Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Blind Rehabilitation Specialist (Low Vision Therapist) in Saginaw, Michigan

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Saginaw, MI
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Thursday 6/16/2016 (175 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 12/16/2016 (8 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1729761

OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

This is an external job announcement. Current permanent Aleda E. Lutz employees, current permanent VA employees from another facility, and current permanent employees from another Federal Agency MUST apply under the INTERNAL announcement, BK-HYB-16-1729607-BU-R-SR. unless applying by using Veteran Preference. All applicants applying under this external announcement will be subject to Veterans' preference.

This announcement establishes a standing register of eligible applicants to be considered for permanent full-time appointments. The first list of eligible applicants will be pulled for referral on 11:59 PM (EST) July 7, 2016* and then again every Friday at 11:59 PM (EST) until the closing date of Friday, December 16, 2016. All applicants may receive consideration for one year from the date of application.*

Michigan is in the heart of the Great Lakes region, a diverse, medically-advanced community that is the gateway to Michigan's famous four seasons of recreational opportunities, such as hunting, skiing, and boating. With an affordable cost of living, exemplary public schools, and various museums, you can spend your winters in snow and your summers on sandy beaches, all while serving America's heroes. Michigan is in the heart of the Great Lakes region, a diverse, medically-advanced community that is the gateway to Michigan's famous four seasons of recreational opportunities, such as hunting, skiing, and boating. With an affordable cost of living, exemplary public schools, and various museums, you can spend your winters in snow and your summers on sandy beaches, all while serving America's heroes. For more information about the Saginaw area, visit the Great Lakes Bay Region website. VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities. For more information, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs.

**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.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.

Professional Standards Board: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-11 to* GS-11*. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will recommend the grade and salary at which the candidate will be placed. For internal selectees eligible for promotion, the board will determine grade and HR will determine step in accordance with policy.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.


This Job Announcement is a standing register - Applicant referrals will be made every Friday starting on 11:59 PM (EST) July 6, 2016*. Selection may be made at any time during the open period of this announcement.*

The Low Vision Therapist functions as a critical position to facilitate blind rehabilitation services to the Veterans at the Aleda E. Lutz Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). This position is organized under the Sensory Service. It is part of the Advanced Ambulatory Low Vision clinic program. This program is designed to optimize visual rehabilitation, activities of daily living and enhance the quality of life for visually impaired Veterans. This position provides comprehensive instruction and training to visually impaired patients to facilitate independence. This position also assists in family and staff education to develop and treat patients with appropriate adjustments to their plan of care. Duties of the Low Vision Therapist include but are not limited to:

  • The Low Vision Therapist (LVT) uses functional vision evaluation instruments to assess visual acuity, visual fields, contrast sensitivity function, color vision, stereopsis, visual perceptual and visual motor functioning, literacy skills in reading and writing, etc. as they relate to vision impairment and disability. The LVT also evaluates work history, educational performance, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) performance, use of technology, quality of life and aspects of psychosocial and cognitive function.

  • The Low Vision Therapist works closely with the eye care specialist (ophthalmologist and/or optometrist) to evaluate the use of optical and/or electronic devices for enhancing the use of vision for daily tasks that are goals for rehabilitation. The Low Vision Therapist assists in the evaluation and education of appropriate devices and recommends devices that are reviewed and prescribed by the eye care specialist.

  • The Low Vision Therapist works with the family and others significant to the rehabilitation/education process to assist them in understanding the functional implications of vision changes, how the person with low vision is expected to progress through habilitation/rehabilitation, environmental modifications that will be helpful for enhanced function, coaching for home/work/school/leisure exercises and adaptation to change when feasible.

  • The Low Vision Therapist provides instruction in the use of Low Vision devices to include near, intermediate, and distance devices and their practical applications according to individual needs. This includes recommendation of prosthetic devices to accomplish these tasks and/or identifying which devices are not indicated for such tasks.

Work Schedule: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Monday through Friday, may be required to work some evenings and weekends)

Functional Statement Title:Blind Rehabilitation Specialist/Low Vision Therapist

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Occasional Travel to and from the Healthcare annex.
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination.
  • 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.

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement: Friday, December 16, 2016.

Basic Requirements:

  • Citizenship. Citizen of the United States.

  • Education. The individual must have earned:

  • 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; or

  • 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:

  • 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).

  • One full year of directly related graduate level coursework (typically at least 15-18 semester hours).

  • 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.

  • 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 GS-11 and above.

  • 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 all certifications are impaired, the individual is ineligible for appointment in VA. NOTE: The ACVREP administers three certification programs: Low Vision Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. Once certification candidates are approved, they receive an official letter of acceptance, a certificate, and a logo pin. They may then use the designation for the certification they hold (as listed in subparagraph (2) below.

