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VISIONS is seeking highly qualified candidates for the position of VRC COMS. Come join this exciting opportunity to launch NY State First Residential Vocational Rehabilitation Center.

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist Definition:

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) work with visually impaired individuals to reestablish or develop independent travel skills. This is done through both assisting the individual to utilize sensory information to establish their position in the environment (orientation) and through the teaching of techniques for traveling safely from one point to another (mobility). O&M specialists are knowledgeable in methods of working with visually impaired individuals of all ages.

The COMS completes diagnostic assessments to determine the individual’s current ability to travel independently and to assist in the development of realistic goals that will serve as the focus of lessons. The instructor creates individualized treatment plans that are structured according to the individual’s interests, needs and abilities. This includes prescription of adaptive equipment that will be needed by the individual to reach their established goals. COMS work with individuals of all ages.

Training is provided at the VCB campus and in appropriate community settings as determined by the student’s needs. Lessons may include orientation and travel within the campus, travel within the building, sidewalk travel, street crossing skills, and travel on public transportation. Lessons will incorporate the use of adaptive equipment (such as a long cane and/or support cane) and the use of residual vision as appropriate. The COMS may also perform sun lens evaluations as well as assist the student in learning to utilize distance low vision aids when traveling.

Monitoring students’ safety and progress and evaluating travel environments are also essential components of the COMS’ job responsibilities. COMS will demonstrate skills for establishing appropriate physical distances and maintaining a level of awareness for skill development, student safety, and the promotion of independence in student’s travel environments.


Under the supervision of the VRC Director the COMS provide rehabilitation services to enhance the independence of people who are visually impaired or blind. COMS teach students to travel with proficiency, safety, and confidence in familiar and unfamiliar environments. Orientation and Mobility instruction allows students to meet their travel goals as established on their Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) and during the assessment. COMS also produce paperwork in accordance with the requirements of the NYS Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) and/or other funders; perform assessments of student needs; prepare and implement a teaching plan for NYSCB/other state commission sponsored, grant sponsored and non-sponsored students.

COMS work in the context of a multi-disciplinary team. This includes the sharing of information with other staff members involved with students and making referrals to other disciplines as required. The COMS will consult with a Rehabilitation Department Occupational Therapist to provide optimal instruction to individuals with additional disabilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following.

Provide rehabilitation instruction to include:

  1. Prepare sequential and meaningful instruction geared to the student’s assessed needs, IPE goals and objectives, functioning level, and motivation level.
    1. Be responsible for the student’s safety during O&M instruction and in other environments while fostering maximum independence during O&M lessons
    2. Prepare and use equipment and materials, such as tactile maps, models, optical devices, GPS devices, and long canes for the development of O&M skills
    3. Provide orientation of new buildings and new class schedules to students with visual impairments as needed, including those community settings where students receive instruction. As well as those for outdoor travel and recreational leisure activities
    4. Provide O&M services at other partner locations i.e. SUNY Rockland County Community College, BOCES, etc.
  2. Consult with other professional staff to plan, coordinate and assess student rehabilitation objectives.
  3. Document students’ progress through the use of standardized reports submitted within the time frame required by NYSCB and/or other funders.
  4. Provide individualized and/or group instruction to students as indicated.
  5. Provide orientation and mobility training, i.e., indoor mobility, sighted guide techniques, sidewalk travel, street crossing and use of public transportation.
  6. Design lessons that incorporate COMS goals with other objectives when indicated. (Such as trip to an internship site).
  7. Maintain a schedule of appointments that allows for every student registered in the VRC program to receive instruction at least two times per week or as necessary to help the student reach his/her goal.
  8. Close cases in a timely manner and/or prepare service evaluation reports, within the respective program session unless approved by the VCB Senior Director.
  9. Submit all schedules, time sheets, vacation requests and expense reports in a timely manner.
  10. Participate in staff in service training and community conferences (when appropriate) to maintain proficiency in the use of methods and equipment to meet students’ needs.
  11. Participate in team meetings and makes referrals to other service providers.
  12. Involvement in professional development activities from both a participant and presenter prospective.
  13. Serve VISIONS’ students that attend the Vocation Rehab Center and other VCB programs; cases outside of VCB in the Rockland, Westchester and other upstate counties may be assigned when the VRC is not providing sessions and/or depending on case load at the VRC.
  14. May need to provide Orientation and Mobility services during special programs at other VISIONS locations as assigned by VCB Senior Director
  15. Participate in special projects/grant projects as assigned
  16. Participate in parent weekend visits and meetings as assigned
  17. Other duties as assigned

Education and/or Experience

COMS must have a Bachelors or Masters degree in Blind Rehabilitation and be ACVREP certified in Orientation and Mobility.

Experience working with transition age youth is highly desirable.

COMS are required to have computer/word processing skills or acceptable alternative to completing reports and case notes.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.
This full-time exempt position is located at the VISIONS Center on Blindness campus, 111 Summit Park Road, Spring Valley NY, 10977. Scheduled evening and weekend hours may be required.

VISIONS is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit rehabilitation and social service agency incorporated in 1926. VISIONS provides service for blind and visually impaired people of all ages and their families in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.

VISIONS is an equal opportunity employer.

VISIONS Employees should report any equipment malfunction, repair needs or any broken items immediately.At no time should there be any attempt to fix any item without written authorization and inclusion in the job description.

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter, salary requirements and resume to:
Ruben P. Coellar, Chief Program Officer

Number: 212-625-1616


Phone: 212-625-1616

Cert: COMS