Job Descriptions for VI Professionals and Paraprofessionals
Why include job descriptions?
Job descriptions provide a framework for recruiting, hiring, evaluating, and describing VI positions. The job description acts as an informal contract between the district and the individual, identifying the expectations of each party. A well-thought-out job description can promote quality of the VI services.
The job description can also provide valuable assistance in the hiring process, helping with the interview and identifying needs for professional development for new employees.
The job description is an important tool in structuring a relevant performance evaluation. It is possible that the Professional Development Assessment System (PDAS) may not provide an accurate disability-specific review of a VI professional's skills and abilities. The job description can be used as a tool to supplement the evaluation process.
The district will modify sample job descriptions to fit the existing district format.
The district will have the selected job descriptions reviewed to ensure that they meet all current legal requirements.
The district will periodically review job descriptions for applicability and modify the descriptions as needed.
By adopting a job description, the district will fulfill its responsibilities in supporting the VI professionals' role in providing quality VI services.
All VI professionals, including paraprofessional and interveners will benefit from a professional development plan.
Except for unique student-specific circumstances, students with visual impairments who use braille will be taught using Grade 2 braille, and those who produce the braille will be afforded opportunities to
How to use the job descriptions
Except for the VI teacher position, multiple samples of each job category are included. Once a director has evaluated the needs of the programs and associated the tasks which need to be done, it is time to review the sample job descriptions.
For those descriptions for which there are multiple options, each sample job description is identified at the bottom of the page with a letter, such as "Braillist A." It should not be assumed that any value or priority was intended in ordering the sample job descriptions.
The following jobs have been included:
Braillist: a person whose primary responsibility is to produce braille and other modified materials. This person may or may not work directly with students. The braillist works under the direction of a certified VI professional.
Paraprofessional with brailling responsibilities: a person who is responsible for braille production, materials modification, clerical tasks, and working directly with students. This person works under the direction of a certified VI professional.
Paraprofessional: a person who is responsible for materials modification, excluding braille materials, clerical tasks, and working directly with students. This person works under the direction of a certified VI professional. Deafblind Intervenors are included in this category.
VI teacher: a person who is certified to provide diagnostic and instructional services for students with visual impairments and act as a liaison with community services. This is an instructional position, as opposed to a related service or vision therapy.
Orientation and mobility (O&M) specialist: a related service specialist who is certified to provide diagnostic and instructional services; assisting students who are blind or visually impaired to travel safely, efficiently, and with grace in a variety of environments including the home, school, and community. Services by O&M specialists also include services for infants and children with visual and multiple impairments on the development of basic concepts and spatial awareness.
How were these sample job descriptions developed?
In 1998 copies of job descriptions were requested from all special education directors. A large number were collected. These were reviewed by a team of experts in the field. Based on this review and existing professional standards, sample job descriptions were developed.
How are the job descriptions coordinated with the Professional Development and Apprisal System (PDAS)?
The PDAS is typically used to evaluate VI professionals, even though it was developed for classroom settings with groups of students. Since there are many duties specific to itinerant positions, the job descriptions included in this toolbox can assist the district in developing a more thorough process for professional evaluations. The job responsibilities and duties listed in the descriptions provide a framework for expectations from the onset of the professional relationship and should be shared with administrators working with VI professionals.