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SEEPAC Office Assistant

Department: Centre for Sight Enhancement(Low Vision Services Effective Date: June, 2011


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Administrator

General Accountability

The SEEPAC Office Assistant reports to the Administrator of the Centre.  The incumbent will be responsible for providing clerical support for all SEEPAC activities.  

Nature and Scope

The School of Optometry Clinic provides a clinical facility for the education of Optometry undergraduates, graduate students and residents at the University of Waterloo. It also provides a comprehensive Optometric service to the general public through a University-based clinic. Approximately 30,000 patients are seen annually. Special populations are served through outreach projects around the region, across the country and throughout the world.

The Centre for Sight Enhancement (CSE) is a semi-autonomous clinical research and teaching facility within the School of Optometry. It is involved exclusively with activities related to the assessment and rehabilitation of visual disorders, visual impairments, visual disabilities and visual handicaps. The CSE has been designated by the Ontario Ministry of Health for the assessment and provision of high technology sight enhancement and sight substitution systems to visually impaired Ontario residents under the Assistive Devices Program (ADP). This Ministry program provides partial funding for these and other prescribed low vision aids.  The Centre provides these services through a contract with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to provide assessment and equipment management for the Sight Enhancement Equipment Pool and Assessment Centre (SEEPAC).

The Centre for Sight Enhancement is an integral part of the overall teaching, research and clinical activities of the School of Optometry. Clinical low vision services within the CSE are provided by faculty optometrists with specialty training and experience in the low vision field. These "low vision clinicians" are assigned to the CSE low vision service by the School of Optometry Clinic Director who appoints a Head - Low Vision Services" co-ordinate the clinical activities within the area. CSE support staff are available to assist with reception, intake, assessment, counselling, training, clerical support and follow-up activities in the area. These support services are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

The provision of clinical low vision services at the Centre for Sight Enhancement has evolved into a highly sophisticated and complex process. Since its creation in 1984, the Centre has experienced a tremendous change in the profile of patients being seen and in the services that they require. A greater number of young and profoundly impaired individuals are now being seen with more complicated educational and vocational requirements. In response to these changing service demands, the CSE low vision service has adopted an effective multidisciplinary team approach for low vision rehabilitation. Optometric low vision services are supported internally by a counsellor, a low vision therapist, high technology assessment specialists and clerical support and externally by a large assortment of community services. The CSE also interacts regularly with many advocacy and consumer support groups attempting to assist blind and visually impaired individuals.

The SEEPAC Office Assistant provides support to SEEPAC assessment staff in completing ADP funding application forms and leases associated with the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) and submitting applications to ADP.  The SEEPAC Office Assistant reviews all ADP funding applications for CCTVs from the 8 other Regional Assessment Centres (RACs) and follows-up with Centres to correct inaccuracies.  The incumbent will sign the funding application forms as the vendor on behalf of SEEPAC.  The Assistant tracks and manages paperwork for all leases from the RACs, verifying payments and necessary documents are received and appropriately recorded on the SEEPAC database.  The Assistant processes payments from other Centres as necessary and is responsible for follow up with authorizers and clients when payments or documents are missing. The incumbent is responsible for paperwork associated with processing equipment returns, such as ADP notification, database entries and requests for refunds.  

The government contract requires that an audit be conducted yearly.  The SEEPAC Office Assistant is instrumental in insuring payments have been collected, recorded and paperwork and original contracts are filed accurately and are readily available for the auditor.

The SEEPAC Office Assistant reports to the CSE Administrator together with all other CSE and SEEPAC staff position

Statistical Data

The overall SEEPAC contract through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is in excess of 2.5 million dollars annually. As part of this contract, the SEEPAC Office Assistant processes about 1,000 new leases per year and is responsible for paperwork associated with 4500 existing leases worth approximately $1,190,000 with $500,00 – $750,000 in lease payments collected annually.  Annually, 850 leases are cancelled due to either early equipment returns or expiration of leases.   Equipment returns result in the preparation of approximately 220 refunds annually. From in-house, ADP paperwork for 220 – 280 authorizations valued around $640,000 are prepared and processed.


Specific Accountabilities

  1. Assist in the planning and implementation of changes to ADP and other third-party policy and procedure.

Working Conditions