Independent Living/Employment Specialist


JOB TITLE: Independent Living / Employment Specialist

DEPARTMENT: Independent Living Services Department

LOCATION: Buffalo, N.Y.

DIRECT SUPERVISOR: Independent Living Services Director


This position will coordinate independent living skills, education, employment, evaluations,
and training for persons with disabilities. To assist them in obtaining their desired level of


  1. Coordinate and conduct independent living skills assessments, counseling and training for people with medical, physical or developmental disabilities.
  2. Inform individuals about various programs and resources that are available to them and assist them with applying for securing and/or maintaining benefit entitlements i.e. Medicaid, TANF, Heap, SSI, SSDI, OPWDD.
  3. Assess and guide consumers educational needs and develop a comprehensive educational plan of services that is tailored to the consumers educational needs and skills to their individualized education level based on consumer goals while maintaining enrollment.
  4. Provide training and development to assist consumers with obtaining and maintaining employment while continuing to develop a career plan for advancement.
  5. Provide Independent Living (IL) Core services: Peer counseling, Advocacy, Independent Living Skills Training, Transition supports, and information referral services.
  6. Assist consumers in the development of an Independent Living Plan (ILP). Document the development and achievement of IL goals selected by individuals.
  7. Provide education and support to family members of individuals with disabilities.
  8. Provide assistance with borrowing durable medical equipment i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, upright commodes, shower benches and chairs through the loan closet program, while assisting people with obtaining these products through their medical insurance.
  9. Provide support and advocacy at the request of the consumer, in crisis situations between consumer and internal/external programs services and providers.
  10. Assist consumers with identifying and/or applying to low income, affordable and or handicapped accessible housing options that meet the consumer’s safety, financial, and proximity needs.
  11. Ensure that all consumers are treated fairly and with respect and that the program maintains an environment that is safe and inclusive for all consumers.
  12. Establish and maintain partnerships and serve as a liaison to other service providers, schools, employers, state and government agencies.
  13. Attend Agency’s in-service training and staff meetings as well as any other Agency-related activities as required.
  14. Participate in outreach events, coordinate, and schedule face to face/electronic/phone visits with consumers based on consumer preference.
  15. Assure accurate and timely documentation of consumer services and required paperwork in Western New York Independent Living, Inc’s (WNYIL’s) Electronic Consumer Record (ECR) database and assure that this task is completed within two (2) working days of the date of service.
  16. Return calls within 24-hours and emails within 48-hours.
  17. Participate in maintaining a neat, clean, and safe work environment.
  18. Perform other job-related duties as assigned by the supervisor.


Bachelor or bachelor of social work degree in human services or related field

  • Three (3) years paid experience working with people with disabilities.
  • Three (3) years paid experience working with consumers and organizations receiving ACCES-VR programs and services.
  • Paid experience providing educational/vocational teaching/training to individuals or groups with disabilities.
  • Required to successfully complete all NYS CASE and Benefits Advisement Training.

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


  • Must have working knowledge of persons with disabilities as well as laws pertaining to the rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Must have reliable transportation in order to travel independently throughout Erie County to perform job duties.


  • Must have an intermediate level of knowledge of computers including the use of Excel spreadsheets, databases, word processing and networks.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Action oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptive and an innovative approach to planning.
  • Strong communication skills: the ideal candidate will be a persuasive communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project 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.
Frequent computer use.

HOURS / SHIFTS: 37.5 – 40 hours per week. M – F 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Overtime is rarely required.

CLASSIFICATION: Full-time, salary, non-exempt, Professional staff.
Range: $48,000 - $51,000

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: May 6, 2024

Cover letter and resume required to:

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