Systems Advocate


JOB TITLE:  Systems Advocate

DEPARTMENT:  Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN) / Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC)

LOCATION:  Niagara Falls, N.Y.



Assist in facilitating the advocacy operations of Western New York Independent Living, Inc. (WNYIL) and to assure smooth and seamless delivery of advocacy program services.


  1. At the direction of the ILNC Director, coordinate and implement the completion of ILNC system change goals.
  2. Coordinate policy activity with the Chief Policy Officer.
  3. Represent ILNC on community boards, committees, and task forces that will further systems advocacy goals in the areas of housing, education, transportation, voting rights, and other disability-related issues.
  4. Analyze and recommend legislative and administrative advocacy priorities that seek to remove barriers to full integration of people with disabilities.
  5. Monitor state and local-level legislative proposals.
  6. Write and deliver testimony, policy briefs, and comments on proposed government legislation, regulations and plans.
  7. Work with the relevant ILNC and WNYIL Board and Council Committees dealing with Public Policy issues.
  8. Assist with and participate in WNYIL’s Legislative Breakfasts, Meet the Candidates Days, Trainings on disability rights laws, Town Meetings, and appropriate community organizing activities on issues for persons with disabilities.
  9. Compile and submit reporting based on SSAN requirements.
  10. Attend Agency’s in-service training and staff meetings as well as any other agency related activities as required.
  11. Participate in maintaining a neat, clean, and safe work environment.
  12. Perform other job-related duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN) directed by Chief Policy Officer:

  1. Recruit, retain, and educate persons with disabilities to participate in SSAN activities, at a minimum of twenty (20) persons per year.
  2. Develop and maintain collaborations with organizations dedicated to the independence and inclusion of persons with disabilities, at a minimum of five (5) per year.
  3. Develop and deliver oral and or written testimony (in response to document request) on an issue involving persons with disabilities, at a minimum of six (6) per year.
  4. Organize and implement public education activities on issues related to persons with disabilities, at a minimum of twelve (12) per year.
  5. Organize and implement education and advocacy activities on issues affecting persons with disabilities, at minimum of six (6) per year.
  6. Encourage and facilitate the use of the vote by persons with disabilities.
  7. Educate local SSAN advocates and the public on issues concerning persons with disabilities through dissemination of educational alerts and participation in SSAN activities.
  8. Facilitate development of advocacy skills and empowerment of local SSAN advocates.
  9. Compile and submit reporting based on SSAN requirements.
  10. Participate in local, regional, statewide, or national committees on issues of importance to persons with disabilities.


High School Diploma or equivalent
Associate Degree in a Human Services field
Bachelor’s Degree in a Human Services field

Professional and life experience may be considered in lieu of, in full or part of academic credentials.


  • Possess knowledge of persons with disabilities as well as federal and state laws pertaining to the rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Experience working with individuals with disabilities is preferred.

High school diploma or equivalency requires six (6) years of work experience with persons with disabilities.

Associate Degree requires four (4) years of work experience with persons with disabilities.

Bachelor’s Degree requires two (2) years of work experience with persons with disabilities.


  • Must have reliable transportation and automobile insurance in order to travel independently throughout the Western NY Region, with occasional in and out of state travel.
  • Must have first-hand lived experience with a disability and be willing to share personal experiences to educate policy makers.
  • Ability to work independently at all WNYIL locations and within the community.
  • A desire to advocate for the rights of others is essential.
  • Niagara County residents are encouraged to apply.
  • Must have intermediate level knowledge of computers including the use of Excel spreadsheets, databases, word processing, and networks.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, good organization and analytical skills.
  • Perform in a professional, conscientious, and efficient manner for the purpose of ensuring a better quality of life for persons with disabilities.


WORK ENVIRONMENT:  Office / Community

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THE JOB:  Sitting for extended periods of time.
Occasional lifting of not more than 15 pounds.

HOURS / SHIFTS:  37.5 – 40 hours per week
M – F 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Some nights and weekend time required.

CLASSIFICATION:  Full-time, salary, non-exempt, Professional staff.
Range:  $35,000 - $40,000

BENEFITS:  Agency provided group health insurance.
Vision, dental, life, supplemental insurances available.
PTO and paid holiday package.
403(b) retirement with Agency match.
Employee Assistance Program

OTHER:  Western New York Independent Living, Inc. values our employee safety and follows all recommended NYS required Infectious Disease Prevention Protocols.
Western New York Independent Living, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Reasonable accommodations will be made for people with disabilities.
Western New York Independent Living, Inc. is a scent-free agency.


Closing Date:  February 27, 2023

Cover Letter and Resume Required to:

Tina Brown, CHRCO
WNY Independent Living, Inc,
3108 Main St.
Buffalo, N.Y. 14214