This position entails, but is not limited to the following general responsibilities:
- Conducts initial and ongoing assessments for children with vision loss of various age groups. Assists the child and his/her family in developing rehabilitation 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 rehabilitation goals.
- Evaluates client’s progress to revise service plans and implement programs that address client 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 additional disabling conditions.
- 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 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.
- Interacts with clients, their family and caregivers to develop and identify vision related goals and develop early intervention and therapy programs, and support families to follow through on recommendations.
- 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 CNIB, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Alberta and its specialized programs offered to children and their families and the importance of early intervention.
- Participates in multi-disciplinary team meetings.
- Advocates on client’s behalf in medical clinics, schools, etc. when possible.
- Instructs and supervises volunteers and post-secondary students to work with clients.
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.
- 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.
- Provides leadership and guidance when training and supervising volunteers, parents, students and community.
- Takes initiative to develop/implement the most appropriate intervention for client 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 in children is an asset.
- Excellent communications and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to build trusting relationships with children and families.
- Ability to utilize computer and software programs, in particular Microsoft Office Suite.
- Excellent facilitation skills both in groups and individual situations.
- Good organization and time management skills.
Experience and Education
- Degree or Diploma in Occupational Therapy, Early Childhood Education, or Early Childhood Development Specialist strongly desired. Equivalent education may be considered (Social Work, Pediatric Nursing, Teachers for the Visually Impaired).
- Knowledge of normal and abnormal early childhood development.
- 3 or more years’ experience working with children with vision loss and/or other disabilities
- A valid driver’s license is required.
- Training related to specialized seating and positioning, feeding, adaptive technology and sensory integration is an asset.
- Willingness to work flexible hours.
- Willingness to work in a variety of settings (in client home, outdoors, daycare, etc.).
- Travel is required.
For more information or to submit your resume, please contact Andrew.Galster@cnib.ca and quote the job title in the subject line.
Please send cover letter and resume, and mention how you learned of this position.
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.
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.