Center for Independent Living, Inc. Medical Advocate Berkeley, CA · Full time

The Center for Independent Living is seeking a medical advocate to assist people with disabilities and seniors who are experiencing barriers to accessing needed healthcare information, healthcare services, assistive technology, health and disability related resources and related peer support.


Who We Are 

Founded in 1972 in Berkeley, California, the Center for Independent Living (CIL) emerged from the Independent Living movement of the 1970’s as a powerful force in helping people with disabilities achieve their independence. CIL is the model for hundreds of Independent Living Centers throughout the U.S. and the world. 

What We Do 

CIL directly serves about 1000 individuals each year. Services include peer counseling, assistive technology consultation and training, employment services, travel training, a residential access program that provides simple equipment allowing seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes, systems change advocacy, work and benefits counseling, and a Living Well with a Disability curriculum that helps seniors with aging-related physical and mental disabilities remain productive, healthy and engaged. CIL's Information and Referral staff provide specialized, in-depth connections to resources to an additional 5000-6000 people a year. 

Our Guiding Principles

  • Comprehensive programs most effectively meet the needs of people with disabilities 
  • People with disabilities are the best experts on their lives 
  • The strongest and most vibrant communities are those that include and embrace disability 

Position Summary

The Center for Independent Living (CIL), based out of the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, is a not-for-profit independent living center that promotes the full inclusion of all people with disabilities and older adults into their community. 

The Center for Independent Living is seeking a medical advocate to assist people with disabilities and seniors who are experiencing barriers to accessing needed healthcare information, healthcare services, assistive technology, health and disability related resources and related peer support. 


  • Assist individuals with disabilities in accessing essential healthcare information by providing it in plain language and ensuring their understanding of services, resources, treatment options, support, and tools available to them.
  • Provide advocacy and support to individuals facing multiple barriers, such as ableism, racism, sexism, homo/transphobia, ageism, class bias, immigration status, language, or other forms of prejudice and discrimination, to ensure they receive appropriate and timely healthcare services and resources.
  • Educate individuals with disabilities on their rights and benefits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as consumers of healthcare systems.
  • Support CIL consumers in advocating for their own medical needs, healthcare benefits and reasonable accommodation needs. 
  • Assist individuals in acquiring self-advocacy skills and strategies if services and accommodations are denied, including creating templates to support their self-advocacy efforts.
  • Develop a standardized framework or tool to guide individuals in their self-advocacy efforts.
  • Assist individuals in navigating barriers and providing assistance to people with long COVID and other complex chronic illnesses in accessing necessary information, healthcare, social services, support, and resources.
  • Educate CIL staff and partners about long COVID and build partnerships and support with other peer-led advocacy organizations focused on long COVID and chronic illnesses.
  • Coordinate an educational "town hall" presentation to address long COVID issues and resources and launching a long COVID support group.
  • Assist people with disabilities and seniors in accessing COVID-19 vaccinations, treatment, as well as flu and other vaccinations.
  • Provide guidance to consumers in navigating complex health insurance and benefit options.
  • Connecting consumers with partner health or disability-related peer support groups and resources to enhance their support network.
  • Identify issues or campaigns related to health access, resources, benefits, and rights for people with disabilities and seniors in collaboration with our Systems Change Department and staff.
  • Facilitate connections between medical advocacy consumers and other CIL services, as needed.


  • You have a passion for helping people. You are patient, level-headed, and cool under pressure. Teaching someone something new makes you feel motivated.
  • You are an excellent planner and organizer with the ability to think on your feet. You’ll know what to expect to get from point A to point B, and if things change, you know how to roll with the punches.
  • You have strong verbal and written communication skills. You are respectful and approachable. You build strong relationships with trainers and trainees.
  • You are motivated and driven. You recognize the importance of TheCIL Emergency Preparedness work and the opportunity to make an impact, and will take ownership of the time you spend with us and truly make a difference.
  • You have a friendly and outgoing demeanor. Your empathy builds rapport and trust with your trainees and your team. You are energetic and thrive in a fast-paced, human-centered environment.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bilingual/Bicultural (Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, Farsi, Arabic, American Sign Language)
  • Personal experience with disability
  • Professional or volunteer experience with advocacy, particularly medical advocacy
  • Familiarity with federal and state health insurance programs  

Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions on request.


How to Apply:

If you are interested in joining CIL’s team, please submit the following application materials to [email protected]

  • A cover letter describing your interest in CIL and how your past experience has prepared you for this role
  • Resume


All job offers are contingent on passing a pre-employment background check.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Director of Operations at hr (@)

CIL Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity), national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or status as a protected veteran. Persons with disabilities, veterans, women, and minorities are encouraged to apply.

CIL is an E-Verify participating employer.


$29 - $32 per hour