CDBS serves individuals from birth through age 21 who have combined hearing and vision problems, with or without additional disabilities.


Twitter Bird Logo    We are on Twitter! Follow us - @CADea fblind - or just visit our page at:  for additional updates and information.

On Instagram, follow Californiadeafblindservices — or visit us at:
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New area for online resources and ideas!

Check out our Wakelet page - this will be a quick way to find online resources about deafblindness, education, physical education, & more.

(copy the link above into your browser)

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Families and childcare providers: During these extraordinary times of school closures, CDBS staff is here to help. If you're struggling to find ways to engage your child in activities throughout the day, contact anyone at CDBS for tips, ideas, and strategies to support active engagement. Or if you just need someone to talk to. CDBS staff is committed to continuing all of our technical assistance activities, either by phone or Zoom.


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TA Updates — September 2021

  • New Technical Assistance (TA) Model

  • New entirely online form! (no longer need to print or scan)




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Intervener Training Program
San Francisco State University (SFSU) and California Deafblind Services (CDBS) collaborate to provide a university-based intervener training program to prepare paraeducators to effectively serve learners who are deafblind. Interveners are paraeducators with specialized knowledge and skills in deafblindness. Trained interveners allow school districts and agencies to effectively meet the unique individualized support needs of students who benefit from intervention services.

ENROLLMENT (on the SFSU College of Extended Learning Website)

SFSU/CDBS Intervener Training Program

Response to the intervener training pilot program was overwhelming and after another successful year hosted here at San Francisco State University (SFSU), the next program is happening Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 with SFSU.


ENROLLMENT (Online at SFSU CEL Website)

(Updated 05/23/2022) The next Intervener Training Program courses will begin in FALL 2022. Sign-up on the course site for email updates for enrollment this summer:

Please note that the program includes two courses, and they must be taken in order. The first course is in Fall semester and the second course in the Spring semester.

Registration for the Fall 2022/Spring 2023 cohort will open in July 19, 2022. Interested candidates can visit the CEL site ( to add your name for notifications under the "Send me updates" tab.

For more information, visit the Intervener Training Program section of our website:
And the information / registration area for the course on the San Francisco State University College of Extended Learning (SFSU CEL) site:

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NEW 2022 Family Training Webinar Series
(APRIL thru SEPTEMBER, 2022 — Register Online)



Apr 27


5PM to 6:30 PM

Family Social: Facilitated by Myrna Medina
(Family Engagement Specialist for California Deafblind Services)
  Thank you for joining us!

May 25


5PM to 6:30 PM

Availability for Learning: Understanding a Child’s Biobehavioral States. Presenter: David Brown, former CDBS Educational Specialist Thank you for joining us!

June 22


5PM to 6:30 PM

Learning from Siblings: A Panel Discussion.
Facilitated by Janice Goldhaber, MFT
(Marriage and Family Therapist, Consultant to Partners For Pediatric Vision)
Thank you for joining us!

July 27


5PM to 6:30 PM

Transition Planning Using a Person-Centered Process.
Presenter: Maurice Belote, former CDBS Project Coordinator
to register online

Aug 24


 5PM to 6:30 PM

Virtual Stories: Sharing the Story of Your Child and Family with Educators. Presenter Donna Carpenter, Kentucky Deaf-Blind Project CLICK HERE
to register online

Sept 28


5PM to 6:30 PM

Active Learning: Principles and How to Encourage Active Learning for Your Child. Presenter: Patty Obrzut, M.S., O.T.R., Assistant Director, Penrickton Center for Blind Children CLICK HERE
to register online


Thank you for your interest! The webinars will be one hour (5-6 PM) with up to 30 minutes afterwards for Q&A / Discussion.
Captioning, Spanish language, and ASL interpretation will be provided.

Please note that you do need to register for each webinar in the series separately and each will have a unique link to access it online.

— Questions? Please email Myrna Medina at: or Julie Maier at:



Want to share this information with other California Families?

Download PDF with links — Click Here

¿Quiere compartir esta información con otras familias de California?

Descargar PDF con enlaces - Haga clic aquí



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THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for our prior weekly training series

on Tuesdays Sept — Dec 2020 & Feb 9th — April 27th 2021!

Please visit the Weekly Training Activities page for links to recordings of the training activities we did for 2020-2021.




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Families of children with deafblindness — please BRING THE FAMILY & JOIN CDBS on August 27, 2022 (from 11am — 3pm) at our Southern California Families Potluck Picnic! This will be at El Dorado Frontier Amusement Park in Long Beach: 7550 E. Spring St.
Meet the CDBS staff and enjoy the rides at El Dorado Frontier
General Admission is covered, but families are responsible for the parking fee of $ 8.00

This will be a potluck, please bring a dish to share.

To RSVP please use the link:

Questions? Please contact Myrna Medina at:  323-363-7499  or email at



(Northern California Families — details on our next NorCal picnic to come soon!)



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Our Spring 2022 issue of reSources newsletter is available online!

