Independent Living Skills Specialist


POSITION:        Independent Living Skills Specialist

REPORTS TO:   Director Rehabilitation Services

STATUS:             Exempt

WC CLASS:       Teacher


Independent living skills are foundational to an individual’s self-confidence in all aspects of daily life (from the bathroom to the boardroom). This is a position of mentorship and being a teacher who can collaborate with students to develop solutions, possibilities and personal accountability by learning many aspects of daily living skills independently and confidently. The Independent Living Skills (ILS) Specialist is responsible for ensuring blind/low vision and deaf-blind students receive a myriad of skills for personal success at home, school and work. The LightHouse ILS Specialist shares the responsibility with colleagues in facilitating assessment, training and support with students of ALL ages (and their families) who are blind, low vision and deaf-blind. The ILS Specialist conducts assessment and training that reflects current/progressive blind/low vision living skills techniques and trends, focusing on daily living skills needs of the student.

The Independent Living Skills (ILS) Specialist is responsible for coordinating and facilitating individual ILS assessment and training; time-limited workshops and classroom instruction. Training may be related (but not limited) to all aspects of daily living skills, low tech, employment related skills, and organization/labeling instruction.  Training may occur in the student’s home, work environment, classroom, at a LightHouse or community site (San Francisco and surrounding counties: Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa & Sonoma).  Additionally, the ILS Specialist works with the Low Vision Clinic team in San Francisco, facilitating follow-up with patients with the introductory use of lighting, magnification, examples of contrast and referral for continued training options.

The ILS Specialist, is a member of the professional LightHouse Training Team. Together the team shares resources, recommendations and referrals, and together the team is flexible and at times needs to ‘think like there is no box’ in order to meet the needs of the student. The ILS Specialist must be able to communicate and provide information and training to family/friend members, community members, volunteers and service providers.  The ILS Specialist must be able to effectively communicate and collaborate with LightHouse colleagues, Department of Rehabilitation Counselors, Veterans Administration (VIST Coordinator) and Teachers of the Visually Impaired, ensuring that the needs of students are met and reflected by thorough assessment, collaborative goal setting and training.

The Independent Living Specialist work flow includes: assessment/evaluation of student’s functional daily living skills, academic and/or employment-related skills. Training facilitated includes, but is not limited to: individualized and group instruction in the areas of home skills management (including basic repairs), culinary skills, financial tools and management, labeling and organization strategies, use of low-tech equipment (for example pen-friends, talking watches/clocks) and the use of technology to meet independent living skill activities in home, work and/or school. Additionally, the ILS Specialist is responsible for developing curriculum and training that promotes independence, self-reliance, and individual student plans that address measurable outcomes for success.

Finally and most importantly, the ILS Specialist provides mentorship/coaching for adjustment to changing vision and creates assessment and training options that meet the needs of the student. ILS Specialist also respects and addresses the following: concomitant health conditions/disabilities, cultural background and practices, and socio-economic considerations.


Education: Master’s Degree in Vision Rehabilitation Teaching, Counseling and Guidance/Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind or related field (such as Occupational Therapy) from an accredited school preferred.  ACVREP certification eligible (within one year of employment) required.

Experience: Minimum three year experience within the rehabilitation teaching / independent living skills profession, two-year’s experience in working with persons with vision loss and/or personal experience.

Other: Proficiency in a second language preferredProficiency in Braille (UEB) preferred.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills, strong interpersonal skills with varied backgrounds and viewpoints. Ability to write professional assessments, individual goals, progress reports and final reports and articles for LightHouse outreach.  Ability to formulate individual, sequential training plan.  Ability to move about within a variety of environmental conditions and independently travel throughout the community and/or arrange travel to train students.


  • Assess individual needs of student; establish goals for instruction with the student with timelines and measureable outcomes.
  • Ability to motivate students as well as hold them accountable to themselves, their training and moving forward.
  • Comfort in ‘coaching’ (talk in respect to adjustment to disability) along with training.
  • Provide written assessment and recommendations, monthly updates and training summaries within Salesforce, the LightHouse Student Database, and, to all Department of Rehabilitation Counselors and third party contracting sources (Regional Center, Veterans Administration etc.).
  • Responsible for understanding concomitant health conditions, developmental disabilities and mental health considerations for providing appropriate training with students.
  • The ILS Specialist must be willing to travel to see students, with options for overnight stays to accommodate training.
  • Work in collaboration with LightHouse ILS and Mobility Team to shape foundational and progressive introduction to training services for new students as well as ongoing instruction practices.
  • Conduct Functional Vision Evaluations and provide instruction in low vision aids, including the use of desk top and hand held video magnification.
  • Introduction of UCB low vision patients to LightHouse training and support services.
  • Facilitate outreach and education in the community as requested.
  • Provide staff training in regards to living skills in all aspects of daily life requested.
  • Conduct student home safety assessments and community agency environmental evaluations in collaboration with Orientation and Mobility Specialists,.
  • Provide instruction in low tech aids and appliances including (but not limited to):  recording devices, listening aids (FM Systems), pen friend, use of VRS and Smart Phones as they relate to independent living skills.
  • Coordinate and facilitate short term and week-long Changing Vision Changing Life classes, workshops (on-site and in the community) and Immersion.
  • Provide education, training and support to family members with the goal of supporting, not hindering the independence of the student.
  • Evaluate worksites for blind and low vision students and provide recommendations/training for creating workable and organized worksites with the student.
  • Provide consultation and/or training to staff of community agencies and LightHouse volunteers on various aspects of assisting blind and low vision.

Other Duties: Please note that this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


  • Frequently/Continually required to stand, walk, and sit
  • Frequently/Continually required to lift/push/carry items up to 25 pounds
  • Frequently/Continually required to travel via public transit and/or other forms of transit to provide training in the community or accompany a student.


  • College students or Program Intern
  • LightHouse Volunteers assigned to the Living Skills Training Program
  • Mentorship


Equal opportunity to all regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, or sexual orientation.

All employees at LightHouse are hired for an indefinite and unspecified duration and consequently, no employee is guaranteed employment for a specified length of time. Employment is at the mutual consent of the employee and LightHouse. Accordingly, either the employee or LightHouse can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause (“employment at will”).

We strive to maintain a scent-free environment and a drug-free workplace. Employees are expected to behave in accordance with these objectives.


Please submit a cover letter and résumé as Word attachments (no .PDFs please), to, including the job title in the subject line. We will not consider videos or hyperlinks to online profiles. Due to time constraints we will only respond to complete submissions in which there is serious interest; thanks for your understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *