Deputy Director of Student Disability Services

The University of Chicago, one of the nation’s preeminent institutions of higher education, invites applications and nominations for the position of Deputy Director of Student Disability Services. This position provides an exceptional leadership opportunity for a collaborative, innovative, and experienced professional to support University-wide operations of Student Disability Services so that all students can fully participate in the life of the University and to help ensure that the University is in compliance with relevant laws and best practices for assisting students with disabilities.

The University is seeking a dynamic and responsive Deputy Director to work strategically and cooperatively within a dedicated team environment committed to enhancing the services provided to driven and highly talented students at all levels of the University. The Deputy Director must have demonstrated experience managing accommodations in a higher education setting; a proven ability to evaluate and interpret disability documentation to implement reasonable accommodations; a strong understanding of the legal and technological changes and developing best practices in the field; an excellent track record of establishing and managing effective work relationships with students, parents, faculty, staff, and community resources; and a deep affinity for the University’s academic mission.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Director of Student Disability Services, the Deputy Director of Student Disability Services works collaboratively with students and staff across the University to determine and implement reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. The Deputy Director will help lead and manage services, support, and accommodations for students with disabilities and helps to remove barriers so that all students can fully participate in the life of the University. The Deputy Director employs knowledge of current disability services best practices and strategies and works as a resource to campus partners. In collaboration with the Director, the Deputy Director will actively engage in planning initiatives, assessing services, and representing Student Disability Services within the UChicago community.

Principle duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides thought leadership, oversight for various aspects of the Student Disability Services office, and strong support for the goals developed by the Director allowing her to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Conducts intake interviews; provides effective communication to students about the student disability accommodation process and resources on campus; and refers students to other appropriate services.
  • Ensures the effective implementation of accommodations for students, including: insuring note-takers have been assigned for eligible students in a timely manner; insuring proctors have been assigned, rooms have been reserved, and the academic unit has obtained exams for students with special exam arrangements, arrangements have been communicated to all pertinent parties in a timely manner; communicating with instructors, advisers, deans of students, deans and medical personnel regarding the implementation of accommodations and services, as necessary.
  • Conducts trainings for staff to insure adequate knowledge of accommodating students.
  • Leads the development, implementation, maintenance and improvement of systems to effectively and efficiently provide texts in alternate formats.
  • Collects, verifies, and maintains disability documentation and other relevant information; analyzes and interprets students’ diagnostic psycho-educational assessments/scores; and forwards all disability documentation to appropriate clinicians for independent review, as necessary.
  • Provides policy and assistance in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitations Act to faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Determines eligibility for services and appropriately communicates information about disability accommodations and services.
  • Oversees provision of auxiliary aids and services, including materials in alternate formats, interpreters, and adaptive technology, etc.         
  • Collaborates with IT, the Library and academic divisions on the placement of adaptive technology; and provides students with resources related to disability issues and accommodation needs.
  • Collaborates with medical consultants, IT services, University Library Systems, College Housing, Facilities Services, Parking and Transportation, College Programming Office, Environmental Health & Safety and University of Chicago Police Department, Legal Counsel, vendors, area deans of students, faculty, other academic appointees, and other administrators.
  • Provides technical assistance to faculty, staff, administrators and liaises with other higher education institutions; networks with disability agencies and other community organizations providing services to students, including but not limited to: Chicago Lighthouse, Chicago Hearing Society, CAIRS and Caption First.
  • Documents communication and events by writing and filing interview notes; assists with the development of policies and procedures which reflect best practices among peer institutions; updates Student Disability Services website; maintains student-tracking database; contributes data for the annual and other reports when necessary.
  • Supervises a Program Coordinator; hires and supervises student worker staff; provides appropriate student employee development opportunities; establishes job standards and expectations. 
  • Assists the Director in managing the budget, monitoring and reconciling accounts, processing payroll, and preparing financial and/or administrative reports. Represent Student Disability Services on University-wide committees and at events.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in a relevant field preferred; concentration in higher education, disability services, rehabilitation, counseling or related field highly preferred.  
  • Minimum of three years, full-time, progressively responsible work experience in disability services or a related field required.
  • Prior experience in an educational or university setting is required.
  • Knowledge of disability accommodations and best practices in the provision of services to students with disabilities in a college setting is required.
  • Familiarity with available software and assistive technologies is required.
  • Prior experience working with learning communities specifically designed for students with disabilities is required.
  • Knowledge of best practices and innovations in the field is preferred.
  • In-depth knowledge of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is required.
  • Demonstrated experience communicating effectively in various forms with diverse populations.
  • Supervisory experience is preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are required.    

The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is one of the nation’s leading institutions of higher education and research. Campus and Student Life (CSL) is comprised of several departments that serve the University’s 16,000 college, graduate, and professional school students, as well as the campus community more broadly. CSL is importantly charged with the dual task of supporting all students in the University, graduate and undergraduate, and managing multiple campus departments and services that serve the entire campus community. CSL’s programs and services focus on supporting student academic success, providing opportunities for personal growth and leadership development, developing community and engagement through the residential housing and dining program, and in areas such as artistic expression, spiritual exploration, and athletic competition. The University of Chicago community includes approximately 6,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduates, professional, and other students and there are over 300 recognized student organizations working together to create a vibrant and dynamic student life.

The University of Chicago is located in the Hyde Park/South Kenwood neighborhood, a racially and economically diverse residential community of 43,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan, about fifteen minutes south of downtown Chicago. To learn more about the university click here

Application Procedure and Timeline 

The University of Chicago has partnered with Keeling and Associates, LLC (K&A) in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter clearly addressing the position requirements, and resume/curriculum vitae and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to recruiting@KeelingAssociates.comThe subject line of the email should read UChicago Deputy Director, SDS.” While the review of applicants will continue until the appointment is made, the first review of materials will begin immediately. All applications received by June 23, 2018, will receive full consideration.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Dr. Jan Walbert, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Executive Search, Keeling & Associates, at

The University of Chicago does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status, and does not discriminate against members of protected classes under the law.

To download the position profile, Click here.