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Blind Rehabilitation Specialist

In Alabama United States

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Blind Rehabilitation Specialist   

JOB TITLE:

Blind Rehabilitation Specialist

JOB TYPE:

Full-time

JOB LOCATION:

Birmingham Alabama United States

JOB DESCRIPTION:

Duties

NOTE: Position is authorized for recruitment/relocation incentives for highly qualified candidates.

  • Provides direct patient care and support to a population of Veterans which is characterized by a very significant number of older males but includes both females and males of all adult ages.
    The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual Veteran.
    This includes the responsibility for assessment of each Veteran's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual Veterans to the fullest extent possible
  • Evaluate and assess needs, capabilities and limitations, goal setting and prescribing a treatment plan for individuals experiencing blindness/visual impairment caused by injury or disease.
  • Studies visual and non-visual barriers and related processes that result in activity limitations, participation restrictions, loss of vocational and avocational opportunities, and psychological distress.
  • Identify the difficulties confronting the Veteran and the barriers to treatment and then develop and provide intervention designed lo enhance the blind and vision rehabilitation process.
  • Responsible for developing a treatment plan in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team to improve the quality of life for blind and visually impaired Veterans through the development of skills and capabilities needed for personal independence, emotional stability and the successful integration into community, family and environment.
  • Based on needs assessed, make recommendation on prosthetic devices and/or additional service to facilitate a successful treatment plan.
  • Responsible for using and maintaining technology (discipline specific) necessary to assist in the veteran's rehabilitation needs and processes such as computer assisted technology, speech output and input devices, large print devices and Braille devices.
  • The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist also works with family members and/or significant others to educate and counsel about the ramifications of visual impairment.
  • The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist maintains awareness of new technological developments in the field through research and education.
  • Maintain certification through ACVREP (Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals)



Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 4:00pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.

Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Position is authorized for recruitment/relocation incentives for highly qualified candidates.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.
    S.
    Citizen to apply for this job.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel.

Qualifications

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


Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements, the following criteria must be used when determining the appropriate grade assignment of candidates.
This criteria is consistent with the two grade interval structure for professional/scientific professions found in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G17.


Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (BRS) GS 09 Entry 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 this 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 in their resume:
(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.


(5) Assignment.
Individuals at this grade level serve as [entry level] staff BRSs.
They are responsible for intake, assessment, planning for rehabilitation, intervention, and follow-up in the content specialties.
They receive guidance from experienced staff members for the most complex [Veteran cases.
]

BRS, GS-11 (NOTE: Full performance level for BRS who are not VIST Coordinators.
)
(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.


Preferred Experience: Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Low Vision

References: VA Handbook 5005/109 Part II Appendix G41

The 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: Pre-placement physical examination to determine the physical, cognitive and emotional fitness of candidates for appointment in VA is required, and shall be completed prior to appointment, for all full-time, part-time and intermittent positions.

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.


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.


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.


  • 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.
    Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    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.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC.
WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Your application, resume, 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.


The Department of Veterans Affairs performs pre-employment reference checks as an assessment method used in the hiring process to verify information provided by a candidate (e.
g.
, on resume or during interview or hiring process); gain additional knowledge regarding a candidate's abilities; and assist a hiring manager with making a final selection for a position.


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


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.

  • 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.
    Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    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.

  • Required Documents

    As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits.
    Your benefits depend on the type of position you have - whether you're a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee.
    You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you're eligible under their policies.

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

    • Resume
    • Transcript


    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.


    • Cover Letter
    • DD-214/ Statement of Service
    • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
    • Disability Letter (VA)
    • Professional 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.

  • 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 02/22/2024 to receive consideration.
    To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.
    usastaffing.
    gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12301353.

    • 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.
    • 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.

    Agency contact information

    James Brinson

    Email

    James.
    Brinson2@va.
    gov

    Address

    Birmingham VA Medical Center
    700 South 19th Street
    Birmingham, AL 35233
    US

    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.


    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.

  • Fair and Transparent

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

    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
    • Reasonable accommodation policy
    • Financial suitability
    • Selective Service
    • New employee probationary period
    • Signature and false statements
    • Privacy Act
    • Social security number request

Required Documents

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

  • Resume
  • Transcript


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.


  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Professional 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.


Help

This job is open to

  • Internal to an agency

    Current federal employees of this agency.

  • The public

    U.
    S.
    Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.
    S.

Clarification from the agency

This announcement is open to current, permanent VHA employee's and open to the public.

Position Details

POSTED:

EMPLOYMENT:

Full-time

SALARY:

95197 per year

SNAPRECRUIT ID:

S-1707247108-d512254793f45c956c9b79e67a669e49

LOCATION:

Alabama United States

CITY:

Birmingham

Job Origin:

jpick2

A job sourcing event
In Dallas Fort Worth
Aug 19, 2017 9am-6pm
All job seekers welcome!

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Duties

NOTE: Position is authorized for recruitment/relocation incentives for highly qualified candidates.

  • Provides direct patient care and support to a population of Veterans which is characterized by a very significant number of older males but includes both females and males of all adult ages. The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual Veteran. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each Veteran's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual Veterans to the fullest extent possible
  • Evaluate and assess needs, capabilities and limitations, goal setting and prescribing a treatment plan for individuals experiencing blindness/visual impairment caused by injury or disease.
  • Studies visual and non-visual barriers and related processes that result in activity limitations, participation restrictions, loss of vocational and avocational opportunities, and psychological distress.
  • Identify the difficulties confronting the Veteran and the barriers to treatment and then develop and provide intervention designed lo enhance the blind and vision rehabilitation process.
  • Responsible for developing a treatment plan in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team to improve the quality of life for blind and visually impaired Veterans through the development of skills and capabilities needed for personal independence, emotional stability and the successful integration into community, family and environment.
  • Based on needs assessed, make recommendation on prosthetic devices and/or additional service to facilitate a successful treatment plan.
  • Responsible for using and maintaining technology (discipline specific) necessary to assist in the veteran's rehabilitation needs and processes such as computer assisted technology, speech output and input devices, large print devices and Braille devices.
  • The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist also works with family members and/or significant others to educate and counsel about the ramifications of visual impairment.
  • The Blind Rehabilitation Specialist maintains awareness of new technological developments in the field through research and education.
  • Maintain certification through ACVREP (Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals)



Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 4:00pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Position is authorized for recruitment/relocation incentives for highly qualified candidates.
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel.

Qualifications

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


Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements, the following criteria must be used when determining the appropriate grade assignment of candidates. This criteria is consistent with the two grade interval structure for professional/scientific professions found in VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G17.

Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (BRS) GS 09 Entry 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 this 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 in their resume:
(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.

(5) Assignment. Individuals at this grade level serve as [entry level] staff BRSs. They are responsible for intake, assessment, planning for rehabilitation, intervention, and follow-up in the content specialties. They receive guidance from experienced staff members for the most complex [Veteran cases.]

BRS, GS-11 (NOTE: Full performance level for BRS who are not VIST Coordinators.)
(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.

Preferred Experience: Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Low Vision

References: VA Handbook 5005/109 Part II Appendix G41

The 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: Pre-placement physical examination to determine the physical, cognitive and emotional fitness of candidates for appointment in VA is required, and shall be completed prior to appointment, for all full-time, part-time and intermittent positions.

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.

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.

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.


  • 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. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    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.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, resume, 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.

The Department of Veterans Affairs performs pre-employment reference checks as an assessment method used in the hiring process to verify information provided by a candidate (e.g., on resume or during interview or hiring process); gain additional knowledge regarding a candidate's abilities; and assist a hiring manager with making a final selection for a position.

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

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.

  • 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. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

    Review our benefits

    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.

  • Required Documents

    As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have - whether you're a permanent, part-time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you're eligible under their policies.

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

    • Resume
    • Transcript


    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.

    • Cover Letter
    • DD-214/ Statement of Service
    • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
    • Disability Letter (VA)
    • Professional 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.

  • 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 02/22/2024 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12301353.

    • 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.
    • 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.

    Agency contact information

    James Brinson

    Email

    James.Brinson2@va.gov

    Address

    Birmingham VA Medical Center
    700 South 19th Street
    Birmingham, AL 35233
    US

    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.

    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.

  • Fair and Transparent

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

    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
    • Reasonable accommodation policy
    • Financial suitability
    • Selective Service
    • New employee probationary period
    • Signature and false statements
    • Privacy Act
    • Social security number request

Required Documents

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

  • Resume
  • Transcript


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.

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Professional 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.


Help

This job is open to

  • Internal to an agency

    Current federal employees of this agency.

  • The public

    U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

This announcement is open to current, permanent VHA employee's and open to the public.


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