This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Learn more Basic Requirements: Citizenship. United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education.(1) The individual must have earned: (a) A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major field of study in blind or vision rehabilitation, closely related program in rehabilitation, special education for the visually impaired, family and consumer science education, or technology and industrial arts education [ ]. OR, (b) A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (without a major field of study as outlined in (1)(a) above) that included, or was supplemented by, at least one of the following: i. At least 30 semester hours of directly related, upper level undergraduate courses (e.g.,at least 200-course level or higher, or as identified by the college or university). ii. One full year of directly related graduate level coursework (typically at least 15 -18 semester hours). iii. A certificate from an accredited college or university in the core curriculum in orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy, assistive technology for blind and visually impaired individuals, or low vision therapy and a directly related practicum/internship in the occupation, either included in the degree or post-degree. iv. Foreign Graduates must have proof of a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (or foreign equivalent, as verified through an independent credential evaluation company), with a specialization in blind rehabilitation. Certification. Required at the GS-11 grade level and above. (1) Applicants must possess at least one active, current, full and unrestricted certification to be eligible for appointment. Certification must be granted by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP), or another equivalent, closely related professional credential in special education or rehabilitation. [ ] NOTE: The ACVREP administers four certification programs: Low Vision Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, Assistive Technology Instruction and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph(2)) below: May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). All BRSs employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and certification(s) that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: (1) Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation. (2) Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. (3) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or certification(s) that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required equivalent credential(s) as a condition of employment in the occupation. (4) If a BRS who was retained under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service. Grade Determinations:GS-9 Level (1) Experience. Bachelor's degree and completion of one year of experience. OR, (2) Education. Completion of at least two full years of progressive graduate education or a master's degree in a field directly related to the position. (3) Certification. No certification is required at this level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the education and experience above the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of policies and procedures of the blind/vision rehabilitation service. (b) Knowledge of administration and interpretation of assessments and evaluations in blind/vision rehabilitation. (c) Ability to develop a basic written blind/vision rehabilitation plan from assessment results and develop more complex plans with consultation from supervisor. (d) Skill in instructing [Veterans] and families in a meaningful rehabilitation program and applying blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic techniques. (e) Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision prosthetic devices for Veterans within the scope of practice. (f) Ability to serve as team coordinator for assigned Veterans during their rehabilitation programs. GS-11 Level (1) Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade. OR, (2) Education. Three years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Doctoral Degree; or Doctoral Degree in Blind Rehabilitation or a directly related field. (3) Certification. Certification is required at this grade level and above. Staff BRS candidates must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 3c(1) above. BRSs at the GS-11 grade level must have at least one certification from ACVREP or a related, equivalent, professional certification. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-9 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge and understanding of highly specialized complex evaluations and diagnostic tests and procedures of blind/vision rehabilitation. (b) Ability to properly assess Veterans having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions. (c) Skill in writing a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes. (d) Skill in instructional methods and learning principles. (e) Ability to employ interventions and unusual motivational techniques and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan. (f) Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for Veterans within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required. Preferred Experience: Experience with teaching individuals who are visually impaired and/or legally blind in the use of compensatory skills in the area of Living Skills to enable them to live safe, productive and independent. Experience with teaching individuals who are visually impaired and/or legally blind in the use of communication systems, personal management skills and activities of daily living to increase independence and quality of life. References: VA Handbook 5005/109 Part II Appendix G41. Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Qualification Standard The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. Physical Requirements: The work requires regular and recurring exertion such as standing or walking for up to two hours; frequent bending; reaching above the shoulder; light lifting and carrying (less than 40 pounds), pushing or pulling objects. ["The primary purpose of this position is to provide blind and vision rehabilitation services for visually impaired Veterans and Service members. Blind Rehabilitation includes the disciplines of low vision therapy, orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy, manual skills instruction and computer access instruction. The primary function of the position is to teach daily living skills to visually impaired and/or legally blind veterans. Major Duties Includes but limited to: The incumbent reviews and interprets pertinent patient documentation and records, pre-admission. The incumbent serves as a Team Coordinator for each patient assigned to their caseload serving as a patient/team liaison, an information resource, and an advocate. The incumbent independently assesses, plans, and instructs in the Living Skills Department and teaches the skills necessary for personal management, communication skills, and activities of daily living. The incumbent assesses the patient's background, interests, future plans, motivation, needs, and aptitude; evaluates the patient's functional visual capabilities, determines appropriate instructional techniques, implements training plans, and continues to reassess patient's needs and goal attainment throughout the rehabilitation process. The incumbent also works with family members and/or significant others to educate and counsel about the ramifications of visual impairment. Educates the family and/or significant others to support Veteran's individualized rehabilitation program. The incumbent must be well versed in Telehealth and telephone technical support for patients. The incumbent documents, in accordance with established recording standards and procedures, all services performed on behalf of the patient: on-going progress, issues as they occur, steps towards issue resolution, and current treatment plan. The incumbent attends general staff meetings, actively participating in all team meetings and preparing a treatment plan, progress notes and summaries for inclusion in the final summary as required by the center's policy and procedures. The incumbent assists in the research and evaluation of new devices and techniques for inclusion into the team curriculum, and helping to evaluate prosthetic devices relevant to Living Skills. The incumbent adheres to the ABRC Safety Protocols with respect to proper maintenance of equipment. Performing other duties as assigned; these include but are not limited to membership in committees, process action teams, service programs, research projects, clinical initiatives, and cross-training in other areas to meet the workload demand on the program and to meet the patients desired goals. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 7:30am - 4:00pm\nFunctional Statement #: Blind Rehabilitation Specialist/FS00388\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not Required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.