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    Duties

    Summary

    The primary purpose of this position is to provide blind and vision rehabilitation services for visually impaired Veterans and Service members. Blind Rehabilitation includes the disciplines of low vision therapy, orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy, manual skills instruction and computer access instruction.

    Learn more about this agency

    Responsibilities

    The primary purpose of this position is to provide blind and vision rehabilitation services for visually impaired Veterans and Service members. Blind Rehabilitation includes the disciplines of low vision therapy, orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy, manual skills instruction and computer access instruction. The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist possesses professional knowledge of, and skill in applying concepts, principles, and practices of blind and vision rehabilitation to include assessment, treatment and follow-up.

    A Blind Rehabilitation Specialist functions independently in a number of 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.

    The primary function of the position is to teach orientation and mobility (O&M) to visually impaired and/or legally blind veterans. The incumbent is responsible for instructing each assigned patient in techniques and procedures necessary for safe and independent travel. This includes evaluation of the veterans' ability to travel in a wide range of environmental situations and lighting conditions. The incumbent also receives cross-training and competencies in other areas to meet the workload demands on the program and to meet the patients desired goals. Performs other related duties as assigned.

    Individuals assigned as GS-11 Blind Rehabilitation Specialist are considered to be at the full performance level.

    Work Schedule: Monday-Friday; 7:30am to 4:00pm
    Compressed/Flexible:No
    Telework: No
    Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
    Functional Statement #: F00517
    Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: No
    Permanent Change of Station (PCS): No
    PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): No
    Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    11

  • Job family (Series)

    0601 General Health Science

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
    • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
    • You may be required to serve a probationary period
    • Subject to a background/security investigation
    • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
    • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process

    Qualifications

    Basic Requirements:

    Citizenship. United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

    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:

    May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

    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.

    Grade Determinations:
    GS-9 Level
    (1) Experience. Bachelor's degree and completion of one year of experience. OR, (2) 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. (3) Certification. No certification is required at this level. (4) 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 programs.

    GS-11 Level
    (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.

    References: VA Handbook 5005/109 Part II Appendix G41. Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Qualification Standard

    The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11.

    Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service.

    Education

    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: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

    Additional information

    Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

    This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

    It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

    This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

    VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

    Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

    If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Other

    Drug test required

    No

    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Credentialing, Suitability/Fitness

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    Required Documents

    To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

    • Resume
    • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
    • Transcript


    VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-2850c-fill.pdf.


    The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

    • VA form 10-2850c
    • Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) Certification
    • Resume
    • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
    • Transcript


    Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    Benefits

    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    http://www.vacareers.va.gov/why-choose-va/benefits/index.asp

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the full questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 08/02/2021 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11172858.

    1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
    2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

    NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

    To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

    NOTE: Participation in the seasonal influenza program is a condition of employment and a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). It is a requirement that all HCP to receive annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption to the influenza vaccination has been granted. HCP in violation of this directive may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service.

    HCP are individuals who, during the influenza season, work in VHA locations or who come into contact with VA patients or other HCP as part of their duties. VHA locations include, but are not limited to, VA hospitals and associated clinics, community living centers (CLCs), community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), domiciliary units, Vet centers and VA-leased medical facilities. HCP include all VA licensed and unlicensed, clinical and administrative, remote and onsite, paid and without compensation, full- and part-time employees, intermittent employees, fee basis employees, VA contractors, researchers, volunteers and health professions trainees (HPTs) who are expected to perform any or all of their work at these facilities. HPTs may be paid or unpaid and include residents, interns, fellows and students. HCP also includes VHA personnel providing home-based care to Veterans and drivers and other personnel whose duties put them in contact with patients outside VA medical facilities.

    Agency contact information

    Kim Howell

    Address

    Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
    One Freedom Way
    Augusta, GA 30901
    US
    Learn more about this agency

    OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise - "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan" - by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

    Augusta Georgia is the home of the world renowned 'Masters' golf tournament and is Georgia's second oldest and second largest city. Please visit the official Augusta website to learn more about this ever changing and exciting city: http://www.augustaga.gov

    The Augusta Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is a two-division Medical Center that provides tertiary care in medicine, surgery, neurology, psychiatry, rehabilitation medicine, and spinal cord injury. The Medical Center is affiliated with Georgia Regents University, and integrates teaching, research, and advanced patient care. This facility offers a full spectrum of comprehensive health care services, using state-of-the-art technology and innovative programs, as well as education and research benefits.

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Veterans Health Administration, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.

    https://www.va.gov/jobs//

    Next steps

    Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

    You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/607938800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.