Director of Disability Services
The University of Massachusetts Amherst invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the position of director of disability services.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With 1,300 faculty members and more than 30,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New Englandand is ranked among the top 30 public universities in the nation. The campus, located on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City, provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. UMass Amherst is a highly residential campus, with over 13,000 students living in university housing.
Disability Services at UMass Amherst is committed to full access for all persons and embraces the philosophy of social justice. The office promotes the empowerment of people with disabilities and their full integration into campus life and the community. Direct services are provided for all types of disability. Disability Services also provides information and referral on issues of accessibility, coordinates guest accommodations, and provides training and staff development to the university community.
Reporting to the assistant vice chancellor for advocacy, inclusion and support programs in Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL), the director of disability services will provide strategic direction and lead the day to day operations and activities of the Office of Disability Services by providing support services and accommodations required by students with documented disabilities that qualify under federal guidelines. The director will provide advocacy, inclusion, and support for students with disabilities; expertise in the application of and adherence to related compliance requirements and relevant law; assessment of provided services on student learning and overall student success; training, technical assistance, outreach, and consulting services to faculty, staff, administration, and students including universal design, reasonable accommodations, and information regarding local, state, and federal legislation; and lead data-informed strategic planning. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to expand inclusionary best disability practices, including intersections of identities (race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, etc.), and promote an inclusionary vision to raise campus awareness by reducing systemic barriers to improve disability inclusion and the adoption of universal design as a framework. Undergraduate and graduate students comprise the great majority of clients served by the department; however, the department also supports the coordination of authorized accommodations for university employees in conjunction with the Accessible Workplace unit of Human Resources. The director provides guidance and expertise to campus leadership around disability-related issues, oversees comprehensive accommodation support for about 3,000 students annually, manages a dynamic professional team of 17, including three direct reports, and oversees a budget of almost $1.3 million.
The successful candidate will possess a master’s degree in special education, educational psychology, higher education administration, or a related field, along with significant, documented, progressively responsible leadership within a college or university disability services office. The next director of disability services must have specific skills in program development and assessment and a working knowledge of and administration related to legislation and practice concerning disabilities, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The successful candidate must have progressive responsibility for supervising and evaluating staff, resolving conflicts, building a team, and working with a diverse group of employees. The director will have the ability to determine reasonable accommodations across the disabilities spectrum; bring comprehensive knowledge of assessment, accommodation, and intervention techniques involved in working with students with disabilities; and possess a highly developed knowledge and application of effective strategies for enhancing related student retention to graduation. The ideal candidate will possess demonstrated knowledge of universal design and the social model of disability; a proven ability in leading organizational transformation, with capacity to effect change in the institutional culture and operations; and strong communication, organizational, fiscal, and relationship building skills, with the ability to work collaboratively with key campus and community partners. Candidates possessing a terminal degree, seven or more years with demonstrated progressive responsibility for serving college students with documented disabilities on a residential campus, and experience with software such as Clockwork are highly preferred. A demonstrated orientation toward equity and inclusion, as well as cultural competency in all aspects of campus life, will be important considerations in the selection of the next director of disability services.
Review of applications will begin February 4, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Anne-Marie Kenney at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the UMass Amherst website at www.umass.edu.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected group members.