Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (Orientation and Mobility Instructor)
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Palo Alto, California, California
Internal Number: 728619400
An orientation & mobility specialist (OMS) is a person who is formally educated to evaluate and instruct visually impaired individuals in using their residual senses combined with adaptive devices to remain spatially oriented and in travel safely and efficiently in a variety of community environments. OMS determine the appropriate mobility options for each visually impaired patient, including human guide, long cane, dog guide, functional vision, and technology for improved orientation. 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: 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 (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, 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: 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®). Grade Determinations: Blind Rehabilitation Specialist, GS-9 Entry Level Experience. Bachelor's degree and completion of one year of experience.OR, 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. Certification. No certification is required at this level. 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 program. 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 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. 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. References: VA Handbook 5005-19, Part II, Appendix G41The 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-09 to GS-11. Physical Requirements: The work requires occasional bending; reaching above the shoulder; moderate lifting (15-44 pounds); medium carrying (up to 40 pounds); both hands required; walking for 4 hours; standing for 5 hours; pushing or pulling objects; near vision correctable; and hearing (aid may be permitted). You may be required to offsite; work closely with others; and work alone. The work requires the ability to cope with a variety and complexity of situations due to the diversity of patients, duties and responsibilities ["The OMS: 1. Assesses the patient to determine extent of all residual sensorium, the potential to benefit from training and which prosthetic devices will are indicated to meet individual patient needs. 2. Interprets the results of assessments and designs an individually tailored O&M program to meet the patient's needs. 3. Is the provider for issuance of O&M related prosthetic equipment. 4. Plans and instructs the patient on the use of safety techniques, proper use and maintenance of all O&M prosthetic devices. 5. Functions as an allied rehabilitation treatment team member. 6. Plans and instructs the patient's family member or caregiver. 7. Provides knowledge of patient to team members regarding O&M outcomes and describes utilization of devices to promote integration of devices into the other disciplines. 8. Serves as Patient Treatment Coordinator of assigned veterans' overall blind rehabilitation experiences and intervenes as needed. 9. Provides O&M outcome data for administrative analysis to ensure effective Orientation & Mobility Programs. 10. Perform O&M research tasks for product and methods evaluation. 11. Follow all Blind Rehabilitation Service and VAPAHCS established accountability procedures. 12. Perform all the above irrespective of the setting and/or program to which worker is assigned. 13. Record, report and otherwise document as necessary in accordance with established recording standards and procedures, all services performed on behalf of patients and their families. 14. Responsibility as designated by the Chief, Blind Rehabilitation Services is also assumed for other areas within Blind Rehabilitation Service and the VAPAHCS. These include, but are not limited to membership in WBRC Committees, process action teams, service programs, research projects, clinical initiative and duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Mon-Fri 0730-1600 Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.