Blind Rehabilitation Specialist VIST (Technology Coordinator)
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Palo Alto, California
Internal Number: 678567000
The Visual Impairment Service Team (Technology Coordinator) case manages 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 Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. The primary age of patients treated and cared for at VAPAHCS historically has been at the geriatric level although there are frequently younger veterans between the ages of 18 and 65 who require care. 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 Qualifications: 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: 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. 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. (a) BRS who provide the following service must obtain certification granted by ACVREP as follows: (b) Orientation and mobility training - Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS®). (c) Communication and daily living therapy - Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT®). (d) Low vision therapy - Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVT®).(e) Assistive Technology - Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialists (CATIS®). (2) BRS VIST Coordinators may be drawn from traditional blind/vision rehabilitation backgrounds, and from counseling backgrounds such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc. VIST Coordinators must be credentialed/certified through: (a) Any certification via the ACVREP,OR, (b) Individuals appointed based on experience as a Social Worker must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, Social Workers are appointed to the GS-0601 series, but must still maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment, OR, (c) Certification via the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) - Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, (CRC),OR,(d) Individuals appointed based on experience in other health care occupations must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice in their field. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, such individuals are appointed to the GS-0601 series, but must still maintain their full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification in their occupation to remain qualified for employment. Examples of occupations may include but [are not limited to Marriage and Family Therapist or Licensed Mental Health Counselor.] Grandfathering Provision. 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. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in written and spoken English. See Chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a. GS-12 (VIST Coordinator) Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to GS-11 grade level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-11 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs: (a) Skill to effectively communicate both orally and in writing with staff at all organizational levels, with Veterans and their family members, with community groups, and individuals with varying degrees of understanding. (b) Ability to assess Veterans having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for therapeutic interventions. (c) Skill in writing a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines and contains observable, measurable goals that identify specific outcomes. (d) Knowledge of VA and non-VA blind and low vision rehabilitation treatment programs. (e) Skill in interpersonal relationships dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers, and other stakeholders. (f) Knowledge of psychological, rehabilitation, and counseling theories and principles. (g) Ability to coordinate with various resources to identify and refer Veterans to suitable training programs. (h) 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. The GS-12 grade level is the full performance level for a VIST Coordinator. Individuals in this assignment will demonstrate mastery in adjustment counseling, coordinating access to services, assuring adequate compensation and benefits, and must conduct complex negotiations with the medical and benefit systems as well as non-VA service delivery systems. VIST Coordinators convene and manage a local medical center Visual/Impairment Services Team that meets regularly to influence and make recommendations regarding the best programs for Veterans who are visually impaired. References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/109, Part II, Appendix G41 Grade Determinations: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. Physical Requirements: Physical requirements include light lifting and carrying, walking and standing up to 2 hours at a time, moderate kneeling, ability to read typewritten and handwritten characters, ability to hear, and mental and emotional stability. ["The incumbent has the major responsibility for the coordination of services to visually impaired Veterans and their families, has full professional responsibility for visually impaired and blinded Veterans' cases that are difficult and complex both in terms of severity of the visual impairment and the presence of complicating physical and emotional factors, which impinge on the treatment process. The incumbent will consult with allied professionals as needed for each referral to develop a thorough understanding of each patient's comprehensive rehabilitation needs. Incumbent selects, interprets, and adapts traditional strategies in order to meet patient needs. The incumbent will work closely with the WBRC Admissions Coordinator to determine if the applicant is medically and psychologically appropriate for an inpatient blind rehabilitation program. The incumbent may also communicate with Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Department of Defense (DOD), and Military Treatment Facility (MTF) regarding care for eligible active duty service members (ASDM) Using professional and administrative skills, he/she makes the Visual Impairment Service (VIS) team and other support staff aware of complex, medical, rehabilitation, social, psychological, vocational, economic and other factors which must be considered in developing a comprehensive and sensitive rehabilitation plan. Develops screening and procedural mechanisms, which will identify this target population within the medical center's catchment area and maintains appropriate linkages with the medical center and the community in support of program goals and objectives. As a key member of the VIST, the incumbent serves not only as a resource person in matters related to visual and/or arranges for the provision of appropriate treatment modalities for the purpose of enhancing the Veterans' functioning, resolving problems and meeting specific objectives established by the VIST. The incumbent operates as an experienced professional, with full responsibility for the technical accuracy of patient evaluations and the soundness of recommendations. After identifying the visually impaired and blinded Veteran population, provides professional assessment of health care and related needs and arranges for the full range of authorized health care services. Develops and maintains effective working relationships with other specialists such as physicians, psychologist, educators, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, dietitians and other health care professionals in order to maintain a coordinated treatment program for those with multiple handicaps in addition to blindness. Provides assistance to the medical and allied health staff with the acquisition and replacement of low vision and sensory aids to assist in the blinded Veteran's rehabilitation and/or daily living needs As a specialist in the area of services to the blind and visually impaired, the incumbent is responsible for orientation of medical center staff to the VIS program and for development of informational materials and training programs that will assist staff, Veterans, and families to make better use of the program. Orients part-time physicians and/or residents in matters relating to his/her function with the VIST through lectures program for VIS members; consults with specialists on training needs and recommends training plans related to VIST functions. Work Schedule: Mon-Fri 0730-1600\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: 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.