Access Living President and CEO


Access Living seeks a dynamic, visionary President and CEO to lead the organization into its next era. This individual will become the CEO of an organization that leads the disability community with passion and effectiveness, using an independent living lens and a philosophy of empowerment.

Our ideal leader is a motivational force with a powerful personal connection to disability rights and services, comfort on the local and national stage, deep experience leading strategically for organizational excellence, enthusiasm for fundraising, willingness to rock the boat when necessary, understanding of and attentiveness to the diversity of the disability community, and knowledge of the Chicago and national disabilities communities.

The incoming President and CEO will become the leader of an organization with a powerful reputation, solid financial footing, and nearly 40 years of experience igniting disability power and pride, providing critical services, and breaking down systemic barriers to create a stronger, more inclusive society. Access Living is the Center for Independent Living (CIL) that serves the City of Chicago, which means it is a local, disability consumer-controlled, cross-disability, nonresidential, private nonprofit. As a CIL, Access Living believes in dignity, community integration, civil rights, and equal access for all people with disabilities.

The President and CEO oversees the execution of Access Living’s strategy and vision and is the key decision-maker for the organization. The President and CEO ensures the fiscal health of Access Living through robust fundraising efforts and acts as the primary spokesperson for the organization while overseeing all external communications work. This position reports directly to and serves as the direct executive representative to the Board of Directors in the management of the organization.

The President and CEO’s primary responsibilities include the following:

Board of Directors

  • Works with the Executive Vice President to develop and submit to the Board a strategic plan for the organization which is then subject to Board approval.
  • Supervises the financial affairs to ensure that funds are collected and expended to the best possible advantage of the corporation.
  • Assures the organization has clear goals and objectives to carry out programs which are periodically reviewed and evaluated.
  • Assures the preparation of annual operating and capital budgets showing the expected revenue and expenditures as required by the Board.
  • Attends meetings of the Board, serving as an ex officio member on its committees.
  • Carries out all policies established by the Board and advises on the formulation and revision of these policies.


  • Serves as the primary organizational spokesperson to the media and general public.
  • Oversees the work of the Disability Inclusion Institute, a fee based program that seeks to educate businesses on the value of disability inclusion, while also developing strategies to expand the program.
  • Oversees all external communications work of the organization, including an active public relations and education program that creates public and professional understanding and support for Access Living and its mission and vision.

Inter-Agency Relations

  • Ensures the development, coordination and fostering of effective relationships between Access living and other official and private agencies in order to provide cooperative, coordinated and effective services and access to persons with disabilities.
  • Ensures that Access Living is involved in local, state and national independent living related and other targeted programs and that information obtained through such involvement is disseminated to staff members.

Fundraising and Fiscal Affairs

  • Ensures the planning and evaluation of a fundraising program that will achieve the organization’s contribution income objectives at the lowest possible cost.
  • Plays a leadership role in soliciting, cultivating and maintaining relationships with Access Living’s donor community.
  • Works with the Executive Vice President to ensure a proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year is submitted to the Finance Committee and ensures that the budget adopted by the Board of Directors is implemented in accordance with Board policies.
  • Ensures that accurate and current financial statements and reports are prepared and submitted to the Board of Directors at regular intervals.
  • Recommends changes in the budget to the board as necessary and implements Board approved action.


  • Works with the Executive Vice President to recommend to the Board of Directors personnel policies and practices necessary to attract and retain a qualified, competent workforce and ensures that the policies and practices adopted by the Board are effectively implemented.
  • Ensures that the staffing structure necessary to conduct the activities authorized by the Board is in place.
  • Ensures a high quality personnel program to effectively conduct the business of the organization.

General Management

  • Hires, trains, and provides direction and supervision to the Director of Development, Director of Communications, Executive Vice President, and Executive Assistant.
  • Keeps abreast of independent living and related disability rights developments locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Develops the organizational structure for Access Living.
  • Assures physical properties are maintained in a good and safe state of repair and operating condition.
  • Monitors the operation of Access Living in accordance with the policies established by the governing board.
  • Ensures that legal counsel is retained and utilized as appropriate.


  • Works with Executive Vice President to plan a program of services for the benefit of disabled persons and/or their families.
  • Submits, on a regular basis, appropriate reports and recommendations relative to the various programs’ effectiveness to the governing body.
  • Assures Access Living meets obligations in service provision contracts.


  • Works with the Executive Vice President to ensure the planning, coordination and implementation of Access Living’s advocacy and legal programs and establishes an agenda that will further the mission and long term plan of the organization.
  • Serves as the primary organizational spokesperson on a range of disability rights issues.

Professional Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advance or graduate degree preferred
  • Five or more years of senior management experience, preferably within a nonprofit organization.
  • First-hand experience with disability.
  • Understanding and successful track record of public relations and fundraising.
  • Experience serving as corporate spokesperson with a demonstrated comfort level addressing diverse audiences.
  • Strong strategic, analytical, and leadership skills.
  • Must possess the attributes of character and personal dignity necessary to command respect and inspire support.

Physical Demands:

Ability to travel locally and nationally.

How to Apply:

Submit a detailed letter of interest and resume as a single PDF attached to an email addressed to with subject line: [Last Name] – Access Living Application. Please include an email address and telephone number.

Application deadline: November 6

Access Living values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages people with disabilities, women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply.

Access Living is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of disability, race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.