The Battle Creek VA Medical Center is recruiting for a Blind Rehabilitation Specialist GS-11. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist will function in the Optometry and Blind Rehabilitation Service. BASIC REQUIREMENTS: Citizenship: Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3.g., of this part.) Education: The individual must have earned one of the following: (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. (b) A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university 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: (2) BRS who provide the following service must obtain certification 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 Specialists (CATIS®). Grandfathering Provision: 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. 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. See Chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part. GRADE DETERMINATIONS: In addition to the basic requirements, the following criteria must be used when determining the appropriate grade assignment of candidates. This criteria is consistent with the two grade interval structure for professional/scientific professions found in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G17. BRS, GS-11 NOTE: Full performance level for BRS who are not VIST Coordinators. (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. (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. This is the full performance level (GS-11) for BRS's who are not VIST Coordinators. Assignments at this grade level include the following: (a) Staff BRS. In addition to providing services to Veterans described at the GS-9 grade level, individuals at this level have duties that typically include the following: serving as a consultant to blind/low vision rehabilitation and other medical center staff in evaluating and treating Veterans in the specialty area; serving as a mentor to other therapists who are evaluating and treating Veterans in the content specialty or program area; serving as internship supervisor to students who are completing their supervised practice; and providing in-service and clinical training programs in the content specialty or program area. (b) BRS (Sole Practice). Individuals in this assignment may serve as the only BRS at a medical center or an outpatient clinic and are responsible for independent decision making and independent care. Individuals in this assignment serve as a member of or as consultant to a specialty care team, and provide in-service and clinical training programs in the content specialty or program area. ["Interpreting documentation prior to admission Interpreting assessments, medical, and other professional documentation on an on-going basis during the patient's rehabilitation program Interpreting policies and directives to veterans in blind rehabilitation Evaluating with other team members and ancillary staff (e.g., psychology, optometry, nursing, etc.) the patient's cognitive abilities, visual functioning, memory, and motivation Upon completion of the low vision functional evaluation, incumbent works with the team to develop a training plan based on assessment results, patient goals, and patient needs Providing instruction in the use of low vision aids Recommending adaptive prosthetic devices to meet individual needs Keeping abreast of current literature, teaching strategies, and technological advances specific to visual skills Documenting, in written form, the patient's progress, barriers to training and current treatment plan Conducting an orientation/training program to family members or significant other to give a better understanding of sight loss. Becoming cross-trained with other specialties within the VISOR program for providing instruction in this area Attending and actively participating in staff/team meetings and serving as an integral member of the multi-disciplinary team Writing required treatment plans, progress notes, and summaries for patient treatment Working with the veteran's VIST Coordinator, as appropriate Serving as a field instructor to interns Assisting in the research of new devices and techniques for low vision Presenting in-service, consultation, intra-VA details and community programs about low vision skills Completing required hours for VA educational training Obtaining and maintaining certification in respective area Performing other duties as assigned Participating in intra-center training to gain skills in other aspects of the blind rehabilitation training program (e.g., cross training in Living Skills, Computer Access, and pre-cane Orientation & Mobility skills). After completion of training, the instructor may be called upon to teach or assist in teaching in these other disciplines. Work Schedule: M-F, 8am - 4:30pm\nCompressed/Flexible: No\nTelework: Yes\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 91593-A\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\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.