Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) are seeking to employ an Advocacy & Policy Project Officer to join our team on a fixed-term basis to support the development of a structured Client advocacy and policy feedback mechanism.

The Advocacy and Policy Project Officer will represent and act as a voice for the Clients of IGDB. They will record and promote the issues of concern to our Clients who are visually impaired and families of children with autism and research and monitor developments relating to disability equality policy in Ireland.

Key responsibilities

  • Build relationships with and talk to Clients of IGDB about what matters to them and their families. Advocate for Clients where needed.
  • Build relationships, follow developments, get consensus, and participate in advocacy actions when required with other groups in Ireland to support Client needs i.e. include people with vision impairment and families of children with autism in IGDB in a meaningful and appropriate way.
  • Proactively promote Client policies to important organisations at a national and EU level.
  • Work with the Clients Services Manager, Communications, the Client Consultative Sub Committee and the Board to build and deliver targeted public advocacy campaigns to highlight issues of concern to our Clients.
  • Organise focus groups, seminars and debates to raise awareness about issues. important to people with vision impairment and families of children with autism.
  • Support and coordinate working group(s) and other bodies of IGDB involved in policy development.
  • Inform colleagues, sub-committees and Clients on relevant developments.
  • Manage project activities as directed by the Clients Services Manager/General Manager.
  • Create factsheets and policy statements to support Client needs.
  • Prepare presentations and speak at conferences, seminars etc. and report on these as appropriate.

How we will know the Advocacy & Policy Officer is working well:

  • The views of people with vision impairment and families of children with autism are taken into account by relevant bodies at national level.
  • People with vision impairment and families of children with autism get to be invited to and participate at conferences and seminars and during the development of relevant documents.
  • Members of IGDB know about our advocacy and policy work and contribute to it in an active and meaningful way.
  • Relevant activities are done in a way and time that is expected and planned.

Required knowledge, skills and experience

  • Experience of working with disabled people, in particular people who are visually impaired or families of children with autism is essential.
  • Clear communication in English, both oral and written.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills; ability to develop and maintain relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Computer literacy at a level relevant for the job (Microsoft Office 365 applications) and online communication platforms such as MS Teams and Zoom.
  • Ability to plan, prioritise and organise a complex workload.
  • Demonstrate a solution orientated approach.
  • Proven passion to deliver high calibre Client service and experience.
  • Able to build lasting relationships with Clients, stakeholders and external organisations.
  • Flexibility to work evenings, weekends and bank holidays as required on an ad hoc basis and acceptance of the need to travel nationwide to meet with key stakeholders as part of the role, also on an ad hoc basis.

Desirable

  • University degree in relevant field (disability rights, European studies etc.) OR minimum 3 years of professional experience with advocacy/policy work on behalf of people with disabilities.

IGDB is an equal opportunities employer and particularly welcomes applications from any qualified persons who are blind or visually impaired.

Please forward your CV in confidence to: recruitment@guidedogs.ie

Closing date for applications is Thursday, 12th November 2020