Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist

Richmond, Virginia
Sep 17, 2019
Sep 24, 2019
Full Time


The position is located in the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Service at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, VA. The primary purpose of the Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (BROS) is to manage and provide direct blind and vision rehabilitation training services to visually impaired Veterans and Servicemembers. Assignment is in Polytrauma programs which are covered by the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service.

Learn more about this agency


As VAMC Richmond is a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, the incumbent is a Polytrauma BROS with training and/or certification in rehabilitation techniques pertinent to patients with brain injury and the visual consequences of neurological impairment. The Polytrauma BROS also serves other inpatients throughout the hospital as well as supporting the VISOR program in treating outpatients with vision impairments and neurological impairment.

The BROS has at least two (2) of the four (4) certifications granted by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP): 1-Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), 2-Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT), and 3-Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVT), 4-Assistive technology-Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist (CATIS). The BROS may perform ancillary assignments on an occasional basis where complexity and amount of work is not substantial (less than 25% of the time).

Work Schedule: 8:00AM to 4:30PM, subject to change based on agency needs.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Exempt
Supervisory Position: No
Bargaining Unit Position: Yes
Recruitment/relocation incentives are not authorized
Functional Statement Title: Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist (GS-0601-12)

Duties include but not limited to:
  • Disseminates appropriate information through various media for identifying potential beneficiaries (Veterans and Servicemembers) and to offer direct blind and vision rehabilitation service in the VAMC, in the home, other facilities and in the community.
  • Develops, plans, and administers complex treatment programs.
  • Consults with local, regional, and national resources for information.
  • Develops an individualized rehabilitation-training plan for each patient with rehabilitation potential.
  • Uses complex assessment tools and trains Veterans and Servicemembers on sophisticated prosthetics and sensory aids to accomplish the work.
  • 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.
  • Provides care management for both VA and non-VA outpatient blind and vision rehabilitation activities.
  • Develops recommendations and specifications for all blind and vision rehabilitation contract services specific for a patient's blind and vision rehabilitation care.
  • Monitors and supervises the quality and quantity of non-VA care for blind and vision rehabilitation services provided to eligible beneficiaries.
  • Provides effective patient counseling in the adjustment to blindness as an integral component of the work.
  • Relies upon his/her extensive knowledge of the psychosocial issues associated with visual impairment to assist the Veteran or Service member in adjustment to visual impairment and the blind and vision rehabilitation process.
  • Incumbent may help administer and provide a blind and vision rehabilitation-training program for the operation of a Polytrauma unit, helping create necessary local policies, documenting workload, writing reports, outcomes, scheduling of patients, etc
  • Provides blind and vision rehabilitation services as a team member but also as an independent clinician as he/she carries out treatments.
  • Identifies team group dynamics, objectively observe, and modify behaviors. The incumbent has skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers and other stakeholders.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process



a. Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, of this part.)

b. 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;

(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;


(c) A bachelor's [or master's] degree from an accredited college or university (without a major field of study as outlined in (1)
(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;


(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.

c. 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®)].

d. 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.

e. 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.

[f].Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.

[g].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.]

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.

(4) 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. BROS will also demonstrate advanced skill in the practice of the other content specialties in blind rehabilitation, e.g., computer training and manual skills. At the GS-12 grade level, BROS practice independently, seeking support from the Blind Rehabilitation Service National Consultant for the region when necessary.

References: Candidates must meet all the requirements identified in the VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G42, Blind Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialist Qualification Standards

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


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: . 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

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

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

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.

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.

If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

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, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

NOTE: The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and salary at which the candidate will be placed. For internal selectees eligible for promotion, the board will recommend grade and HR will determine step in accordance with policy.

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.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process
Credentialing , National security

Required Documents

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

  • SF-50 (REQUIRED, if applicable most current, not an awards SF-50)
  • Licensures / Certifications (REQUIRED)
  • Performance Appraisal (if applicable)
  • VA Form 10-2850c (REQUIRED)

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), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

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 .

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.

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