Supervisory Blind Rehabilitation Specialist

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration - Menlo Park, CA (30+ days ago)3.9

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

The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) is a thirty-two bed residential facility located at the Palo Alto Division of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). The WBRC provides supports and services annually to visually impaired veterans and active duty service members. The WBRC embraces an inter-disciplinary approach to the treatment of visual impairment so that program participants receive the full complement of services.

The primary purpose of this position is to provide supervision and subject matter expertise for provision of blind and vision rehabilitation services for visually impaired Veterans and Service Members. Blind Rehabilitation includes the disciplines of low vision therapy, orientation and mobility, vision rehabilitation therapy, manual skills instruction and computer access technology. The Supervisory Blind Rehabilitation Specialist possesses professional knowledge of, and skill in applying concepts, principles, and practices of blind and vision rehabilitation to include assessment, treatment and follow-up for the purpose of overseeing the work of Blind Rehabilitation Specialists who are GS-7 to GS-11 level.

The major duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Establishing guidelines and performance expectations for staff, and tailoring supervision, patient care, and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient.
Managing the daily/weekly staff teaching schedule and patient assignments for his/her direct reports.
Scheduling, planning, and coordinating the orientation and training programs for new employees and clinical trainees under his/her supervision.
Maintaining the program guidelines, lesson plans, and manuals which serve as the method of prescriptive training to be used by other instructors working with patient.
Conducting periodic evaluation of instructional plans developed by instructors for Veterans assigned to them for training, thus insuring consistency in curriculum, teaching methodology, and quality of instruction.
The development and coordination of research programs as a subject matter expert (SME) in blind rehabilitation, and developing and implementing new therapy approaches.

Basic Requirements:
U.S. citizenship

Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy

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.

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (without a major field of study as outlined in A above), that was supplemented by one of the following: (1) At least 30 semester hours of directly related, upper level undergraduate courses (i.e., 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 orientation and mobility, 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.

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 any certification is impaired, the individual is ineligible for appointment in VA. Once certified, a BRS must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of certification will result in removal from the BRS occupation and may result in termination of employment.

Preferred Criteria:
Experience managing a diverse group of employees

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.

Grade Determination:

Completion of minimum of 1 year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-11) which includes, but is not limited to:
Knowledge and understanding of highly specialized complex evaluations and diagnostic tests and procedures of blind/vision rehabilitation.
Ability to properly assess a wide variety of patients having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions.
Ability to write a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes.
Knowledge of teaching methods and learning principles.
Ability to employ interventions, unusual motivational techniques and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan.
Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for patients within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required.
Ability to plan, direct, and distribute work assignments to volunteers, assistants and, interns and/or Blind Rehabilitation Specialists at lower grade levels and perform assigned mentoring duties for staff, students, and interns.

In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-11 level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the KSAs required for the specific assignment which include, but are not limited to:
Ability 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. (5) 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-today basis, to develop short term and long range goals, and to plan for future utilization of resources.

References: VA Handbook 5005/48, Part II, Appendix G41
Must pass pre-employment examination
Must be proficient in written and spoken English
Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
Background and-or Security Investigation required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

Physical Requirements:
The work of this position requires light lifting and carrying less than 15 pounds. Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously.

Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at:

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), documentation to support Veterans Preference or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).

Cover Letter
VBA Letter

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