CPSD Ruderman Fellows Program 2014-2015

CPSD_Ruderman ImageThe Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD), in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, is seeking an exemplary professional with experience in the field of public policy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for a Public Policy Fellowship.  A fellowship will be awarded in the area of Education, Transition, Employment,  Long-Term Services and Supports, Civil Rights or Disability Law.

CPSD is a non-partisan coalition of 22 national organizations that advocates for the modernization of America’s system of public supports for those with disabilities.

CPSD does this by focusing on innovative public policy reform that promotes the effective transition of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities into adulthood by preparing them to obtain optimal outcomes in education, employment, economic advancement, and independent living.

The purpose of the Fellowships is to help CPSD advance its expertise in public policy and to bring field experience to policy development. The work that the Ruderman Fellow will perform will help to educate families, policymakers, and the media about barriers to learning, working, saving and living in their communities that that Americans with disabilities face.

This is a great time in history to participate in the policy development process, as there is a national movement toward Employment First and a cross-agency focus on the inadequacy of Transition services in this country.  The Department of  Justice’s focus on Olmstead enforcement actions and the CMS rule on settings for Home and Community-Based Services offer new opportunities to promote independence in the most integrated setting possible. There continue to be many issues before Congress and the Administration that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, communities, and supportive organizations doing work with, and on behalf of, people with disabilities.

Areas of focus could include the Workforce Investment Act, the DD Act, Medicaid and Social Security, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly No Child Left Behind (NCLB), as well passage of the ABLE Act, reauthorization of the the Higher Education Opportunity Act, and the potential reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Other areas could include disability civil rights, housing, and justice: issues that are crucially important to improving the quality of life for individuals with complex disabilities.

Successful applicants will have outstanding experience in:

•State or national-level advocacy for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families

•Policy experience with employment, education,  law, family support services, housing and/or development of inclusive community supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

•Development or improvements of family support services, programs focused on increasing individual’s control of resources and decisions impacting their lives, technology in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and any other areas of focus important to these Americans

•Experience writing policy or legal briefs and analyzing legislation.

The successful applicant’s background will include distinguished involvement in efforts to improve the lives of persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities at the regional, state or national level.

The program provides a one one-time stipend of $15,000 plus expense reimbursement for two (2) trips to Washington, DC, to participate in CPSD events.

Fellows will be expected to:

•Participate regularly in coalition working group meetings

•Travel to Washington, DC twice during the fellowship

•Be available to provide feedback and technical expertise upon request for Congressional and federal policy staff

•Develop a minimum of 3 issue briefs (topics to be negotiated with CPSD)

•Publish one (1) article on Employment First and/or other topics relating to the fellowship focus, as negotiated.

•Agree to review edit other publications or draft legislation that CPSD has been asked to review, upon request.

Applicants should submit a letter of application stating their background and history in the field of disability policy and what they hope to do with the knowledge and experience gained from the fellowship. They should also attach either a résumé detailing their work and educational experience or a summary of their involvement in the field.  Please email all materials to Allison Wohl (awohl@thecpsd.org).

The application deadline is September 15, 2014.

The Fellowship starting date will be negotiated with the successful applicant(s). The foundation fellowship(s) will be awarded for the period of six months. Beginning and ending dates to be negotiated based on candidate availability and other projects. Finalists will be invited to be interviewed by a selection panel in October.

Should you have any questions please contact Allison Wohl, CPSD’s Executive Director (awohl@thecpsd.org).

CPSD is an advocacy network of 22 national organizations who have come together to bring about a significant modernization of the federal system of services and supports for persons with disabilities. CPSD does this by focusing on innovative public policy reform that promotes the effective transition of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities into adulthood by preparing them to obtain optimal outcomes in education, employment, economic advancement, and independent living. For more information, please visit: http://thecpsd.org.

The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing community. Guided by our Jewish values, we support effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy in our core areas of interest: advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the Jewish community; fostering a more nuanced understanding of the American Jewish community among Israeli leaders; and modeling the practice of strategic philanthropy worldwide. The Foundation provides funding, leadership, expertise and insight in both the U.S. and Israel, with offices in both countries. For more information, please visit: http://rudermanfoundation.org/