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Lead Specialist, Assistive Technology

USC

Los Angeles, CA,US

The Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS) is the unit on campus responsible for ensuring equitable access to the University setting for a diverse population of students with disabilities. With a focus on accessibility, inclusivity and creating environments free of discrimination, OSAS team members assess and approve reasonable accommodations and services for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, both on campus and on-line.

Under the supervision of the Assistant Director of Accessibility Services, the Lead Specialist, Assistive Technology (AT) will promote academic access to university curriculum and educational opportunities for students with disabilities with a specialized focus working with students who are blind/low vision (BLV). The Lead Specialist will partner with the Assistant Director on educating faculty on course accessibility needs and providing assistive technology (JAWS, NVDA, Voice Over Software, Kurzweil, etc.) education to campus partners.

This role requires the ability to work efficiently under deadlines, manage details, and address multiple tasks with rapid response. This individual must possess demonstrated effective interpersonal skills and be able to maintain appropriate professionalism in the face of challenging communications that arise from a variety of sources. The Lead Specialist should be adept with knowledge of assistive technologies for students with visual impairments, Microsoft Office software, and be able to learn and make effective use of the department s student records management database. Additionally, the Lead Specialist role involves guiding the work of graduate and undergraduate student staff.

The Office of Student Accessibility Services is a highly collaborative, highly functional team, with a culture of achievement, supportiveness, and inclusivity. The OSAS team has defined and committed to core values of: Accountability, Care, Collaboration, Integrity, Leadership and Skilled Communication. It is important that the successful candidate demonstrate an ability to contribute positively to the team dynamic.

Key Responsibilities

The general responsibilities/duties aligned with the Lead Specialist are as follows.

Direct student service.
Faculty and Campus Partner support.
Documentation review and caseload management in a manner that is legally compliant, student-centered and reflective of best practices in the field.
The individual in this role must exhibit effectiveness in understanding and applying disability-related laws to accommodation and service delivery, as well as to issue identification and problem-solving.
All OSAS staff are expected to maintain student records in accordance with FERPA guidelines.
This role will also cross-train to be additional support in one or more primary services or programs provided by OSAS, and will be a significant contributor to strategic departmental projects.

Essential Skills

Disability-related laws: Knowledge of, or ability to quickly learn, understand, and apply disability-related laws (i.e. ADAAA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) to routine accommodation and service delivery, as well as to basic issue-identification and problem-solving. Maintain student records in accordance with FERPA guidelines.
Technology: Knowledge of operating systems (PC, Mac). Working knowledge of and proficiency in various programs, including Kurzweil, Dragon, JAWS, NVDA, Macintosh VoiceOver and Zoom Text. Adeptness with basic office software (Microsoft Office Suite), email (Outlook), and internet. Ability to format in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Knowledge of Google Drive, SharePoint and/or OneDrive. Comfort and ability to learn department database to access, update and edit student records.
Teamwork: Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team, as well as independently. Commitment to ensuring the on-going, successful functioning of the unit via day-to-day and longer-term operations. Willingness to assist staff as needed.
Communication: Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills demonstrated across a wide range of populations (e.g. students, faculty, academic department contacts, University and Division staff, assistive technology vendors, as well as the OSAS staff). The ability to adapt to various communication styles and maintain professionalism in the face of challenging communications. Exhibit discretion with private and/or confidential student, staff, or other departmental information.
Judgment: Sound professional judgment, exhibited in areas including, but not limited to: raising issues to the appropriate team member(s), effective prioritization, responsiveness, proactivity, assisting students in distress, safety measures on behalf of the office, etc.

Time and Project Management: Proven ability to successfully manage and shift between multiple competing priorities, complete necessary work by established deadlines, and provide quality assurance to all deliverables. This individual will demonstrate attention to detail, effective issue identification, excellent organizational skills, trouble-shooting and problem-solving skills and proactivity in work and communication. It is essential that the successful candidate can deliver high quality, time-sensitive work and operate effectively in varying levels of intensity within the department.

Minimum Qualifications

Master's degree in a relevant field (i. e. Disability Studies; Counseling Psychology; Higher Ed Administration/Student Affairs; etc)
3 years working with students with disabilities in a higher education setting
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Preferred Qualifications

Doctorate Degree in a relevant field (i. e. Disability Studies; Counseling Psychology; Higher Ed Administration/Student Affairs; etc)
5 years working with students with disabilities in higher education


Minimum Education: Master's degree Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience 3 years Minimum Field of Expertise: Three years directly related professional experience in program specialization. Excellent verbal communication skills and writing skills. Ability to analyze information and problem-solve. Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities. Strong project management experience. Proficient technology skills. Demonstrated experience interacting with diverse groups, exercising diplomacy, good judgment, and discretion.

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