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CSE High Technology Assessment Specialist

Department: Centre for Sight Enhancement Effective Date: February 20, 2004
Grade: USG 7 Reports to: Administrator, CSE

General Accountability

The High Technology Assessment Specialist (HTAS) reports to the CSE Administrator and High Technology Assessment Co-ordinator (HTAC).  The incumbent will be responsible for providing high technology assessment and follow up of clients seen at the Sight Enhancement Equipment Pool and Assessment Centre

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 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 Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health.

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 Rehabilitation Counsellor, a Rehabilitation Worker, 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 High Technology Assessment Specialist (HTAS) provides high technology assessment services for clients seen at the Sight Enhancement Equipment Pool and Assessment Centre (SEEPAC), following their low vision evaluation either in the Low Vision Clinic, University of Waterloo or with their own community practitioner.  He/she works with the CSE Low Vision Clinic Intake Co-ordinator to establish the high technology assessment appointment schedule in consultation with the Assessment Co-ordinator.

During the assessment, the HTAS will keep detailed file notes as required by internal CSE protocol. Following assessment, the HTAS will prepare a written report for the client if requested.

The HTAS will authorize Assistive Devices Program forms for the lease or purchase of equipment through this program. He/she will arrange for set up and delivery as well as the instruction of the patient in the application of the prescribed system(s) for the improvement of educational, occupational, recreational, daily living, social and leisure activities as required.  On occasion, the High Technology Assessment Specialist may be required to travel to the patient's workstation to install equipment, conduct training session or to troubleshoot specific problems.

The HTAS will collect and tabulate statistics as required by the Assistive Devices Program.

The High Technology Assessment Specialist will be responsible for monitoring the equipment in the assessment area to reflect current trends in technology, making recommendations to the Assessment Co-ordinator when changes should be made. The equipment must be configured to best meet the needs of clients coming to the Centre for assessment and be maintained in good working order. As technology changes, the HTAS must keep abreast of changing technology for the visually impaired and be prepared to learn the use of new devices independently.

The HTAS also assists the Administrator with all high technology equipment purchasing for the Assistive Devices Program. He/she prepares purchase requisitions, monitors delivery, troubleshoots any difficulties, and works with the Shipper/Receiver to ensure that all items delivered are as ordered. In addition, the HTAS prepares receiving reports for the Office of Research, notifies that office of the start or completion of high technology leases and works with the Database Administrator to resolve any problems.  He/she manages the “Matured Lease” process as well as monitors reserved CCTV stock for follow up and resolution.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

  1. To perform high technology assessments for SEEPAC clients and to co-ordinate high technology assessment schedule with the CSE Low Vision Clinic Intake Co-ordinator in consultation with the High Technology Assessment Co-ordinator.
  2. To keep appropriate clinical records describing all client contacts and to generate a written report of the assessment visit as required.
  3. To authorize high technology devices for lease and purchase through the Assistive Devices Program; to arrange for delivery, set-up and instruction in the use of these devices as required by the client; on occasion, to travel to the client’s work-place to install equipment, conduct training session or to troubleshoot specific problems.
  4. To collect statistics as required by the Assistive Devices Program
  5. To keep the equipment in the assessment area current and in good working order and be prepared to learn new technology
  6. To assist with all aspects of equipment purchase for the program
  7. To work closely with the Office of Research around equipment movement
  8. Monitor the reserved CCTV stock and manage the “Matured Lease” program.
  9. To perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the CSE Administrator.

Working Conditions