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Are you looking for a Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (Orientation & Mobility)? We suggest you consider a direct vacancy at Veterans Health Administration in Lyons. The page displays the terms, salary level, and employer contacts Veterans Health Administration person

Job opening: Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (Orientation & Mobility)

Salary: $85 236 - 110 803 per year
City: Lyons
Published at: Mar 26 2024
Employment Type: Full-time
The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (Orientation & Mobility) position located at the New Jersey VA Healthcare System provides care and services to enhance the quality of life for individuals with vision loss through participation in a comprehensive and individualized rehabilitation program, so they may successfully re-integrate back into their community and family environments.


The primary purpose of this position is to provide vision rehabilitation services for Veterans and Service Members with visual impairment. This Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (BRS) is an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) position. They possess professional knowledge of and skill in applying concepts, principles, and practices of vision rehabilitation to include assessment, treatment and follow up. A BRS functions independently in several settings including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, educational institutions, and home environments. The work environment may be in an office, clinical setting, classroom, private home, VA grounds, nursing home, community sites, and hospitals. This position works in both an inpatient and outpatient setting within the New Jersey VA HCS as well as the Lyons, East Orange, and Brick Outpatient Clinics. This position does require occasional transport of Veterans in the community and other locations as needed and home visits. The incumbent functions as a member of an interdisciplinary team responsible for the rehabilitation process including conducting a problems-based needs assessment and identifying Veteran specific goals, assisting in the development of an individualized treatment plan and implementation of that plan, counseling, and recommendation of prosthetic and adaptive equipment to best meet the Veteran's goals. The incumbent is responsible for cross-training and teaching in integrated technology. The incumbent is responsible as a primary instructor in Orientation & Mobility and as needed in areas with additional certifications and cross training. The BRS provides direct patient care and support services to an adult population of Veterans and Service Members. Within the broad categorizations of the population serviced, the incumbent must tailor rehabilitation care and support services to meet the needs of the individual Veteran. This includes the responsibility for overseeing 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. Incumbent is responsible for intake, problem-based needs assessment, capabilities, and limitation, setting SMART goals and treatment planning for individuals with visual impairment caused by injury or disease. The O&M Blind Rehabilitation Specialist works as a part of an interdisciplinary team. The incumbent also coordinates care which includes maintaining effective communication and team cohesion within the BRS CoC to maximize Veterans' blind rehabilitation outcomes. As a team coordinator, the O&M Blind Rehabilitation Specialist is responsible for developing and coordinating the Veteran's Interdisciplinary Plan of Care (IPOC) with input from the Veteran and all team members. The O&M Blind Rehabilitation Specialist maintains close communication with all members of the interdisciplinary team including other blind rehabilitation specialists serving as subject matter expert in the primary discipline assigned, coordinating with other blind rehabilitation disciplines, VIST, BROS, Optometry, psychology, social work, recreation, primary care providers, nursing staff, other therapies and additional professional and community partners to ensure the needs and goals of the Veteran are met. The essential elements are knowledge of the administration and interpretations of assessments and evaluations, treatment, and management in vision rehabilitation that provides therapies to Veterans with visual impairment to use adaptive skills, techniques, and devices necessary to cope with the demands of everyday life. These needs constitute significant physical, emotional, and social disabilities. The BRS studies 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 foundational and evidence-based practice knowledge and skill sets to determine diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and instrumentation to identify and resolve or minimize these barriers to independence and safety. 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 Blind Rehabilitation Specialist develops a close rapport with assigned Veterans. When assigned the role of Team Coordinator, the O&M Blind Rehabilitation Specialist becomes the primary advocate for the Veteran, communicating the Veteran's feelings and concerns to other members of the rehabilitation team. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm Telework: Available based on agency needs Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 49320F Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required



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 (Transcripts Required) (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 as outlined in (1)(a) above) that included, or was supplemented by, at least one of the following: 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). One full year of directly related graduate level coursework (typically at least 15 -18 semester hours). 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. 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-(Submit)- Required at the GS-11 grade level and above. 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). Loss of Credential (1)Once certified, a BRS must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of certification will result in removal from the BRS occupation and may result in termination of employment. (2) A BRS who has, or has ever had his/her certification revoked, suspended, denied, restricted, limited, or issued/placed in a probationary status may be appointed only in accordance with the provisions in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section B, Paragraph 16 of this part. 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: Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation. 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. 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. 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. 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. Blind Rehabilitation Specialist, GS-11 Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade. OR 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. Certification. Certification is required at this grade level and above. Staff BRS candidates must meet the certification requirements as noted in the basic requirements (1) above. BRS at the GS-11 grade level must have at least one certification from ACVREP or a related, equivalent, professional certification. BRS (Orientation & Mobility) must have certification granted by ACVREP as a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) to be considered for this position. 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. Assignments. This is the full performance level for BRSs who are not VIST Coordinators. Assignments at this grade level include the following: 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. References: VA Handbook 5005/109, Part II, Appendix G41


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: https://sites.ed.gov/international/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications/.


  • Address VA New Jersey Health Care System 385 Tremont Avenue East Orange, NJ 07018 US
  • Name: Kelli Bencic
  • Phone: 716-458-6982
  • Email: [email protected]


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