Independent Living Specialist / Counselor (Senior) – Multicultural Focus, The ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia (Arlington, VA)

  • Position open until filled
  • Posted: November 11, 2022


  • TIME: Full-Time, Salaried
  • BENEFITS: Health, Dental, Vision, PTO, and paid holidays
  • SALARY: Negotiable
  • STATUS: Non-Exempt/Exempt

The ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV) is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that provides direct services, advocacy, and support to individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions and their families to ensure individuals can thrive, live independently, and in the community. We promote a philosophy of independent living, including consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access, and individual and system advocacy, to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of individuals with disabilities and the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society. We are a Center for Independent Living (CIL) that provides peer support, life skills education, advocacy, and assistance with Medicaid and other programs.

We have a strong focus on Access for multiply marginalized communities including BIPOC, immigrant, and LGBTQIAS2+. You must be passionate about these intersections. 


The Independent Living Specialist is a strong voice for disability rights and independent living, working to assist people with disabilities in independent community living. The Independent Living Specialist provides general information and referral for consumers and the community as requested, provides independent living skills (ILS) training, and conducts outreach and peer counseling/mentoring. This individual will direct his/her/their work complementary to the spirit and intent of the independent living philosophy.


Independent Living Counseling

  • Ability to work with diverse consumers on a cross-disability basis and understand their independent living needs, providing referrals for community resources.
  • Provide orientation on the Independent Living Philosophy and Disability Partners services to new consumers.
  • Conduct Independent Living Skills (ILS) training in accordance with the philosophy of independent living. This includes assisting consumers with identifying goals, then developing and implementing individualized training plans to meet the goals. ILS training includes, but is not limited to, the following areas: job development, money management, housing, health care and benefits management, daily living skills, household management, mobility, travel training, peer support, self and individual advocacy, and socialization.
  • Facilitate timely completion of Independent Living Plans or Goals.
  • Be a peer counselor, if applicable.
  • Provide individual advocacy to complement consumer self-advocacy, if appropriate.
  • Work with consumers one-on-one and in groups, at the Center, in the individual’s home, or in the community.
  • Provide services in compliance with HIPAA (confidentiality) requirements.

Community Partnership

  • Develop and maintain relationships with community organizations and consumers to expand opportunities for community connections. Serve on councils and boards as appropriate.
  • Coordinate outreach with peers and Outreach Coordinators.
  • Contribute to human diversity education.


  • Conduct systems advocacy as opportunities arise.

Operational Duties

  • Enter consumer and community goals, services, and activities in the Center’s database daily, and complete monthly activities and other reports as needed.
  • Keep appropriate records and submit required reports in a timely and professional This includes consistent entry of consumer goals, services, and community activities in the Center’s database.

Other duties as assigned.


  • Have a commitment to the philosophy of independent living, including consumer control, peer support, self-determination, equal access, and individual and systems advocacy,
  • Three to five years of demonstrated work experience in cross-disability service delivery and the ability to teach others such skills,
  • Experience developing and implementing individualized goal plans and coordinating work with others,
  • Experience in developing training curricula and materials and conducting one-on-one and group training,
  • Extensive knowledge of benefit programs, community-based services, employment rights, health care programs, and the ability to navigate these programs and systems,
  • Ability to problem-solve with creative, individualized approaches,
  • Excellent project management skills and the capacity to balance multiple priorities,
  • Willingness to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends,
  • Ability to travel independently throughout the Northern Virginia catchment area,
  • Proficient in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams, etc.) and experience using a database to document services, and
  • Bachelor’s degree, and/or equivalent job/lived experience in Social Work, Rehabilitation, Vocational Services, Psychology, or other related human services


  • Master’s degree, and/or equivalent job/lived experience in Social Work, Rehabilitation, Vocational Services, Psychology, or other related human services education.
  • Expert knowledge in housing navigation and Virginia benefits, and/or Healthcare benefits.
  • Qualified person with a disability.
  • Experience working in the independent living field.
  • Spanish, Amharic, or second language/other than English fluency.


This position will primarily be in an office setting but will require travel to consumer homes or other accessible locations if consumers cannot come to the Center. Long periods of sedentary work and data entry are required. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

All programs and employment positions of ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. are open to all members of the community, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, economic status, or disability.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects the rights of people with disabilities to equal employment opportunities. Arrangements will be made if you have a disability that requires an accommodation in completing any part of the employment process. A request for an accommodation will not affect your opportunities for employment. It is your responsibility to make your needs known.