Position Title: Employment and Independent Living Specialist

Reports To: Employment/IL Services Director

Location: Remote work-varies statewide

Status: 40 hours- flex- may include evenings and weekends. Full Time with Benefits

Salary: $50,000 – $55,000/year

Benefits: Bridges Oregon offers paid holiday, personal time off, health insurance, employment assistance program, short and long term disability leave, life insurance, a retirement package, and professional development opportunities.

COVID-19 Requirements: All employees must have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series that has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by the World Health Organization (WHO) before beginning work.

Application Deadline: Friday, September 1, 2023, at 5 PM (PST)

A cover letter, resume, and three names reference must all be received to be considered. If any of the three application materials are missing or incomplete, your submission will not be considered. Please email the materials to the Director of Employment and Independent Living Services at christopher@bridgesoregon.org.

Organization Summary:

Established in 2017, Bridges Oregon is a linguistically and culturally specific and responsive statewide non-profit organization serving Oregonians who are D/deaf, DeafBlind, deaf-blind, D/deaf with additional disabilities, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, and/or persons with unilateral/bilateral hearing loss. It is in our mission to facilitate equity and inclusiveness and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication.

Position Summary:

An Employment and Independent Living (IL) Specialist provides the services and supports necessary to help people achieve their individual employment and independent living goals. Employment/ IL Specialists facilitate, educate, champion and advocate, while being a community inclusion expert and a highly skilled committed professional.

Bridges Oregon Employment/IL Specialist Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Analyze, plan, implement and initiate services for people receiving Employment/IL services
  • Develop relationships with employers within the business community to promote the abilities of the person pursuing employment
  • Be instrumental in supporting people in their pursuit of employment and independent living goals and creative in offering new experiences and opportunities
  • Understand the concept of individual self-advocacy and be aware that you are not here to do things or make decisions for the people supported but instead, to partner with people as they build the lives they desire while providing the unique level of support required by each person
  • Engage in ongoing training and education to maintain certification and skill level in order to stay relevant to system changes
  • Monitor assigned caseload to ensure adequate staffing and supports are in place to meet people’s service needs
  • Assist with the design of daily and weekly schedules
  • Provide exemplary documentation for data tracking and County/Brokerage and VR billing processes (i.e., Therap data tracking, Discovery Profiles, VR assessment documents and monthly VR reporting)
  • Ensure people supported are provided or assisted with, if necessary, accurate tracking of time on timesheet, billing sheet, punch card, etc.
  • Follow all individual emergency procedures and health protocols and obtain access to emergency medical assistance as needed for those receiving Employment/IL supports
  • Respect and actively protect the privacy of the individual(s) supported in regards to the supports that are provided that involve intimate personal care needs or behavior supports
  • Monitor the progress of each person in Employment/IL services and track the start and end dates for the individual service categories of each person
  • Review and respond to all incident reports and submit to supervisor within 48 hours
  • Maintain and update a confidential file on each new person receiving Employment/IL services
  • Identify where changes are needed, problem solve and initiate a process to address issues that may result between employers, community resource programs, residential providers and people receiving services
  • Believe that every person belongs in their community and has the ability to become connected to their community through employment.
  • Demonstrate excellent critical thinking skills; An ability to make reasoned judgments that are logical, well thought out, and demonstrate a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to, but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions
  • Notify all parties of changes to schedule including the person supported, their employer, people involved in activity and supervisor (calling sick, changes of activity date and time, late, etc.)


