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 below by April 30, 2024.

TITLE: Independent Living Specialist

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

LOCATION: Nashville, Tennessee

SUPERVISOR: Executive 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.
  • $40,000 – $45,000 per year, depending on experience
  • Generous benefits and leave package

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