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 assisted technology instruction. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist possesses professional knowledge of and skill in applying concepts, principles, and practices of blind and vision rehabilitation. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist possesses professional knowledge of, and skill in applying concepts, principles, and practices of Blind and Vision Rehabilitation to include assessment, planning, treatment and follow-up in an interdisciplinary team environment. The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each patient's needs and the delive1y of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual patients to the extent possible. This work involves evaluating and assessing needs, capabilities and limitations, goal setting and prescribing a treatment plan for individuals experiencing blindness/visual impairment caused by injury or disease. The Specialist's primary assignment is in the area of Computer Access Training (CAT), providing evaluation and training of Veterans' access technology needs. The Specialist works as part of a team coordinating care for blind and visually impaired Veterans. As a team coordinator, the specialist is responsible for developing and coordinating the Veteran's Interdisciplinary Plan of Care with input from the Veteran, family and all team members. The essential elements are the independent evaluation, treatment, and management of a Blind and Vision Rehabilitation program of instruction that teaches Veterans with visual impairments to utilize adaptive skills and techniques necessary to cope with the demands of everyday life. These needs constitute significant physical, emotional, and social handicaps. Blind Rehabilitation Specialists study visual and non-visual barriers and related processes that result in activity limitations, participation restrictions, loss of vocational and avocational opportunities, and psychological distress. In providing direct services, they use diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and instrumentation to identify and resolve or minimize these problems. Some Veterans manifest only blindness/visual impairment as their disabling condition. Others have multiple medical problems, mental health issues and cognitive deficits in addition to blindness/visual impairment. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialists must assess the difficulties confronting the Veteran and the barriers to treatment and then develop and provide intervention designed to enhance the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation process. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialists develop a close rapport with assigned Veterans. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist develops a treatment plan in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team to improve the quality of life for blind and visually impaired Veterans through the development of skills and capabilities needed for personal independence, emotional stability and the successful integration into community, family and environment. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist is responsible for using and maintaining technological equipment (discipline specific) necessary to assist in the Veteran's rehabilitation needs and processes such as Electronic travel aids, computer assisted technology, closed circuit television, speech output and input devices, large print devices and Braille devices. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist determines the need for these devices based on type, nature and severity of the problem, and assessments, and instructs the Veteran in the proper use of the device along with its abilities and limitations. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist also works with family members and/or significant others to educate and counsel about the ramifications of visual impairment. Family members are taught to recognize and change behaviors and behavior patterns that impede Blind and Vision Rehabilitation and how to cope with the psychological and social problems and their own individual stress. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist maintains awareness of new technological developments in the field through research and education. The incumbent may serve as a subject matter expert for other medical and allied health staff by providing counseling to healthcare providers and professionals on the nature of blindness/visual impairment and Blind and Vision Rehabilitation. Performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 730 - 1600 Financial 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.