Employment Services:


  • Conduct comprehensive assessments in competitive, integrated employment settings
  • Identify and create assessment sites in the local community
  • Conduct a variety of assessments and/or work experiences

Marketing and Job Development

  • Assist people with identifying skills and potential employment opportunities
  • Engage local businesses in identifying opportunities for assessments, exploration activities and competitive, integrated employment.
  • Support people in achieving and maintaining employment by providing assistance with; resumes, interviews, communication, personal goals and skill development

Job Coaching

  • Provide orientation and training in competitive, integrated employment locations
  • Provide systematic instruction with the intention of appropriately fading supports in order to optimize independence while working
  • Provide any assistance necessary to ensure the work a person does meets the requirements of the job
  • Facilitate ongoing communication with employer and coworkers when delivering job coaching services

Specialized Training

  • Demonstrate the ability to successfully complete ODDS approved CESP or ACRE credentialing requirements within 1 year of position acceptance which includes: Discovery, Job Development, Social Security and Job Coaching courses.
  • Participate in ODDS approved courses and maintain 12 continuing education credits per year.

Independent Living Services:

Assist with accessing community and state resources such as:  

  • DMV services
  • Social Security
  • DHS Programs
  • Emergency and non emergency services
  • Food stamps, housing and other entitlement programs

Provide support with banking, budgeting and financial activities such as:

  • Setting up a bank account
  • Reporting wages to Social Security
  • Creating a monthly budget
  • Paying bills

Provide training on self-advocacy in the following areas:

  • Requesting accommodations/ interpreters (for meetings, interviews, assessments/evaluations, training for work etc..)
  • Hearing and Deaf cultural differences and considerations in the workforce
  • Identifying your support team and communicating goals and support needs

Conduct technology assessments and provide training on the following topics:

  • Identifying appropriate assistive technology for work and home
  • Utilizing technology
  • Setting up and utilizing remote services

Provide social skills training on the following topics :

  • Interacting with hearing people
  • Having good hygiene
  • Understanding body language and social cues

Provide daily living skills training:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Shopping for food and personal items
  • Simple meal preparation

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have dependable auto transportation, valid Oregon State Driver’s license and proof of insurance; clean driving record.
  • Must pass a drug screening and criminal background check
  • Must possess a High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Excellent interpersonal, sign language/verbal, and written communication, and organizational skills
  • 3+years of combined experience working with D/DB/HH-I/DD communities
  • Ability to work independently and remotely with clients through video solutions, telephone, email, text, and meetings in person at a neutral location
  • Must be able to frequently communicate with colleagues, community members, and others
  • Must be able to constantly problem solve, organize, and prioritize
  • Must be able to occasionally work outdoors in cold or high temperatures
  • Must be able to occasionally carry up to 20 pounds

Required Training and Certification

  • Certification in and maintain CPR/First Aid
  • Certification in and maintain OIS
  • Complete applicable ODDS Core Competencies within 90 days of hire
  • Obtain and maintain Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) certification or other ODDS approved professional employment certification
  • HIPAA and confidentiality training annually
  • Anti-oppression, anti-racism, bias, and culturally responsiveness annually
  • Other training as assigned by prospective grant opportunities.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to represent the mission and values of Bridges Oregon to program participants and community partners
  • Ability to maintain positive interpersonal relationships and establish rapport with clients and colleagues
  • Demonstrated cultural responsiveness and ability to effectively work with those from diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Ability to effectively advocate for clients
  • Knowledge of community resources and how to access them
  • Ability to be flexible, maintain appropriate professional boundaries, and use sound judgment
  • Strong problem-solving abilities
  • Ability to communicate effectively with Employment/IL Service Director
  • High level of organizational skills and follow-through
  • Ability to maintain a professional demeanor in challenging circumstances
  • Ability to complete tasks with minimal supervision
  • Strong work ethic
  • Assist with monthly, quarterly, and annual statistical and narrative reports as assigned by the Employment/IL Service Director
  • Patience, sense of humor, and willingness to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things
  • Proficiency in Google Suite, Salesforce, Microsoft Word, Excel and ability to learn new data tracking and billing systems utilized by the Employment Services department


During this pandemic, we are taking every precaution to protect the health of our staff and survivors in our programs, utilizing the most up-to-date recommendations from experts and carefully adhering to Governor’s Kotek’s Executive Orders.

Bridges Oregon is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce that represents the communities we serve. Survivors of interpersonal violence, persons of color, LGBTQ-identified persons, older adults, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.