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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Blind Rehabilitation Specialist - VIST Coordinator
Department:  Department Of Veterans Affairs
Agency:  Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Job Announcement Number:  VHA-618-SC-13-VU915716

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$60,827.00 to $94,778.00 / Per Year
Monday, July 01, 2013 to Friday, July 19, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Minneapolis, MN United StatesView Map
US Citizens and Status Candidates


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 915716 

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.

This position is located at the VHA Minneapolis Health Care System and will serve as the VIST Coordinator for the Visual Impairment Services Outpatient Rehabilitation (VISOR) Program.

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities and leadership positions at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated healthcare system in the Nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries. VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities.   For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to

NOTE:   The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12.  The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-11 to GS-12.  The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed.  The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

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.



  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required


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The successful applicant will serve as the Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Coordinator as a member of the Minneapolis MVAHCS VISOR Program. The incumbent is responsible for administering VIS Team services as well as providing case management and adjustment counseling to severely visually impaired and blind veterans in the medical center's catchment area.

Duties include but are not limited to:  

  • Responsible for the case management and coordination of services to visually impaired veterans and their families.
  • Responsible for the identification and enrollment of newly identified visually impaired veterans through outreach and education efforts within the hospital and throughout the community
  • Meets VA and Blind Rehabilitation Services standards of case management including but not limited to enrollment and vesting, and VA benefits and benefits specifically related to vision loss for which veterans are eligible
  • Provides therapeutic counseling regarding adjustment to sight loss, assesses the need for rehabilitation, develops treatment plans, and provides education on VA and community benefits and services.
  • Identifies/develops resources for the provision of training of benefit to visually impaired veterans.  Makes referrals to these sources following procedures appropriate to each referral contact
  • Coordinates the provision of appropriate adaptive devices and the requisite training in their use through the use of VISOR, community and VA Blind Rehabilitation Center services.
  • Identifies gaps in services and develops a plan in consultation with the Supervisory Blind Rehab Specialist, the VIS Team, and others as appropriate to improve service delivery.
  • Works with the supervisory blind rehabilitation specialist and blind rehabilitation staff in developing, publicizing and marketing Minneapolis VAMC’s blind rehabilitation programs.
  • Serves as a liaison and con­sultant in matters related to visual impairment and blindness.
  • Develops and maintains screening procedures to target the population within and outside the VA.
  • Maintains records and files as appropriate for program management and evaluation purposes and ensures that accurate statistical data are recorded in electronic databases as directed by VA Central Office.
  • Carries professional and administrative responsibilities for program implementation, coordination, and evaluation.


Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.

Work Schedule:   Full-time Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm


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      a.   Citizenship.   Citizen of the United States.   (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3g, this part.)

      b.   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, related program in rehabilitation, special education, family and consumer science education, technology and industrial arts education, or health care; 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:

      1.   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).

      2.   One full year of directly related graduate level coursework (typically at least 15-18 semester hours).

     3.   A certificate in the core curriculum in 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.

      (2)   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.

      c.   Certification.   Required at GS-11 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, related professional credential in special education, rehabilitation or health care.   If all certifications are impaired, the individual is ineligible for appointment in VA.  NOTE:   The ACVREP administers three certification programs:   Low Vision Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy.   Once certification candidates are approved, they receive an official letter of acceptance, a certificate, and a logo pin.   They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph (3) below

      (3)  BRSs who are VIST Coordinators may be drawn from traditional blind/vision rehabilitation backgrounds, and also from counseling backgrounds such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc.

VIST Coordinators must be credentialed/certified through:

(a) Any certification via the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education (ACVREP),


(b) Individuals appointed on the basis of being licensed 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-601 series, but must still maintain a full, valid and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment,


(c) Certification via the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, CRC),


(d) Individuals appointed on the basis of being licensed in another health care occupation must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice in their field. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, such individual will be appointed to the GS-601 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 not limited to Occupational Therapists and Psychologists.


      f.   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.

      g. Physical Requirements.   The work requires regular and recurring exertion such as standing, or walking in the hospital for meetings and bedside training; frequent bending; reaching above the shoulder; medium lifting and carrying (up to 40 pounds), pushing or pulling objects.   Most of the work is done in a hospital setting, but occasionally home-based instruction is required. 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 pushing veterans in wheelchairs on a regular basis.

      h.   English Language Proficiency.   BRSs must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3j.


