Economic Justice Policy Analyst


Careers at Access Living

Position: Economic Justice Policy Analyst

Basic Function:

Disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as people without disabilities. This position will work to address the systemic root causes of disability poverty through policy reform, with a particular focus on closing the disability racial wealth gap.

The Access Living Economic Justice Policy Analyst will be responsible for advancing legislation and policies to improve economic security for people with disabilities, particularly disabled people of color, those who are undocumented immigrants, and those impacted by the criminal system. The Policy Analyst will evaluate existing disability benefit programs and access to banking for disabled people. In collaboration with Access Living staff and community members, they will determine and advocate for changes needed to advance the economic security of people with disabilities.

In addition to bringing a disability justice lens, a critical understanding of the root causes of racial economic disparities and a racial equity lens is essential to this role.

This position will work in close partnership with the policy and organizing staff in the Advocacy Department, as well as with staff in the Independent Living Department, Civil Rights Department, and the Communications Department.

Specific Duties:

  • Advance strategic policy advocacy campaigns to expand access to economic security for people with disabilities, especially disabled people of color. Develop campaigns by engaging stakeholders ranging from elected officials to providers to grassroots people with disabilities.
  • Draft public comment, policy reports and recommendations relating to disability and economic justice, usually on deadline, sometimes with quick turnaround.
  • Collaborate and build coalitions with economic development and public benefits government agencies, legislative bodies, economic justice policy institutes and community-based groups.
  • Support Access Living’s community organizers with policy guidance, as relevant to their campaigns.
  • Monitor economic development and public benefits policy, legislation and related court cases at local, state and Federal levels, from a standpoint rooted in both disability rights and disability justice. Key public benefit programs include SSI/SSDI, cash assistance programs, SNAP, and other area.
  • Act as a spokesperson for Access Living on economic justice as requested, under guidance from the Director of Advocacy and the Communications Department.
  • Document work as required through data entry, quarterly reporting, and lobbyist registration requirements.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education and Training:

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience preferred in public benefits and economic policy, health, social work or political science. Must have excellent writing/research skills. This position requires familiarity and ease with using MS Office Suite, especially PowerPoint, as well as Google Drive tools.


At least 3-5 years experience with disability-related public benefits and economic justice advocacy.

Familiarity with Social Security, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Workforce Incentives and Opportunities Act.


  • Existing public benefits/economic justice policy advocacy network with contacts in the greater Chicago area.
  • Prior experience engaging with government officials.
  • Understanding of independent living philosophy, disability justice, and disability rights.
  • Understanding of economic justice through reparations and other anti-racist pathways.
  • Experience with reviewing and interpreting related research/data, policy, legislation, and regulations.
  • Comfort with public presentations to a variety of audiences.

Physical Demands:

Ability to travel locally and nationally upon occasion.

Equipment Operated:

Computers, printer, copier, scanner

Working Environment:

Access Living shared office space two days a week per our current hybrid model.

Professional Affiliations:


No. of Employees Directly Supervised:

None. Though there may be occasional supervision of interns.

Supervised By:

Director of Advocacy


Access Living has adopted a Compensation Philosophy Policy that strives to create a compensation structure that excels in its transparency and fairness.  As such, the hiring range for this position is $64,000 – $68,000.

How to Apply:

Applicants should send cover letter, resume, and no more than 10 pages of a writing sample related to economic justice advocacy, preferably related to this position. Materials should be sent to Amber Smock, Director of Advocacy, at

People with lived experience of disability encouraged to apply. People of color and those from multiply marginalized backgrounds especially encouraged to apply.