Provides 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 training. Located in the Ambulatory Care Service of the VA North Texas Health Care System in Dallas, TX. Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. English Language Proficiency. Candidates will not be appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C. chapters 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA who are not proficient in written and spoken English. Education: (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 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 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). (TRANSCRIPTS REQUIRED). ii. One full year of directly related graduate level coursework (typically at least 15 - 18 semester hours). (TRANSCRIPTS REQUIRED) 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. (PROOF REQUIRED). 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. (PROOF REQUIRED) Certification. Required at the GS-11 grade level. (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 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). Grade Determinations: BRS, GS-9 [(Entry 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. (4) 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. BRS, GS-11 (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. BRSs at the GS-11 grade level must have at least one certification from ACVREP or a related, equivalent, professional certification. (4) 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: 0-2 years of clinical experience in providing rehabilitation to severely visually impaired veterans Prior experience working in Visual Impairment Services for one or more years 3-5 years of Visual Impairment Services and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy experience with the Veterans Affairs Certification in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G-41 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-11. Physical Requirements: The incumbent is required to sit most of the day with some walking, standing, bending, lifting to 35 pounds, and carrying of lightweight items. ["***This is an open continuous announcement*** Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and qualified candidates will be considered as vacancies become available. Applications will remain on file until April 11, 2023. This vacancy will remain open until filled. Certificate will be issued every 2 weeks. Additional applications will be referred as needed. ****Period of Eligibility: For open continuous announcements, the period of eligibility of your application will be 90 days (must update application after 90 days has past) **** DUTIES The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (BRS) provides direct patient care and support services to a population of Veterans which is characterized by a very significant number of older males but includes both females and males of all adult ages. The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual Veteran. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each Veteran's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual Veterans to the fullest 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. Works as part of a team coordinating care for blind and visually impaired Veterans. Serve as team coordinator for one or more assigned Veterans during the Veteran's program. As a team coordinator, the specialist is responsible for developing and coordinating the Veteran's Interdisciplinary Team Plan (IDTP) with input from the Veteran and all team members. The BRS maintains close communication with all other members of the interdisciplinary Blind Rehabilitation Center staff, including optometry, psychology, social work, recreation and nursing, to ensure the needs and goals of the Veteran are being met. The essential elements are independent evaluation, treatment, and management in a blind and vision rehabilitation program of instruction that teaches Veterans with visual impairment to utilize adaptive skills and techniques necessary to cope with the demands of everyday life. These needs constitute significant physical, emotional, and social disabilities. The BRS must identify 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 BRS develops a close rapport with assigned Veterans. When assigned the role of Team Coordinator, the BRS becomes the primary advocate for the Veteran, communicating the Veteran's perceptions and concerns regarding their rehabilitation program to other members of the rehabilitation team. 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 BRS is responsible for using and maintaining discipline specific technology necessary to assist in the Veteran's rehabilitation needs and processes such as electronic travel aids, computer assisted technology, speech output and input devices, large print devices and Braille devices. Work Schedule: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
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.