The Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Coordinator plans, develops, implements, directs, and evaluates the Visual Impairment Service Team program and coordinates all services for visually impaired Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families through the Visual Impairment Services Team. Case management may include cases that are difficult and complex, both in terms of the severity of the visual impairment and the presence of complicating physical and emotional factors impinging on treatment. BASIC REQUIREMENTS. 1. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. 2. Education. 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 above that included, or was supplemented by, at least one of the following: i. 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). ii. 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. 3. 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 Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (2) 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. May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). 4. 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. Grade Determinations: GS-11 (VIST Coordinator Developmental Level). 1. Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level. OR 2. Education. Three years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Doctoral Degree; or Doctoral Degree in Blind Rehabilitation or a directly related field. 3. Certification. VIST Coordinator candidates must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 3 above. 4. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-9 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs: (a) Ability to communicate both orally and in writing with staff at all organizational levels; with Veterans and their family members; with community groups; and individuals with varying degrees of understanding about visual impairment. (b) Ability to assess Veterans having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for blind/vision rehabilitation therapeutic interventions. (c) Ability to write a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines with observable, measurable goals and that identifies specific outcomes. (d) Knowledge of VA blind and low vision rehabilitation treatment programs. (e) Skill in interpersonal relationships in dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers and other stakeholders. (f) Knowledge of psychological, rehabilitation, and counseling theories and principles. (g) Ability to coordinate with various resources to identify suitable training programs. BRS GS-12 (VIST Coordinator-Full Performance Level) 1. Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to GS-11 grade level. 2. Certification. VIST Coordinators must meet the certification requirements in paragraph 3 above. 3. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs described at the GS-11 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs: (a) Skill to effectively communicate both orally and in writing with staff at all organizational levels, with Veterans and their family members, with community groups, and individuals with varying degrees of understanding. (b) Ability to assess Veterans having diverse and multiple disabilities to make recommendations for therapeutic interventions. (c) Skill in writing a blind/vision rehabilitation plan that includes evaluation information from multiple disciplines and contains observable, measurable goals that identify specific outcomes. (d) Knowledge of VA and non-VA blind and low vision rehabilitation treatment programs. (e) Skill in interpersonal relationships dealing with patients, employees, other team leaders, managers, and other stakeholders. (f) Knowledge of psychological, rehabilitation, and counseling theories and principles. (g) Ability to coordinate with various resources to identify and refer Veterans to suitable training programs. (h) 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. References: VA Handbook 5005/109, Part II, Appendix G41 dated March 13, 2019 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. Physical Requirements: The work requires some standing, but for the most part the employee is sitting with intermittent walking, bending, and lifting throughout the tour. Light lifting, carrying up to 15 pounds, the ability to reach above the shoulder, and intermittent use of a computer is required for daily work. Must be able to verbally communicate, read, write, and use computer keyboards without impairment. Both hands, legs, and eyes are required. Hearing is required but an aid is permitted. ["The VIST Coordinator manages 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. Within these broad categorizations, the VIST Coordinator must tailor patient care and support services to meet the needs of the individual patient. This includes the responsibility for assessment of each patient's needs and assuring the delivery of services that are responsive to the concerns of individual patients to the extent possible. VIST Coordinators assess, treat, plan, and follow up treatment for visually impaired Veterans. This includes: Perform assessments to establish Veterans' needs as they relate to the continuum of vision and rehabilitation treatment services. Refer Veterans to the appropriate service component in the continuum of care for visually impaired Veterans. Develop focused treatment plans containing goals to meet the Veterans' needs. Provide follow-up for rehabilitation services that the Veteran has received. Develop, implement, and oversee special programs for visually impaired Veterans such as the local provision of computer equipment and training. Maintain effective communication with all the BRS field elements to maximize Veterans' blind and vision rehabilitation outcomes. Provide eligible Veterans on the VIST roster with an initial benefits review, and subsequent annual benefits reviews thereafter. Be knowledgeable with respect to all VA and non-VA benefits that may serve to enhance the lives of qualified Veterans. Assist Veterans in initiating action to apply for benefits and refer Veterans to Veterans Service Organizations that assist Veterans acquire benefits. Assist the Veteran and their family members with the issues surrounding the emotional adjustment aspects of blindness. The VIS Team and VIST Coordinator may draw on their own professional expertise to personally assist the Veteran and the Veteran's family members in this process, or the VIST Coordinator may make a referral to an appropriate clinician to assist. Recommend issuance of prosthetic equipment for blind and visually impaired Veterans in accordance with VHA policies. If the issuance of a prosthetic item is deemed appropriate and subsequently approved, then the VIST Coordinator may request authorization of funds with the intent of utilizing professionally qualified personnel to train the Veteran to appropriately use, care for and maintain the prosthetic device. Provide in-service educational classes for VA and non-VA agencies and personnel. Seek to improve others' awareness with regard to blindness issues. Utilize developed methodologies to identify Veterans who are eligible for VIST program services, to include identifying blind Veterans from VA medical center diagnosis codes entered in their electronic medical record. Educate VA medical center staff on the functional implications of vision loss and on blind rehabilitation matters. VIST Coordinators are case managers for all eligible Veterans who have visual impairments requiring blind rehabilitation services. Other duties include: Coordination and overview of all the Veteran's blind rehabilitation needs. Determine the intensity of services based upon clinical judgment and the Veteran's goals. Flag VIST-eligible Veterans' patient records so that medical center staff who access patients' records electronically are alerted to the Veteran's visual status. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, negotiable times between 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. 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.