by Melanie Brunson

Since my last report, there has been a surprising and disappointing development in the ACB national office. Day Al-Mohamed, our director of advocacy and governmental affairs, has resigned to take a position in the governmental affairs department of the American Psychological Association. Her last day at ACB was March 20. Day has been a joy to work with and has done a great deal to advance ACB's legislative and advocacy agendas. She will be missed, but we all wish her well in her new endeavor. It is my intention to fill the vacancy Day's departure has created as soon as possible. Therefore, I am hoping to circulate the vacancy announcement as widely as possible between now and mid-May. If any of you can help us do this, please feel free to do so. The announcement is below, and of course, if anyone reading this would be interested in applying for the position, I'd be happy to hear from you. Please note that applications must be received in the ACB national office by May 15.

Position Available: Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is seeking a Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs to work in its national office in Washington, D.C. The primary duties of this position will include:

- Promoting and developing ACB's advocacy and legislative agendas;

- Supervising advocacy and governmental affairs support staff;

- Recommending actions to be taken and policies to be adopted by ACB;

- Overseeing the implementation of resolutions adopted at ACB conventions;

- Responding to requests for information and advice concerning the rights and/or obligations of individuals regarding blindness-related issues, and providing referral to other appropriate sources of assistance;

- Providing technical assistance to individuals and ACB affiliates pursuing advocacy projects;

- Representing ACB on advisory committees and consultative bodies seeking organizational input;

- Drafting proposed bills and rules for presentation to members of Congress, or administrative agencies;

- Preparing written comments on pending legislation and proposed rules;

- Presenting oral comments on pending legislation at Congressional committee hearings;

- Developing and maintaining ongoing working relationships with members of Congress, Congressional staff and agency administrators to promote ACB's legislative and advocacy agendas;

- Maintaining cooperative relationships with other disability and civil rights organizations;

- Preparing articles on legislative, judicial, and administrative developments for ACB publications and ACB Radio;

- Staffing ACB's resolutions and environmental access committees;

- And other duties as assigned by the executive director.

The director of advocacy and governmental affairs reports to the executive director.

The successful candidate must:

- Be a self-starter with excellent organizational skills;

- Have a minimum of two years experience working with federal legislative and regulatory processes;

- Have knowledge of service-delivery systems and government programs impacting people who are blind;

- Be available for frequent travel;

- Be willing to work evenings and weekends in order to attend meetings with ACB leaders and affiliates;

- Demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills;

- Have the ability to move quickly between tasks and respond promptly to deadlines;

- And demonstrate an ability to locate and understand laws and regulations.

Desirable skills or training include a law degree or specific disability-related advocacy training, computer literacy, general familiarity with assistive devices used by people who are blind, and knowledge and use of braille. Salary depends upon experience.

Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and brief writing sample to Governmental Affairs Director Search, American Council of the Blind, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 1004, Washington, D.C. 20005. Applications may also be submitted by electronic mail sent to [email protected], or faxed to (202) 467-5085. All applications must be received in the ACB national office by May 15, 2007.

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