Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (Service Chief)

Richmond, Virginia
Nov 18, 2020
Nov 24, 2020
Executive, Chief
Full Time


Learn more about this agency


The mission of the Visual Impairment Services Outpatient Rehabilitation (VISOR) Program is the provision of comprehensive, individualized patient instructional programs designed to increase independence and improve the quality of life for Veterans who have visual impairment. The VISOR program offers adaptive training in the areas of living skills, communications, leisure and manual skills, computer access, technology, orientation and mobility, and low vision therapy to help patients manage life with vision loss. The incumbent is the Chief, responsible for overall planning, developing, implementing, directing, supervising, evaluating, and continuously updating vision and blindness rehabilitation services for the patients served by the Medical Center and patients referred from the Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN.)

As Chief of the VISOR program, duties include but are not limited to:
  • Managing all day to day routine operations of the VISOR.
  • Maintaining a screening process to manage, approve, disapprove applications as appropriate.
  • Ensuring that program waiting list complies with VA requirements.
  • Managing and coordinating patient admissions in cooperation with other VAMC elements.
  • Developing and implementing the vision rehabilitation experience for each Veteran.
  • Coordinating team meetings for planning and developing program goals and objectives for the program.
  • Planning for and scheduling Veterans within the program.
  • Collaborating and consulting with Medical Center personnel regarding the Veteran's care and needs for coordinated treatment, especially Veterans with multiple disabilities.
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:45AM - 4:30PM
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

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


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: (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, closely related program in rehabilitation, special education for the visually impaired, family and consumer science
    education, or technology and industrial arts education [ ]. OR, (b) A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (without a major field of study as outlined in (1 )(a) above) that included, or was supplemented by, at least one of the following: l- At least 30 semester hours of directly related, upper level undergraduate courses (e.g., at least 200-course level or higher, or as identified by the college or university). ll- One full year of directly related graduate level coursework (typically at least 15 - 18 semester hours). iii. 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 and a directly related practicum/internship in the occupation, either included in the degree or post-degree. iv. 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 the GS-11 grade level and above. (1) 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, closely related professional credential in special education or rehabilitation. NOTE: The ACVREP administers four certification programs: Low Vision Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, Assistive Technology Instruction and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph (2)) below: (2) BRS who provide the following service must obtain certification 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 Specialists (CATIS®). (3) BRS Advanced Practitioners at the GS-13 grade level must possess two certifications awarded by ACVREP. (4) BRS VIST Coordinators may be drawn from traditional blind/vision rehabilitation backgrounds, and from counseling backgrounds such as social work, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc. VIST Coordinators must be credentialed/certified through: a. Any certification via the ACVREP, OR, b. Individuals appointed based on experience as a Social Worker must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, Social Workers are appointed to the GS-0601 series, but must still maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment, OR, c. Certification via the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, (CRC), OR, d. Individuals appointed based on experience in other health care occupations must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice in their field. If appointed as a VIST Coordinator, such individuals are appointed to the GS-0601 series, but must still maintain their full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification in their occupation to remain qualified for employment. Examples of occupations may include but [are not limited to Marriage and Family Therapist or Licensed Mental Health Counselor.] Grandfathering Provision. All BRSs 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: (1) Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance Journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation. (2) 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. (3) 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 credential(s) as a condition of employment in the occupation. (4) If a BRS 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. English Language Proficiency. Candidates will not be appointed under authority of 38
    U.S.C. chapters 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA who are not proficient in written and spoken English. See Chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.
Grade Determinations:
GS-13- Service Chief: Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of one year of experience as a BRS equivalent to the GS-12 grade level. Certification. Candidates must meet the credentialing/certification requirements in paragraph 3c(1) and (2) above. VIST Coordinators must meet the certification requirements in 3c(3) above. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-12 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs:
(a) Ability to supervise, motivate, and manage effectively a diverse clinical staff applicable to a small Blind Rehabilitation Center or equivalent program. [(b) Skill in assessing qualifications and abilities of current and prospective employees. (c) Knowledge] to apply administrative and human resources policies effectively. (d) Skill to] organize work, set priorities, delegate tasks and responsibilities, and manage and direct the work of others to accomplish program goals and missions. (e) Ability to adapt to new and changing work conditions, contingencies, and staffing. (f) ability to translate management goals and objectives into well-coordinated and controlled service operations through technical direction, review, analyses and evaluation of program components including productivity, and ability to manage budgets. (g) Ability to provide consultation and promote best practice procedures in blind/vision rehabilitation nationally; and serve as a national leader in the field of blind/vision rehabilitation.

References: VA Handbook 5005/109 Part 11 Appendix G41

Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service.


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

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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. 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.

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.

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 , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

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

  • Professional Certification
  • Resume

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.

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Other (1)
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Transcript

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.