a. Citizen of the United States.
b. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
c. English Language Proficiency. Blind Rehabilitation Specialists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3j.
d. Education and Experience
You must possess a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with a major field of study in blind or vision rehabilitation, related program in rehabilitation, special education[, family and consumer science education, technology and industrial arts education, or healthcare;
You must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (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 in the core curriculum in orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy or low vision therapy from an accredited college or university and a directly related practicum/internship in the occupation, either included in the degree or post-degree.
e. Non-Certified BRS Hired Temporary. Non-certified BRSs may be given a temporary appointment to positions at or above the GS-11 level not to exceed two years under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2). Non-certified employees appointed temporarily as BRSs may not be converted to an appointment at or above the GS-11 level under 38 U.S.C. 7401(3) without obtaining a recognized certification.
GS-9 - No certification is required at this level. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of one year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level or completion of at least two full years of progressive graduate education or a masters degree in a field directly related to the position. In addition the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
1. Knowledge of policies and procedures of the blind/vision rehabilitation service.
2. Knowledge of administration and interpretation of assessments and evaluations in blind/vision rehabilitation.
3. Ability to develop a basic written blind/vision rehabilitation plan from assessment results and develop more complex plans with consultation from supervisor.
4. Skill in instructing patients and families in a meaningful rehabilitation program and applying blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic techniques.
5. Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision prosthetic devices for patients within the scope of practice.
6. Ability to serve as team coordinator for assigned patients during their rehabilitation programs.
GS-11 - Full performance level for Blind Rehabilitation Specialist - You must have an active, current, full and unrestricted certification granted by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals as a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT) (Please submit a copy of your certificate with your application). You must have completed one year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of 1 year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade; or 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Doctoral Degree; or Doctoral Degree in Blind Rehabilitation or a directly related field. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-9 level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the following professional KSAs:
1. Knowledge and understanding of highly specialized complex evaluations and diagnostic tests and procedures of blind/vision rehabilitation.
2. Ability to properly assess a wide variety of patients having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions.
3. Ability to write a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes.
4. Knowledge of teaching methods and learning principles.
5. Ability to employ interventions, unusual motivational techniques and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan.
6. Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for patients within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required.
7. Ability to plan, direct, and distribute work assignments to volunteers, assistants and, interns and/or BRSs at lower grade levels and perform assigned mentoring duties for staff, students, and interns.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE(S). PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G41, BLIND REHABILITATION QUALIFICATION STANDARD, dated JULY 22, 2011 and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/GS0600/0601.htm.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This positions work environment may be in an office, clinical setting, computer classroom, VA grounds, and hospitals. The work requires regular and recurring exertion such as standing or walking; frequent bending, reaching, stooping to set up and take apart equipment and apparatus; lifting and repositioning patients equipment and pushing or pulling heavy objects. The work my require special physical characteristics and abilities such as above average dexterity to perform intricate procedures. The work requires the ability to cope with a variety and complexity of situations due to the diversity of patients, duties and responsibilities. The work requires patience and controlling of emotions when providing rehabilitation.
APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: 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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. *** 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. ***
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) and/or documentation related to your active duty service which shows dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or 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 Veterans Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. For more information, please review the information for disabled Veterans in the application checklist or visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment. You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.