Job Opening: Independent Living Specialist

Empower Tennessee is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Independent Living Specialist.

For consideration, applicants should submit a cover letter, professional resume, and online application form via the button link above by August 31, 2022.

TITLE: Independent Living Specialist

POSITION: Regular, Full-Time, Hourly, Non-Exempt

SUPERVISOR: Associate Director


The Independent Living Specialist (ILS) provides direct services to individuals as well as implements and manages programs and initiatives to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to live independently through services such as information and referral, peer support, skills training, advocacy, and support for transitions to community settings. Likewise, the ILS is involved with the agency’s efforts to make Nashville and surrounding communities more accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities through outreach, education, and advocacy. The ILS incorporates the Independent Living Philosophy (i.e. client-directed goal setting, dignity of risk, peer mentorship, etc.) in all aspects of interaction with clients and the community at-large. The ILS represents and advocates for Empower Tennessee in relevant community settings and fosters meaningful partnerships with like-minded organizations and individuals in the achievement of strategic goals. The ILS exhibits the values of empowerment, partnership, fairness, accountability, sustainability, and knowledge in all areas of the position.



  • Provide Information and Referral services to clients and community members;
  • Coordinate and conduct Person-Centered Independent Living assessments and planning with people with disabilities;
  • Provide Social Support services that inform individuals about the various programs that are available to them and assist them in securing and/or maintaining benefits such as employment, housing, social services, healthcare, public and private benefits, etc.;
  • Provide Resource Navigation services in identifying and accessing supports needed to increase or maintain community independence in areas such as; housing, transportation, assistive technology, healthcare, and other supports needed by people with disabilities;
  • Coordinate and/or perform Independent Living skills training in a variety of areas;
  • Coordinate and/or facilitate Peer Support activities to empower clients with learning and social interaction opportunities;
  • Provide Transition assistance to youth with disabilities entering adulthood, as well as adults with disabilities who are moving from an institution to the community or to divert those at risk of institutionalization;
  • Advocate with and for clients regarding specific individual issues as well as systemically to bring awareness and positive change to the community at-large;  
  • Lead specific agency programs and/or initiatives, as assigned;
  • Demonstrate flexibility and initiative as agency priorities change and/or environmental circumstances warrant;
  • Coordinate with program volunteers/interns, as needed, to effectively integrate program goals with an engaged and meaningful experience; 
  • Document all program activities and client interactions per established timelines and standards.

  • Adhere to agency policy and procedures; 
  • Participate in agency meetings and events;
  • Represent agency in inter-organizational or community meetings;  
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor or agency; 
  • Demonstrate professionalism and initiative in performing all duties.

  • Education or experience equivalent to a four-year degree, required; 
  • Understanding and commitment to the Independent Living philosophy and disability rights movement, required;
  • Exceptional oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, required; 
  • Organized, disciplined, self-motivated, and cooperative work ethic, required; 
  • Demonstrated ability to respect and empathize with people of diverse backgrounds/experiences, required; 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, and ability to link clients with, community resources, required; 
  • Flexibility regarding work schedule to accommodate program needs, required; 
  • Ability and willingness to travel to meet with clients in their homes and/or attend relevant meetings, required;
  • Regular access to reliable transportation, required; 
  • Working knowledge of, and skill with, computer systems/applications, required; 
  • Ability to obtain Level 5 Federal Suitability via an extensive background check, required;
  • Personal experience with disability, strongly preferred:
  • Experience and/or certification as a group facilitator and/or individual counselor, strongly preferred; 
  • Experience as a volunteer organizer, preferred; 
  • Fluency in language(s) beyond English (including ASL), preferred.
Posted qualifications serve as a guide for candidate review and are not fixed in stone. Empower Tennessee reserves the right to deviate from posted credentials in determining what combination of candidate education, experience and skills are best suited to a position.

 Empower Tennessee is an equal provider of services and an equal opportunity employer—Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Application for Employment

Use Your Empowered Voice to Inform Our Future Plans

At the top is a wide, curved, light blue border; on the left orange letters read: “Use your empowered voice to inform our future plans” on a dark blue background; The Empower Tennessee logo is below; image of a laptop with a survey, a person’s hand working on the laptop, coffee, and a calculator are on the right; a light blue star with the text “complete the survey at is in the center; at the bottom is a wide, curved, yellow border

Empower Tennessee’s mission is to empower people with disabilities with opportunities for inclusion, choice, and independence. We do this because our vision is a community where people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully. 

Our mission and vision guide our work throughout Middle Tennessee every day. We also regularly seek input to ensure that our goals, strategies, and activities meet the needs of our organization and the community we serve. Most of all, we believe that an empowered voice is a heard voice. 

As Empower Tennessee begins planning our future goals and activities, we want to hear your voice. Tell us what you think is important.Inform us on how services can be strengthened or what gaps we can fill. Let us know your ideas to make what we do more meaningful. Share your stories of empowerment that give us a perspective we may not have. 

The survey is meant for everyone: people with disabilities, family members, community partners, and Empower Tennessee staff and Board members. All voices are welcomed! 

The deadline to complete the survey is Monday, February 28, 2022. 

Please contact us at or 615-200-6028 if you require any accommodations.