of reducing systemic barriers, promote disability awareness, and promote a culture of accessibility. Additionally, the Director will take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and student population and will participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.
Summary of Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Serves as a subject matter expert on applicable working groups, and advises individuals across the College on matters related to accessibility by providing technical and practical insights.
Works closely with the Chief of Campus Operations (or delegate) in conjunction with the Facilities Department to develop, review, and provide both technical and practical insight into ADA / Section 504 facility plans and standards for new and existing construction projects. Similarly, works closely with the Information Technology Department to promote achievement of the College’s information access obligations.
Approves specific accommodation requests by third-parties and guests. Partners with departments to enhance accessibility generally and advises departments on how to coordinate and implement specifically-approved reasonable accommodations for third-parties and guests.
Advises the Office Human Resources and Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty on matters related to faculty and staff accommodations, as needed.
Advises the Office of Student Affairs Office of Accessibility Services on matters related to student accommodations, as needed.
Serves as the College’s Section 504 Coordinator, including serving as the central complaint intake for purposes of internal grievances by students, faculty, and staff alleging discrimination on the basis of disability.
Serves as the central intake for information submitted through the College’s new online barrier-reporting form and facilitates the flow of information to, and follow-up action by, the appropriate offices on campus.
Collaborates with College administrators, faculty, staff, and students in developing, coordinating, and implementing College-wide strategies to enhance accessibility.
Assumes a project management role in identifying, prioritizing, developing, modifying, and advocating for appropriate policies, procedures, and practices consistent with state and federal laws by liaising with appropriate offices on campus to effectuate improvements.
Collaborates with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to align strategic initiatives with the College’s ongoing emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
Identifies and evaluates accessibility issues in various areas of service and recommends resolutions. Facilitates activities and the flow of information among various College offices with responsibilities relating to accessibility compliance. Identifies opportunities to improve information flows with respect to accessibility.
In collaboration with a broad range of members of the campus community, works to promote cultural transformation relevant to research-based and evidence-based practices as well as cultural initiatives emerging from the disability community. Focuses on universal design to promote the accessibility of classes, events, web-based services, building and facilities, and programs and services.
Training, Awareness, and Outreach
Prepares and delivers (and coordinates resources for outside speakers to provide) presentations, educational programs, written materials, and professional development activities related to accessibility topics with the intention of reducing systemic barriers and promoting disability awareness, as well as inclusive policies and practices. Keeps the campus community informed of current policies, processes, and best practices.
Maintains professional knowledge and skills. Seeks opportunities for self-improvement and/or professional development in order to remain up-to-date with the latest research, national trends in the field, and current best practices.
Master's degree in a related field, or a Bachelor's degree with an equivalent combination of demonstrated experience, knowledge and training necessary to perform the essential duties of the job.
Five or more years of progressively responsible related work experience.
Advanced knowledge and expertise in the field of disability compliance, including federal and state laws and regulations, as well as applicable standards and guidelines (e.g., ADA Standards for Accessible Design, WCAG 2.1, etc.).
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Effective project management, organizational, and analytical skills.
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a range of individuals across a decentralized environment, assisting in the resolution of issues in a manner that demonstrates strategic thinking and conforms to the highest ethical practices while fostering and enhancing a positive working relationship.
Attention to detail and ability to comprehend complex legal matters.
Ability to provide sound advice, exercise good judgment, and make administrative decisions in conformity with existing policies and regulations.
Experience working in higher education.
Recent experience providing guidance on compliance requirements under the ADA and Section 504 and related disability laws in a complex institutional environment.
Experience understanding, interpreting, and providing practical advice regarding the implementation of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, digital accessibility such as WCAG 2.1, and other applicable guidelines and standards.
Knowledge, skill, and experience in digital accessibility issues such as web accessibility, course material accessibility, adaptive and assistive technologies, and classroom technologies.
Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information (email and/or telephone numbers) for three professional references. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.