Vision Specialist/Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment
Under general supervision from the Director of Therapeutic Services and Therapy Coordinator, the incumbent is responsible to evaluate, plan and administer vision services for the purpose of aiding students’ functional vision and access to their educational activities and school environment. The vision specialist is expected to work independently, write objective and attainable IEP goals and to administer varied vision interventions for the purpose of meeting the agreed upon goals and objectives. It is important to note that while providing vision services the therapist is responsible for the supervision of a student(s) that may require the ability to keep up with a running student and or to lift or assist with lifting the student. This is essential to perform this task. An important aspect of the job is gaining knowledge of and implementing the assigned student’s Individual Education Plan goals and objectives as well as ensuring accurate data collection and documentation of same.
In accordance with the federal wage-hour laws, this is a salaried position and is not subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
Other Performance Measures
Successful performance on the job requires following safety guidelines and policies to reduce accident or injury to self or students, school dress standards, proper attendance and leave policies and compliance with other policies set forth in the Employee Handbook. Creativity, initiative and effective problem solving is also important to the success of the incumbent. Attend and participate in weekly team, staff and development meetings; read and accept responsibility for weekly staff notes and all policies and procedures. Complete all paperwork accurately and timely. Perform bus duty detail as assigned. Support the overall school mission through volunteer opportunities and contribute to the smooth operation of the school day.
Examples of Essential Functions
- Develop, coordinate and implement individual vision intervention plans that support the IEP goals and objectives using an integrated service model.
- Conduct comprehensive assessments and evaluations using a variety of assessment tools and resources; develop written evaluations.
- May assist in the planning and developing of training programs and in-services, as well as with presentation.
- Recommend, design and assist in the procurement of adaptive equipment, assistive technology and augmentative/alternative communication systems necessary for students to meet IEP goals.
- May assist in planning, developing, and presenting in-service training programs; instruct in techniques and procedures in vision therapy; and prepare reports as required by the various jurisdictions.
- Advise and ensure the development and follow-through of appropriate classroom adaptations in order to provide maximum learning and accessibility to the program.
- Educate students and their guardian/family on home based and daily living accommodations and activities, as appropriate to emphasize functional vision.
- Attend interdisciplinary treatment planning meetings, maintains age specific competency, recommend and dispense adaptive equipment.
- Timely completion of all paperwork including therapy logs, service tracker forms, ETF documentation, Medicaid documentation, billing and progress reports.
- Foster an open teaching relationship with classroom staff and provide in-service technical assistance to parents and school faculty and staff as needed.
- Contribute to functional behavioral assessment and intervention plans.
- Other duties as assigned, including participation in the morning and afternoon bus detail.
- Knowledge and understanding of students with intellectual disabilities, autism and multiple disabilities.
- Knowledge of the current Federal guidelines for Special Education.
- Ability to evaluate problems and progress of students and assessment outcomes.
- Ability to independently problem solve and navigate the steps needed to accomplish the tasks of the position.
- Requires strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate verbally and in writing.
- Ability to maintain required documentation of student records and complete appropriate Medicaid documentation.
- Licensed as an Occupational Therapist through the Board of Occupational Therapy with the District of Columbia.
- Certified as an Occupational Therapist through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.
- Successful completion of the required training courses within a specified period of time.
- Tuberculosis screening to assure no significant risk to the health and safety of others.
- Successfully passing a criminal background investigation and pre-employment and random drug screenings.
Examples of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Knowledge of techniques, activities, and equipment used to aid students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities.
- Knowledge of the vision system and the objectives of functional vision assessment and treatment.
- Knowledge of human development and current treatment protocols for common diagnoses.
- Ability to plan, organize and conduct a vision intervention program and to apply occupational therapy techniques in observing, testing, and evaluating students
- Ability to utilize various forms of data collection, including video and charts.
- Ability to establish and maintain professional, caring and cooperative relationships with students and their guardians/families.
- Ability to maintain required documentation of student records and complete appropriate Medicaid documentation
Tasks involve the ability to exert moderate physical effort in light work, typically involving some combination of bending, stooping, squatting, reaching, kneeling, crouching and crawling, and which may involve lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (45 lbs.). Lifting and positioning of physically disabled individuals. Most tasks require oral communication, visual and hearing perception, and the ability to get around the classrooms, cafeteria, gym, facility, etc. The ability to lift or assist with lifting students is essential.
Most tasks require visual perception and discrimination. Some tasks require oral communications ability. Some tasks require the ability to perceive and discriminate sounds.
Minimum Acceptable Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and teaching certificate in special education, elementary education, or secondary education. Prior experience working with children with intellectual disabilities, autism and/or multiple disabilities is a plus.