The Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS) manages and provides direct blind and vision rehabilitation training services to visually impaired Veterans and Service Members. The BROS functions independently in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, educational institutions and home environments. 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. English Language Proficiency. [Candidates who are not proficient in written and spoken English will not be appointed to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA under the authority of 38 U.S.C. chapters 73 or 74. See Chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.] Education and Experience. 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, 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, 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 Completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the BRS, GS-9 grade level. OR, Three (3) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a doctoral degree in blind rehabilitation or a directly related field. 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. Applicants must possess at least one active, current, full, and unrestricted certification to be eligible for appointment. 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: 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: Orientation and mobility training - Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS). Communication and daily living therapy - Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT) Low vision therapy - Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVT) Assistive technology - Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist (CATIS). Loss of Credential. Once certified, a BROS must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent certification[(s)] to remain qualified for employment. Loss of certification[(s)] will result in removal from the BROS occupation and may result in termination of employment. Grandfathering Provision. All BROS employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and certification(s) that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation. Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or certification(s) that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required equivalent credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. If a BROS who was retained under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation. 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: BROS, GS-12 (Full Performance Level). 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. 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. 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: Skill to independently develop, plan, and administer complex treatment programs. 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. Ability to coordinate, motivate, and effectively manage staff and/or committee members to include organizing work, setting priorities, and delegating tasks and responsibilities. Ability to disseminate appropriate information through various media as a consultant or mentor. Skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers, and other stakeholders. Ability to identify team group dynamics, objectively observe, and modify behaviors. 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: Meets the qualification standard for the GS-12 Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist as defined in VA Handbook 5005/110, Part II, Appendix G 42, Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist Qualification Standard GS-601 Veterans Health Administration. Physical Requirements. Medium lifting (up to 40 pounds); medium carrying (up to 40 pounds); reaching above shoulder; walking; standing; light crawling and kneeling, hearing (aid permitted); emotional stability; ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. ["The Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist 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 /OND Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. Within these broad categorizations, the employee must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each patient's needs and the delivery of services which are responsive to the concerns of individual patients to the extent possible. The five skill areas addressed by BROS are orientation and mobility, low vision therapy, vision rehabilitation therapy, computer assisted training and manual skills training. Duties include, but are not limited to the following tasks:\nThe incumbent helps to identify beneficiaries who have the potential to benefit from blind and vision rehabilitation training. The incumbent consults with the VIST, Low Vision Optometry, 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, at a VA facility or within the community as the need arises. The incumbent is responsible for blind and vision rehabilitation assessment, planning, training, and outcomes evaluation on each Veteran for whom services is provided. Incumbent uses objective and subjective assessment tools and methods requiring broadly based advanced knowledge in the five skill areas. An incumbent consults with local, regional, and national resources for information. Incumbent selects, interprets and adapts traditional strategies in order to meet Veteran needs. The incumbent 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. In some cases, the plan will be communicated to the Blind Rehabilitation Center (BRC) in order to expedite inpatient rehabilitation training if that is a part of the Veteran's plan of blind rehabilitation care. The incumbent 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 BRC or obviate the need for inpatient services. Veterans on the inpatient BRC waiting list or those who have post discharge needs are prioritized for outpatient treatment. The incumbent makes maximum use of outpatient clinical facilities of the institution, together with proper and judicious use of home-based services as necessary. In order to maximize Veteran's rehabilitation potential, the incumbent makes use of a wide variety complex training aids and devices. Incumbent also uses complex assessment tools and trains Veterans on sophisticated prosthetics and sensory aids to accomplish the work, i.e., sophisticated computer interfaces for use with e-mail and Global Positioning Systems. The incumbent works closely with local VIST, Low Vision Optometry and Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service and the regional BRC to identify, recommend and obtain equipment for Veterans during their rehabilitation and provides full training. The incumbent functions as an independent provider of blind and vision rehabilitation services. When serving as a manager for direct care, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring documents of assessment, rehabilitation training progress, consults, referrals and recommendations are properly entered in the Veteran's chart. The incumbent provides care management for both VA and non-VA outpatient blind and vision rehabilitation activities. The incumbent develops recommendations and specifications for all blind and vision rehabilitation contract services specific for a Veteran's blind and vision rehabilitation care. The incumbent monitors and supervises the quality and quantity of non-VA contracted or fee for service blind and vision rehabilitation services provided to eligible beneficiaries. Work Schedule: Full-Time, Monday - Friday, Typically 8am - 4:30pm\nCompressed/Flexible: Not Available\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #:Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist/PD000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.