Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)

Title:              Communications Director

Reports to:   Executive Director

Schedule:    .80 FTE to Full-time (Exempt). We’re flexible about full- or part-time.

Location:     Berkeley, CA


Summary; The Communications Director coordinates and executes DREDF’s external and internal communications, working closely with our staff and leadership to advance our advocacy and development objectives.

About Us: DREDF is a leading national disability civil rights law and policy center directed by disabled people and parents who have disabled children. Our mission is to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development. DREDF’s staff includes eight lawyers, two policy advocates, four education advocates, and other professionals.

COVID-19 Vaccination: All employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless there is a valid and documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated or a sincerely held religious belief preventing vaccination. We are returning to a hybrid of remote and in-office work in our Berkeley office, conveniently located at the Ashby BART Station.

This is a position that requires some days in the office upon hire.

Key Responsibilities: Plan the overall communications strategy for DREDF and manage the day-to-day internal and external communications including media relations, social media, as well as work with other staff on our Disability Media Alliance Project (DMAP). DMAP’s purpose is  to work with journalists and media professionals to inform and enhance disability representation through education and technical assistance.

Responsibilities will include, but may not be limited to:

Communications Management

  • Develop a communications strategy informed by our mission, programmatic priorities, and our strategic plan
  • Supervise the Social Media Coordinator
  • Develop a DREDF Style Guide for employees to ensure consistency across all communications, as well as respectful representation of disabled people
  • Collaborate with program teams to manage and co-develop an editorial calendar that includes two monthly newsletters, and regular communications using DREDF’s website and social media

Strategic Communications

  • Develop effective narratives, key messages, and stories that advance DREDF’s mission and disability civil rights
  • Develop and produce strategic communication campaigns in collaboration with coworkers and our collaborative partners
  • Lead the generation, editing, organization, and dissemination of content across multiple channels (digital newsletters, videos, reports, blogs, op-eds, press releases, photos, graphics, etc.)
  • Manage press events and support spokespersons including providing media and communications training to staff
  • Develop and implement metrics to evaluate effectiveness of media and social media campaigns, track media coverage
  • Expand our impact and reach via social media (currently Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok)
  • Help program staff develop content for our website and work with the web designer to ensure delivery of quality content
  • Address the diverse language and access needs of our communities, including the use of plain and easy language

Relationships with Media

  • Develop and implement public relations and media outreach strategies to maintain a consistent, positive organizational presence in mainstream media
  • Build and strengthen relationships with key press contacts
  • Oversee the development, pitching, and placement of news stories, op-eds, and press statements in key print and online media outlets to increase our visibility as a leader in the disability right advocacy, civil rights, and social justice movements


  • Minimum of eight years of progressively responsible, strategic communications/media and public relations experience in a social justice, policy, political, or advocacy setting, or similar relevant experience
  • Experience with media databases such as Cision
  • Demonstrated project and people management skills – ability to keep multiple people and tasks on track to meet tight deadlines
  • Excellent storytelling, writing, and editing skills
  • Commitment to DREDF’s vision and mission
  • Experience collaborating with grassroots organizations and other allies
  • Track record in media placements and the cultivation of strong media relationships
  • Understanding of disability accessibility in communications
  • Strong social media skills


  • Experience in the disability rights movement and/or disability community
  • Knowledge of web/video/audio production
  • Background in Adobe Creative Cloud, Cision (or other media database) Hootsuite, Google Analytics, social media analytics CANVA

Compensation & Benefits

Full-time salary is in the range of $90,000 – $115,000, dependent on experience. For example, the salary of a person with eight years of experience would be $90,000, and the salary for a person with 12 years of experience would be approximately $103,000.

Currently, for employees working 50% time or more, DREDF pays 80% of medical and 100% of dental and vision insurance for employees and their dependents. Other benefits include paid vacation (full-time employees accrue 21 days a year), sick leave (full-time employees accrue 15 days), paid holidays (15 days in the first year and two more days after one year of employment). Holiday, vacation, and sick leave accrual is pro-rated based on FTE. We offer a 403(b) retirement plan with savings matched at 5% after one year, and a Flexible Spending Account.


Due to COVID-19, many employees are working remotely from their homes, while some employees have returned to the office with safety protocols in place. We will be returning to the office when it is safe, but have not confirmed a date. We are currently exploring ways to support flexibility for a hybrid of in-office and remote work that meets the need of the organization and staff. We expect that most staff will have the opportunity to work remotely at least one-two days of their work week. As long as it is safe, it would be ideal for the Communications Director to be in the Berkeley office at least one or two days a week upon hire.

How to Apply

Please e-mail a cover letter and resume to Susan Henderson at shenderson@dredf.org

We value diversity, and we strongly encourage and welcome people of color, disabled people, parents of children with disabilities, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to apply. DREDF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Communications Director
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