GS-11 (entry level for VIST Coordinators)

     (a)   Certification.   Required at this level and above

VIST Coordinators. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 2c(3) above. BRS who are VIST Coordinators may be drawn from traditional blind/vision rehabilitation backgrounds, and also from counseling backgrounds such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc. VIST Coordinators may be credentialed/certified through:

a. Certification via the ACVREP, or

b. Licensure via the Social Worker Licensure Board, or

c. Certification via the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRC), or

d. Equivalent, related, relevant professional credential in counseling or rehabilitation.


     (b)   Education and Experience.   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:

     (c)   GS-11 Demonstrated 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.

     (d)  Assignments.   This is the full performance level for BRSs who are not VIST Coordinators or BROS.   Typical assignments at this grade level include but are not limited to the following:

VIST Coordinators. Individuals in this assignment serve in a developmental capacity as case management professionals whose knowledge must be broad ranging and include not only the medicalconditions and rehabilitation of Veterans who are blind and visually impaired, but also knowledge of their compensations and benefits, as well as VA and non-VA rehabilitation programs. In addition, VIST Coordinators work with Veterans and their families in readjustment counseling.

GS-12 (Full performance level for VIST Coordinators)

      (a) Certification. VIST Coordinators must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 2c(3) above.

      (b) Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of 1 year

of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition to meeting the

KSAs described at the GS-11 level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the KSAs required for the

specific assignment.


       (c) Demonstrated KSAs

1. Ability to independently develop, plan, and administer complex treatment programs.

2. Ability to act as a subject matter expert in the blind/vision rehabilitation field and as consultant, supervisor and/or mentor in evaluating and treating patients in specialty or program areas.

3. Ability to coordinate, motivate, and effectively manage staff and/or committee members to include organizing work, setting priorities, and delegating tasks and responsibilities.

4. Ability to disseminate appropriate information through various media as a consultant or mentor.

5. Skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers and other stakeholders.

6. Ability to identify team group dynamics, objectively observe, and modify behaviors.

7. 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.


       (d) Assignments. Candidates may be appointed to one of the following assignments:

VIST Coordinators. GS-12 is the full performance level for a VIST Coordinator. Individuals in this assignment will demonstrate mastery abilities in readjustment counseling, coordinating access to services, assuring adequate compensation and benefits, and must make 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. VIST Coordinators at the full performance level manage a support group for blinded Veterans, publish a VIST newsletter and provide community presentations to professional and lay groups to publicize the program. They plan and execute programs to locate blinded Veterans previously unknown to Blind Rehabilitation Service through outreach in their medical centers, in the community and in other service delivery systems such as vocational rehabilitation, community services for the visually impaired, community eye care, etc. They work closely with the BRS national consultants and VA central office staff to continuously upgrade and improve their practice and programs.


References: VA Handbook 5005/34 Part II Appendix G41, Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Qualification Standard

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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only 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: 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


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.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at


Receiving Service Credit for 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 employees 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.

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


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


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All applicants are encouraged to apply online.

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, July 19, 2013 to receive consideration.


1.    To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.


2.    Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.


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 USAJOBS account,, 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 USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement.  You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.


PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!  Too often, applicants overlook required components of the application process.  To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1.     Responses to Occupational Questionnaire – part of the online application (REQUIRED)

2.     CV or Resume (REQUIRED)

3.     VA Form 10- 2850c - Application For Associated Health Occupations -  Available at (REQUIRED)

4.     Proof of current certification, licensure or registration (REQUIRED)

5.     Unofficial transcript(s). You must submit a copy of your educational transcripts at the time of application if you are not currently a Minneapolis VA Health Care System employee. (REQUIRED)

6.     Veterans should submit appropriate documentation such as DD-214, VA letter, and/or SF-15.

7.      If currently employed in the Minneapolis VA Health Care Sysytem or Federal employment system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (REQUIRED).

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online.  Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE:  If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

1.    To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information.  The Vacancy ID is       915716.


2.    Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials.  The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, July 19, 2013  to receive consideration.  Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

1.    Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire      View Occupational Questionnaire.

2.    Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items 

3.  Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144.  Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


Steven Corradi
Phone: (612)467-4349
Agency Information:
VHA Minneapolis HCS
One Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements.  You will be notified when this decision is made.

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