Job Announcement: Employment and Disability Benefits Initiative (EDBI) Manager

Note: This position has been filled. Thank you for your interest.


The World Institute on Disability (WID) is an internationally recognized nonprofit public policy center. WID’s mission, in communities and nations worldwide, is to eliminate barriers to full social integration and increase employment, economic security, and health care for persons with disabilities. WID creates innovative programs and tools; conducts research, public education, training, and advocacy campaigns; and provides technical assistance. WID brings a cross-disability perspective to the policy arena. Information on WID’s programs can be found at


The EDBI Division

WID’s Employment and Disability Benefits Initiative (EDBI) is committed to building better economic outcomes through benefits analysis and reform and real-time information and decision-making tools to increase employment and financial planning opportunities.

EDBI Policy Initiative

EDBI develops community-based public policy recommendations on work and benefits at state and national levels aimed toward improving the employment rates of citizens with disabilities through high-impact systemic reform of the nation’s current social insurance infrastructure. The intent is to ensure a seamless, effective interconnectivity of publicly-financed supports to promote both work and health simultaneously.

Reports will be published annually outlining key policy recommendations, proposed action items and suggested timelines for policy-makers, focused on significantly improving the employment rate of citizens with disabilities through reformation of the nation’s current social insurance structure to ensure a seamless system that promotes work, preserves health care coverage, and sustains long-term supports necessary for optimal self-sufficiency.  This annual report will inform and enhance the national dialogue on federal entitlement reform.

DB101 Initiative

Through Disability Benefits 101 Information Services, EDBI provides community outreach, training, and web-based services that support employment in nine states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Kentucky (12/2017)) and produces real-time and interactive information services online that address health coverage, employment, and benefits for youth and adults with disabilities.

DB101 offers easy to understand, practical information on public and private benefits, employment services, and other programs for job seekers and workers with disabilities who use disability benefits to live independently. Each state’s website has a suite of interactive benefits and work calculators from our current menu: the Benefits to Work, School and Work, Medicaid Buy-In for the Working Disabled and the Plan for Achieving Self-Support Calculators. Each calculator allows users to explore the impact of different employment scenarios on their benefits and health care eligibility.

CareerACCESS Initiative

CareerACCESS is an alternative for SSI eligible youth, proposed by WID and partners Policy Works, NCIL and Abilicorp, that if adopted would enable them to escape poverty and dependence by offering them the following benefits:

  • Eligibility that does not require an “incapacity to work” test;
  • Adult coaching, counseling, and employment support services that will be managed through an Individualized Career Plan (ICP) to increase success;
  • Health care and independent living supports that remain available after typical SGA is reached; and,
  • SSI cash benefit retention and removal of asset limits (including ABLE accounts) providing an offset the cost of managing a disability while building a career.

The CareerACCESS goal is to make it easy for individuals with disabilities to work. A young disabled adult working with a CareerACCESS coach would develop an ICP to achieve personal and professional goals. CareerACCESS rules would allow increased earnings and remove asset limits. The goal is for CareerACCESS to be piloted in several states to serve individuals up to the age of 30.


WID is seeking a manager or director level leader for one of our major divisions, the Employment and Disability Benefits Initiative (EDBI).  We are seeking candidates that have a deep understanding of public and private disability benefits, of policy development and analysis, of working toward consensus with disability justice leaders and other stakeholders, and with substantial program development and management experience.

The Employment and Disability Benefits Initiative (EDBI) manager will:

  • Cultivate and grow funding opportunities; research, solicit, produce and secure federal, state and/or private foundation contracts and grants.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with federal and state agencies, agency leaders and policy makers.
  • Develop, implement and direct the planning infrastructure; participate in relevant planning, operational, and budgeting processes.
  • In conjunction with collaborating partners, ensure production and maintenance of information services and activities.
  • Oversee activities and compliance of program subcontracts.
  • Participate in public policy development activities related to the Employment Disability Benefit Initiative.
  • Develop training and other curricula.
  • Conduct roundtable discussions or speak at conferences with employers, unions, civic and state agency leaders, and others.
  • Promote diverse consumer and community involvement and increase outreach to diverse target groups urban and rural.
  • Establish community advisory groups for product development as appropriate.


