Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist

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Duties for this position includes but are not limited to:

Provides direct patient care and support services to an adult population of patients which is characterized by a very significant number of older male patients as well as young OEF/OIF Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient.
Being responsible for the assessment of each patient's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual patients to the extent possible.
Being responsible for identifying beneficiaries who have the potential to benefit from blind and vision rehabilitation training.
Consults with Poly trauma team and all VIST, eye clinics, blind and vision rehabilitation services and community resources to locate and serve potential Veterans to offer direct blind and vision rehabilitation service in all five skill areas in the veteran's home, other residence or within the community as the need arises.
Being responsible for blind and vision rehabilitation assessment, planning, training, and outcomes evaluation on each Veteran for whom service is provided.
Uses objective and subjective assessment tools and methods requiring broadly based advanced knowledge in the five skill areas. Incumbent consults with local, regional, and national resources for information.
Selects, interprets and adapts traditional strategies in order to meet Veteran needs.
Develops an individualized rehabilitation-training plan for each Veteran with rehabilitation potential. Each plan includes Veteran and/or family goals, as well as achievable and measurable outcomes.
Prioritizes rehabilitation training activities so as to maximize Veterans served, consistent with quality care and safety. Rehabilitation training will be designed to shorten waiting time, minimize use of the inpatient treatment at a Blind Rehabilitation Center or obviate the need for inpatient services. Veterans on the inpatient (Blind Rehabilitation Center) waiting list or those who have post discharge needs are prioritized for outpatient treatment.
Makes maximum use of outpatient clinical facilities of the institution, together with proper and judicious use of home-based services as necessary.


Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
You may be required to serve a probationary period
Subject to background/security investigation
Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.
To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 11/18/2022.

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.
Education and Experience
(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, [or a closely] related program in rehabilitation, special education, family and consumer science education, technology, and industrial arts education; OR,
(b) A master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major field of study in blind or vision rehabilitation, [or a closely] related program in rehabilitation, special education, family and consumer science education, technology, and industrial arts education; OR,
(c) A bachelor's [or master's] degree from an accredited college or university (without a major field of study as outlined in (1)(a) and (b) above) and obtained 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. This education must have included supervised practice; and
(d) Completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the BRS, GS-9 grade level; OR,
(e) Three (3) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a doctoral degree in blind rehabilitation or a directly related field.
(2) 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 all levels.
(1) Applicants must possess at least one active, current, full, and unrestricted certification to be eligible for appointment.
(2) An applicant who has, or ever had his/her certification suspended, restricted, limited, or issued/placed in a probationary status may be appointed only in accordance with the provisions in Chapter 3, Section B, Paragraph 16 of this part. An applicant who has or has ever had a certification revoked or terminated for cause, or voluntarily relinquished such certification after being notified in writing by the State of potential revocation or termination for cause, is ineligible for employment and must be removed from the GS-0601 series. This applies even if the applicant possesses one or more valid certifications or registration (38 U.S.C. § 7402(f)). NOTE: The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP) administers [four (4)] certification programs: Low Vision Therapy, Orientation, and Mobility, [Certified Assistive Technology Instructions Specialist] and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph (2)) below:
(3) BROS who provide the following services must obtain and maintain one certification at the GS-11 grade level and two certifications at the GS-12 grade level granted by ACVREP as follows:
(a) Orientation and mobility training - Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS®).
(b) Communication and daily living therapy - Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT®).
(c) Low vision therapy - Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVT®).
(d) Assistive technology - Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist (CATIS®).
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: In addition to the basic requirements, the following criteria must be used when determining the appropriate grade assignment of candidates.

Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
Certified Low Vision Therapist
Assistive Technology Specialist
Kelli M Jarosz, MA, CVRT/COMS
VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System (631) 117
421 North Main Street
Leeds, MA 01053-9764
Phone: (413) 584-4040 x6504