The Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS) functions independently in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, educational institutions and home environments. The work environment may be in an office, clinical setting, classroom, private home, VA grounds, nursing home, community sites, and hospitals. Basic Requirements: Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. Education and Experience (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®). Physical Requirements. VA Directive and Handbook 5019. English Language Proficiency. Candidates who are not proficient in written and spoken English will not be appointed in VHA under the authority of 38 U.S.C. chapters 73 or 74. Grade Determinations: BROS, GS-11 (Entry level) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Certification. Candidates must meet the certification requirements in subparagraph 2c above (at least one certification from ACVREP). Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. (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. Assignment. Individuals in this assignment serve in a developmental capacity as the BROS at a medical center, or an outpatient clinic, and in patients' homes and communities. BROS are responsible for decision-making and independent care under the direction of their supervisors and the Blind Rehabilitation National Consultant for their region. Individuals in this assignment serve as a member of a specialty care team. At the GS-11 level, BROSs will receive training and oversight from the Blind Rehabilitation National Consultant for their regions. 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. BROS, GS-12 (Full Performance Level) 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. 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. (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. Assignment. Individuals in this assignment may serve as the only BROS at a medical center ,or an outpatient clinic, or in patients' homes and communities, and are responsible for independent decision-making and independent care. Individuals in this assignment may serve as a member of, or as a consultant to a specialty care team, such as the Polytrauma System of Care. BROS will demonstrate mastery abilities in two of the blind/vision rehabilitation specialty areas: orientation and mobility, low vision therapy, vision rehabilitation therapy, and assistive technology for blind and visually impaired individuals. ["Duties Include: 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 Veterans who may have wound and trauma related vision loss. In concert with Blind Rehabilitation Center, all VIST and other facility resources, is responsible for identifying beneficiaries who have the potential to benefit from blind and vision rehabilitation training. Responsible for blind and vision rehabilitation assessment, planning, training, and outcomes evaluation on each Veteran for whom service is provided. Prioritizes rehabilitation training activities so as to maximize Veterans served, consistent with quality care and safety. 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. Functions as an independent provider of blind and vision rehabilitation services. Provides care management for both VA and non-VA outpatient blind and vision rehabilitation activities. Provides effective patient counseling in the adjustment to blindness as an integral component of the work. Maintains competency with and integrates telehealth technologies into the treatment plans for Veteran patients as appropriate. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 7:30am to 4pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
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.