  • In Appreciation — Maurice Belote Retires

  • Tip of the Hat to Teachers of the Deafblind in California

  • How to Set Healthy Boundaries

  • Three Components That Build Trust and Why Trust is Crucial to Learning for a Student Who is Deafblind

  • What Does Equitable Access Look Like for Proficient Communicators?



directly download the pdf of the issue on the newsletter page (link above & in menu on left) or by using this link


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Annual CA Child Count of Students with Deafblindness / Census — 2022 


A very big THANK YOU to all of the teachers, staff, & administrators in all of the LEAs, SELPAs and districts in the state as well as the CA Dept of Education for all of your help collecting and verifying the information for the 2021/2022 Annual Child Count of Students with Deafblindness / Census for California!
The deadline for the California Child Count / Census was March 15th, 2022. The information has since been shared with NCDB, our national partner, to compile the 2021 USA national report.

 If any packets are now received after the final report for CA has been submitted to NCDB, we will continue to update the information in our database, but note that the late information will not be a part of the 2021 school year national report.


Our funder, the U.S. Department of Education, requires CDBS to conduct an annual child count / census to determine the number of children/students in California who are deafblind (i.e., children / students who are both blind/visually impaired and Deaf/hard of hearing). Our charge is to identify every child / student from birth to age 22 who is deafblind, regardless of their IEP category, as most students with deafblindness fall under a variety of other designations. This information is very important as it impacts policy and practice at local, state, and national levels. Thank you for your help.

Who should be Included on the Deafblind Census?

Many people who are deafblind have some usable vision and/or usable hearing. It is important to understand that persons who are completely deaf and totally blind, like Helen Keller was, make up only about six percent of the total group that is considered to be "deafblind." CDBS uses a functional definition of deafblindness:

If an individual (birth through age 21) has combined hearing and vision problems that are significant enough to require considerations (such as specialized adaptations, modifications, and strategies) when presenting information or interacting with the child, then that individual is considered eligible to receive CDBS services and should be included on the deafblind census.

For purposes of the annual census, a person is considered to be deafblind if they are both blind/visually impaired and Deaf/hard of hearing, ranging from mild to severe, or they function as if they have both a hearing and vision loss based on inconsistent responses to the environment or inconclusive responses during hearing and vision exams. A conclusion that a child is functionally deafblind may be based on an educational evaluation for purposes of initially reporting that child on the deafblind census. Please remember that regardless of the presence or absence of additional disabilities, children with combined hearing and vision problems should be included on the deafblind census. Students do not have to meet state or local criteria, since this census is separate from the state count, and most children in California with both hearing and vision problems are, in fact, identified on their individualized educational program (Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act child count) in categories such as multi-disabled, intellectually disabled, visually impaired, or deafness.

In addition, students with a mild hearing loss and mild vision loss should be included since a combined mild loss of both senses can create an adverse effect on educational success.

BLANK 2022 FORM as PDF for your convenience


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for the Emergent Literacy Training Hosted by Braille Institute & California Deafblind Services



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Looking for Training Activities During School Closures?

High Quality Professional Development Available at No Cost!

Attention paraeducators, administrators and other educational service providers: During this unprecedented time of California school closures, CDBS reminds you that the Open Hands Open Access intervener training modules are available for self-paced, customized professional development. While designed for intervener training, the Open Hands Open Access modules are also being used by teachers, related service personnel, family members, and university-based teacher training programs.

There are 26 web-based Open Hands Open Access modules grouped into five categories:


Impact of Deafblindness on Learning

  • An Overview of Deaf-Blindness and Instructional Strategies
  • The Sensory System, the Brain, and Learning
  • Building Trusted Relationships and Positive Self-Image
  • Availability for Learning
  • Concept Development and Responsive Environments
  • Introduction to Orientation and Mobility for Interveners
  • Touch for Connecting and Learning



  • Understanding Communication Principles
  • Emergent Communication
  • Progressing from Non-Symbolic to Symbolic Communication and Complex Language
  • Touch for Connection and Communication
  • An Introduction to Sign Language and Braille


Promoting Learning

  • Routines for Participation and Learning
  • Calendars
  • Intervener Strategies
  • Social Skills and Peer Relationships
  • Maximizing Vision and Hearing
  • Accessing the Curriculum and Environment
  • Behavior and Environmental Supports
  • Orientation and Mobility in Everyday Routines


Preparing for Adult Life

  • Self-Determination
  • Transition to Adulthood and Community Living
  • Sexuality



  • The Role of the Intervener in Educational Settings
  • Collaborative Teaming and Family Partnerships
  • Values, Ethics and Professionalism


To access Open Hands Open Access, go to:


For more information, contact CDBS Project Coordinator Julie Maier at jmaier@ or leave a voicemail at 415-405-7558.



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CDBS serves individuals from birth through age 21 who have hearing and vision problems, with or without additional disabilities. 

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Picture of two childrenPhoto of child in pink jacket Photo of child and adult eating 

Photo - family of 5 in front of Christmas wreathPhoto of young boy eating ice creamPhoto of parents with young girl sitting at table

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California Deafblind Services logo showing the shape of the state of California

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San Francisco State University logo

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Creative! Challenging! Secure!
Enter a rewarding and exciting field with great people and many job prospects throughout the country. Find out about the Teacher Preparation Program in Visual Impairments at San Francisco State University.

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Logo: Ideas that Work - US Office of Special Education ProgramThe contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H326T180015. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.  Project Officer, Susan Weigert.

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