This position involves working with children, (birth to K entry), families and community resources to understand the child's vision loss and potential developmental concerns. Responsibilities include an initial interview and ongoing assessment to contribute towards a family and community team service plan that would include strategies and recommendations to support development and learning.
The position also involves connecting families and the child's team to identify resources and programs that relate to blindness or partial sight. Consultation will be focused on function and everyday application of sensory skills, communication, play skills, socialization, movement and literacy. In addition, this position also facilitates a child's transition into the community and daycare, pre-school and school settings.
Regional travel will be required, as will overnight travel to Vancouver for staff training.
Essential Duties entail (but not limited to):
- May conduct/or participate in initial and ongoing assessments for children aged, birth to school entry, with vision loss. Assists child, family and community team in developing habilitation goals.
- Develops individual intervention/therapeutic programs to assist children with vision loss in developing motor, visual, cognitive, self-care, social, literacy and sensory skills in accordance with vision habilitation goals.
- Evaluates child’s progress to revise service plans and implement programs that address child and family needs.
- Assesses environmental conditions, accessibility and safety in settings that the child encounters (home, preschool, playgrounds, etc.)
- Provides support and information to parents and caregivers on methods and techniques for helping to overcome barriers to inclusion. Provides support and information to parents/caregiver to enhance advocacy skills.
- Acts as a consultant/resource to the professional and service community regarding issues pertaining to children with vision loss including children with multiple disabilities.
- Provides interventions and supports to the child and family in the form of: direct intervention; resources and information; collaboration with other programs and service providers; presentations; and transition planning.
- Completes required documentation including individualized family service plan, assessments, progress reports, statistics on service delivery, etc.
- Keeps abreast of current materials, technology, standards of practice related to providing service to children with vision loss by review of professional literature, attending conferences/workshops and accessing other current sources of information*
- As part of the Child, Family, Community Team Service Plan, develops intervention/therapeutic activities and programs to assist children with vision loss…
- Interacts with child, their family and community team to develop and identify vision related goals and develop early intervention and therapy programs, and support families to follow through on recommendations.
- Works closely and collaboratively with key partner organization Blind Beginnings.
- Builds and maintains good working relationships with professionals in other agencies and community groups, particularly others on the child’s therapy team.
- Educates stakeholders about VLRC and its specialized programs offered to children and their families and the importance of early intervention
- Works as a multi-disciplinary team and participates in team meetings
- Advocates on child’s behalf in medical clinics, daycare, preschool, school transition and community programs, etc. when possible.
- Instructs and supervises volunteers and students (and Occupational Therapy Assistants where applicable) to work with children.
Problem Solving/Time Frame of Impact:
- Position utilizes problem solving abilities related to implementing and developing intervention and therapy programs for children with vision loss.
- Problem solving involved in adapting programs, materials and equipment to address the needs of children with complex health conditions.
- In case of critical incidents such as indications of child abuse or medical emergencies the Early Intervention Specialist must immediately report concerns and ensure children are receiving appropriate care. Procedure varies by province.
- You must be able to work with a child’s family recognizing their complex needs including; cultural, religious, mental health needs and/or emotional support.
- Delay in responding to referrals may result in a child not meeting their developmental potential and client/parent dissatisfaction.
- Decision making based on training and experience working with children with visual impairments, and individual assessment and reassessment, to develop an appropriate service plan.
- Judgment is utilized for making decisions about method, schedule, and type of assessment and treatment and the manner in which parents are taught to follow through on recommendations.
- This position is itinerant, requiring frequent visits to family homes and community programs, daycare, preschool, Child Development Centres.
- Provides leadership and guidance when training and supervising volunteers, parents, students and community.
- Takes initiative to develop/implement the most appropriate intervention for child and in maintaining current knowledge associated with children with vision loss.
Knowledge and Skill Requirements:
- Knowledge of childhood normal and abnormal development including extensive understanding of childhood disabilities
- Demonstrated understanding of vision loss
- Experience working with children with additional disabilities
- Training related to specialized seating and positioning, feeding, adaptive technology and sensory integration is an asset.
- Knowledge and understanding of cortical visual impairment is an asset
- Excellent communications and interpersonal skills
- Ability to build trusting relationships with children and families
- Experience supervising volunteers and support personnel an asset
- Ability to utilize computer and software programs.
- Excellent facilitation skills both in groups and individual situations
- Good organization and time management skills.
Experience and Education:
- Bachelors' in Early Childhood Education, Social Services or equivalent.
- Knowledge of early childhood development.
- 3 or more years' experience working with children with vision loss as well as children with additional disabilities is an asset.
- A valid driver’s license is an asset
- First Aid certification
- Willingness to work flexible hours
- Willingness to work in a variety of settings (in child's home, outdoors, daycare, etc.)
- Willingness to work in a variety of settings (child’s home, Child Development Centre, daycare, community settings etc.).
- Travel will be required.
VLRC strives to establish and maintain an inclusive workplace and believes that the diversity of our workforce is an invaluable asset. VLRC is committed to following recruitment and selection practices based on merit, transparency, accessibility and inclusion ensuring that all candidates are given a fair opportunity for employment with VLRC.
To help ensure that this commitment is met, VLRC is committed to working with all candidates that require an accommodation. If you require an accommodation, please let us know what accommodation you require and VLRC will work with you to meet your needs at every stage of the recruitment and selection process.
For more information or to submit your resume, please contact Andrea.Gronfeldt@vlrehab.ca
Please send cover letter and resume, and mention how you learned of this position.
Please note that the successful candidate will be required to pass a standard Criminal Record Check.
We thank all applicants for their interest in VLRC, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.