  • Low Vision Therapists who provide the following service must obtain certification granted by ACVREP as follows:

§ Low vision therapy - Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVT®).

  • Non-Certified Low Vision Therapist Hired Temporary. Non-certified Low Vision Therapist may be given a temporary appointment to positions at or above the GS-11 level not to exceed two years under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2). Non-certified employees appointed temporarily as Blind Rehabilitation Specialists may not be converted to an appointment at or above the GS-11 level under 38 U.S.C. 7401(3) without obtaining a recognized certification.

  • English Language Proficiency. Low Vision Therapists must be proficient in spoken and written English.

PLEASE 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. Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation from the following web site: 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.

Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met determining the grade of candidates.


Certification. Required at this level and above. Candidates must meet the certification requirements above. Blind Rehabilitation Specialists (GS-11) must have one certification from ACVREP or a related, equivalent, professional certification.

Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of 1 year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade. Examples of experience at for this position include: intake assessment, planning for rehabilitation, intervention, and follow-up.


Education. 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Doctoral Degree or Doctoral Degree in Blind Rehabilitation or a directly related field.

You will be rated on the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities based on your application for this position: Please make sure that each is addressed in detail in the body of your resume.

  1. Knowledge and understanding of highly specialized complex evaluations and diagnostic tests and procedures of blind/vision rehabilitation.

  2. Ability to properly assess a wide variety of patients having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions.

  3. Ability to write a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes.

  4. Knowledge of teaching methods and learning principles.

  5. Ability to employ interventions, unusual motivational techniques and coordinate treatment with other professionals to achieve outcomes of the rehabilitation plan.

  6. Ability to recommend appropriate blind/vision rehabilitation prosthetic devices for patients within scope of practice, making adaptations and modifications as required.

  7. 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.

References: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G41, Blind Rehabilitation Specialist Qualification Standard.

Preferred Experience:Preferred Certified Blind Rehabilitation Low Vision Therapist (CLVT) or Certified Visual Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT), preferred dual blind rehabilitation certificates

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.

Note: Must have Basic Life Support (BLS) certification prior to assuming clinical duties. The BLS requirement is satisfied by successfully completing an American Heart Association (AHA) BLS Healthcare Provider Course or Military Training Network (MTN). BLS courses are normally offered within 1-5 days of entry on duty. No online certifications will be accepted.

Physical Requirements:This position entails constant talking, engaging, and hearing patients, families and VA team members. It requires constant fingering or hand movement to include typing, manipulation of clinical supplies. It requires constant vision including far and near for standard size print, with depth perception for test manipulation and reading equipment or electronic records. It requires some exposure to activities consistent with cooking. It requires frequent reaching, standing, walking, repetitive motion, balancing, bending, and kneeling for working with age-specific patients with various mobility issues and posturing. It requires occasional lifting over 25-50 pounds for supplies or moving patients in wheelchairs or other mobility devices. It requires occasional pushing and crouching.

Security Clearance


Additional Information
What To Expect Next

If you provided an email address, you will receive an email message acknowledging receipt of your application. Your application package will be used to determine your eligibility, qualifications, and quality ranking for this position. If you are determined to be ineligible or not qualified, your application will receive no further consideration. The documents you submit must support your responses to the online questionnaire. If your application contradicts or does not support your questionnaire responses, you will receive a rating of "not qualified," "not eligible," or "incomplete application" and you will not receive further consideration for this job. To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJobs Account, select My Applications, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position. If you do not provide an email address, you are responsible for checking status updates and notifications in USAJOBS. Hard copy notifications will not be sent to you. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on "Application Status." For a more detailed update of your status, click on "more information." Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:

Receiving Service Credit for 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 employees 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.

Other Information

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

* This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.*

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

Probationary Period: You may be required to complete a one year probationary period.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Actions to fill this position will not be based on discriminatory factors such as sex, race, color, national origin, lawful political affiliation, marital status, physical handicap, age, gender identity, or expression, which are prohibited by law.

Reasonable Accommodations: Department of Veterans Affairs provides reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees with disabilities. If you need reasonable accommodations for any part of the applicant and hiring process, please notify Ms. Jeanne Barbosa, Selective Placement Coordinator at (989) 497-2500, extension 13075. Reasonable accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Telework:VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members:Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veteran seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment. Please visit the Mythbuster on Federal Hiring Policies document for more information.

Salary Range: $59,246.00 to $77,019.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0601-11/11

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 441947800

Job Announcement Number: BK-HYB-16-1729761-BU-R-SR