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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration BLIND REHABILITATION OUTPATIENT in Worcester, Massachusetts

Summary The Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist position, with the Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System is located in the Blind Rehabilitation Service Worcester MA. Responsibilities Duties for this position includes but are not limited to: Provides direct patient care and support services to an adult population of patients which is characterized by a very significant number of older male patients as well as young OEF/OIF Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. The employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient. Being responsible for the assessment of each patient's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual patients to the extent possible. Being responsible for identifying beneficiaries who have the potential to benefit from blind and vision rehabilitation training. Consults with Poly trauma team and all VIST, eye clinics, blind and vision rehabilitation services and community resources to locate and serve potential Veterans to offer direct blind and vision rehabilitation service in all five skill areas in the veteran's home, other residence or within the community as the need arises. Being responsible for blind and vision rehabilitation assessment, planning, training, and outcomes evaluation on each Veteran for whom service is provided. Uses objective and subjective assessment tools and methods requiring broadly based advanced knowledge in the five skill areas. Incumbent consults with local, regional, and national resources for information. Selects, interprets and adapts traditional strategies in order to meet Veteran needs. Develops an individualized rehabilitation-training plan for each Veteran with rehabilitation potential. Each plan includes Veteran and/or family goals, as well as achievable and measurable outcomes. Prioritizes rehabilitation training activities so as to maximize Veterans served, consistent with quality care and safety. Rehabilitation training will be designed to shorten waiting time, minimize use of the inpatient treatment at a Blind Rehabilitation Center or obviate the need for inpatient services. Veterans on the inpatient (Blind Rehabilitation Center) waiting list or those who have post discharge needs are prioritized for outpatient treatment. Makes maximum use of outpatient clinical facilities of the institution, together with proper and judicious use of home-based services as necessary. Promotion Potential: The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm Compressed/Flexible: Not Available Telework: VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: BLIND REHABILITATION OUTPATIENT/PD000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: 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 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 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 Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 03/31/2023. 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 and Experience (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, [or a closely] related program in rehabilitation, special education, family and consumer science education, technology, and industrial arts education; OR, (b) A master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major field of study in blind or vision rehabilitation, [or a closely] related program in rehabilitation, special education, family and consumer science education, technology, and industrial arts education; OR, (c) A bachelor's [or master's] degree from an accredited college or university (without a major field of study as outlined in (1)(a) and (b) above) and obtained 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. This education must have included supervised practice; and (d) Completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the BRS, GS-9 grade level; OR, (e) Three (3) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a doctoral degree in blind rehabilitation or a directly related field. (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. Certification. Required at all levels. (1) Applicants must possess at least one active, current, full, and unrestricted certification to be eligible for appointment. (2) An applicant who has, or ever had his/her certification suspended, restricted, limited, or issued/placed in a probationary status may be appointed only in accordance with the provisions in Chapter 3, Section B, Paragraph 16 of this part. An applicant who has or has ever had a certification revoked or terminated for cause, or voluntarily relinquished such certification after being notified in writing by the State of potential revocation or termination for cause, is ineligible for employment and must be removed from the GS-0601 series. This applies even if the applicant possesses one or more valid certifications or registration (38 U.S.C. § 7402(f)). NOTE: The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP) administers [four (4)] certification programs: Low Vision Therapy, Orientation, and Mobility, [Certified Assistive Technology Instructions Specialist] and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph (2)) below: (3) BROS who provide the following services must obtain and maintain one certification at the GS-11 grade level and two certifications at the GS-12 grade level 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 Specialist (CATIS®). 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. NOTE: Appointments of BRSs at the [ ] GS-9 grade level is made in accordance with Appendix G41 (Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Qualification Standard). The only grade levels for BROS positions are the GS-11 and GS-12 grade levels as stated below. a. BROS, GS-11 (Entry level) (1) Experience. [None beyond the basic requirements.] (2) Certification. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in subparagraph 2c above (at least one certification from ACVREP). (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all [of] 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 a wide variety of patients having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions. (c) [Skill in development and writing of a] blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes. (d) Knowledge of teaching methods and learning principles. (e) Ability to employ interventions, unusual motivational techniques, and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan. [(f) Skill in recommending appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for patients within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required. (g) Ability to plan, direct, and distribute work assignments to volunteers, assistants, interns, and/or BRSs at lower grade levels and perform assigned mentoring duties for staff, students, and interns.] [NOTE: Upon hire, GS-11 BROS are required to obtain a 2nd certification from ACVREP within 2 years of the initial appointment date to demonstrate journey mastery in two specialty areas and to become a GS-12 BROS. Failure to do so will result in removal from the BROS occupation and may result in termination of employment.] b. BROS, GS-12 (Full Performance Level) (1) Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of 1 year of experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level [is required.] (2) Certification. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in subparagraph 3c above. BROS at the GS-12 grade level must achieve two ACVREP certifications to demonstrate full mastery in two areas of blind rehabilitation. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to meeting the KSAs at the GS-11 grade level, the candidate must fully demonstrate all [of] the following KSAs: (a) Skill to independently develop, plan, and administer complex treatment programs. (b) 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. (c) Ability to coordinate, motivate, and effectively manage staff and/or committee members to include organizing work, setting priorities, and delegating tasks and responsibilities. (d) Ability to disseminate appropriate information through various media as a consultant or mentor. (e) Skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers, and other stakeholders. (f) Ability to identify team group dynamics, objectively observe, and modify behaviors. (g) 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. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G42 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. Education 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: 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: 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. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. 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. Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator. The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified: applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a VA job announcement includes language requiring applicants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 14043, that requirement does not currently apply to this Job Announcement. VA may request information regarding your vaccination status, if selected, for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine. 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.