The primary purpose of this position is to provide direct blind and vision rehabilitation training services to visually impaired Veterans and Service members. The incumbent identifies, assesses, trains, manages, and provides follow-up for Veterans using clinical resources of the facility. 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: Must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d). Education: The individual must have earned: 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 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 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 Completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the BRS, GS-9 grade level; OR Three (3) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a doctoral degree in blind rehabilitation or a directly related field. OR 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. Applicants must possess at least one active, current, full, and unrestricted certification to be eligible for appointment. 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: 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: Orientation and mobility training - Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS®). Communication and daily living therapy - Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT®). Low vision therapy - Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVT®). Assistive Technology - Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialists (CATIS®). Grade Determinations: GS-11 Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist Experience: None beyond the basic requirements. Certification. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in subparagraph 2c above (at least one certification from ACVREP). Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge and understanding of highly specialized complex evaluations and diagnostic tests and procedures of blind/vision rehabilitation. Ability to properly assess a wide variety of patients having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions. Skill in development and writing of a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes. Knowledge of teaching methods and learning principles. Ability to employ interventions, unusual motivational techniques, and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan. Skill in recommending appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for patients within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required. Ability to plan, direct, and distribute work assignments to volunteers, assistants, interns, and/or BRSs at lower grade levels and perform assigned mentoring duties for staff, students, and interns. NOTE: Upon hire, GS-11 BROS are required to obtain a 2nd certification from ACVREP within 2 years of the initial appointment date to demonstrate journey mastery in two specialty areas and to become a GS-12 BROS. Failure to do so will result in removal from the BROS occupation and may result in termination of employment. GS-12 Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist Experience: In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of 1 year of experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level is required. Certification. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in subparagraph 3c above. BROS at the GS-12 grade level must achieve two ACVREP certifications to demonstrate full mastery in two areas of blind rehabilitation. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Skill to independently develop, plan, and administer complex treatment programs. Ability to act as a subject matter expert in the blind/vision rehabilitation field, and as consultant, supervisor, and/or mentor in evaluating and treating patients in specialty or program areas. Ability to coordinate, motivate, and effectively manage staff and/or committee members to include organizing work, setting priorities, and delegating tasks and responsibilities. Ability to disseminate appropriate information through various media as a consultant or mentor. Skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers, and other stakeholders. Ability to identify team group dynamics, objectively observe, and modify behaviors. Ability to apply decision-making principles to adjust programs on a day-to-day basis, to develop short-term and long-range goals, and to plan for future utilization of resources. Assignment. Individuals in this assignment may serve as the only BROS at a medical center, or an outpatient clinic, or in patients' homes and communities, and are responsible for independent decision-making and independent care. Individuals in this assignment may serve as a member of, or as a consultant to a specialty care team, such as the Polytrauma System of Care. BROS will demonstrate mastery abilities in two of the blind/vision rehabilitation specialty areas: orientation and mobility, low vision therapy, vision rehabilitation therapy, and assistive technology for blind and visually impaired individuals. BROS will also demonstrate advanced skill in the practice of the other content specialties in blind rehabilitation, e.g., computer training and manual skills. At the GS-12 grade level, BROS practice independently, seeking support from the Blind Rehabilitation Service National Consultant for the region when necessary. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G42 - Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist Qualification Standard. Physical Requirements: The work requires regular and recurring physical exertion, involving standing/sitting for prolonged periods of time, lifting/carrying of supplies weighing up to 50 lbs, and bending/stooping. ["Duties include but are not limited to: The incumbent 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 younger OEF/OIF Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. Within these broad categorizations, the incumbent must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient as well as home safety. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each patient's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concern of individual patients to the extent possible. The incumbent, in concert with Blind Rehabilitation Center, Polytrauma Team, all VIST and other facility resources, is responsible for identifying beneficiaries who have the potential to benefit from blind and vision rehabilitation training. To ensure communication and seamless patient care, incumbent will present in services as needed (e.g. Optometry, Ophthalmology, Diabetic Nurses). Furthermore, the incumbent 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, at a VA facility or within the community as the need arises. Incumbent also collaborates with other staff members to create necessary local policies, documents workload, writes reports, outcomes, does scheduling of patients, etc. This includes active participation in completing procedures for quality assurance programs and accreditation preparations. The incumbent is expected to provide blind and vision rehabilitation services as a team member but also as an independent clinician as he/she carries out treatment and needs to ensure local hospital standards. In support of team functions, the incumbent will perform all other duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,321 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,138 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. At VA Long Beach Healthcare System, our health care teams are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers. Our medical center provides primary care and specialty health services, including cardiology, mental health care, treatment for spinal cord injuries and disorders, suicide prevention, women’s health services, and more.