Full time, 40 hours a week


  • Knowledge of Social Security disability employment policy and the structure of work incentive policy.
  • Knowledge of national community networks and experience developing stakeholder relationships.
  • Knowledge of best practices in disability employment.
  • 5+ years’ progressive experience in advocacy and leading a program initiative.
  • Experience managing a project budget.
  • Experience using MS Office Suite and online webinar platforms
  • Willing to travel for work purposes
  • Comfortable with public speaking and conducting training presentations
  • Professional writing and oral communication skills
  • Works well independently, takes initiative, organized, detail oriented, and punctual
  • Quick learner and ability to problem solve
  • Knowledge of and/or personal experience with Independent Living history and philosophy


Executive Director


Full-time employee




Send Resume, Cover letter and References to: World Institute on Disability

EMAIL: (WID acknowledges receipt of applications by email only)
Application Deadline:             Open until filled


  • Address reasonable accommodation requests for the application/interview process to
  • WID promotes a scent/chemical free environment. To support this effort, WID asks that all applicants refrain from wearing scented products while in its office.

All persons—including people with disabilities; elders; women; and people of racial and ethnic minority—are encouraged to apply.

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CareerACCESS Takes Over Washington, D.C. in July and Reaches New Milestones

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C., USA–CareerACCESS has found a federal agency that wants to be its lead agency. Bob Williams, the Deputy Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living, stated at four different events that his agency will do all they can to help pilot CareerACCESS. At an event with people from CareerACCESS, Bob had ten of his staff learn why CareerACCESS was important. As the keynote speaker at the closing plenary, Bob stated his commitment to CareerACCESS, and at a NCIL board meeting he said that Annette Shea will be our liaison. Right after the board meeting, Bob met with some of us to strategize steps.

Jennifer Sheehy, acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, also expressed real interest in seeing that CareerACCESS gets piloted. She appointed Andy Arias as the liaison to CareerACCESS.

We had a meeting with members from the CareerACCESS National Advisory Committee including Bob Zdenek, Jack Mills, and Michael Morris to brainstorm how we might begin piloting without engaging SSI. Much more discussion is required.

We met with David Hoppe, Chief of Staff for Paul Ryan, and Ted McCann, legislative analyst. They were happy to hear that Senator Leahy from Vermont included provisions in the Senate Appropriations Bill that would allow a CareerACCESS type of program to be studied. They were very clear that no Appropriations Bill would be approved until next year. They wanted to know that we had consensus from the Developmental Disability Community. Although they made no commitments, they invited us to keep in contact.

A group of seven, six people in wheelchairs, all smiling
Photo (from left to right): Frances Isbell, Andy Arias, Bob Williams, Eric Glunt, Barbara Butz, Neil Jacobson, and Daniel Mellenthin.

More than 100 people attended the CareerACCESS workshop at the National Council on Independent Living’s Annual Conference. Enthusiasm was very high. Andy Arias and Daniel Melthimin did an excellent job leading the workshop. Mary Margaret Moore from Massachusetts and Kathy Hoell from Nebraska did a wonderful job talking about their states’ desire to pilot CareerACCESS. The CareerACCESS workshop followed a dinner the night before that was attended by over 20 young adults with disabilities from all over the country that spoke enthusiastically about working with us to get CareerACCESS implemented.

We spoke with Gene Sterling from the Urban Institute who discussed the need for CareerACCESS in order to create a workers pipeline to fill the workers shortage that they expect will happen in the very near future. We also spoke with Mike Murphy and Corbin Evans from the Center for Responsible Federal Budget. They may be interested in working with us on developing a Return on Investment for CareerACCESS.

We had a good meeting with Yoni Ben Shalom from Mathematica. He recommended we look into the LADDER Act and see where CareerACCESS might intersect with it. We met with two young adults with disabilities interested in the CareerACCESS Project Manager position.

We met with the PolicyWorks Board. One of the Board members noted that CareerACCESS was a revolutionary idea whose time has come. All in all, it was a very productive week. CareerACCESS is clearly on the national radar. We are coming home with a slew of follow-up items. Now is the time to forge ahead and Go! Go! Go!

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