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


Twitter Bird Logo    We are now 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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Update — August, 2020


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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Weekly Training

Activities 2020

CDBS will provide weekly mini-training activities for California families and educational teams via the Zoom platform on issues specific to distance learning during the pandemic. Training activities are planned for Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 – 4:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time) and will run from mid-September through the first week of December. Each training will be recorded and made available on the CDBS website. Please visit the Weekly Training Activities page for more details and links to trainings and recordings.


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Update — August 17, 2020


Are you interested or know someone who may be interested in participating in a Spanish-Language online self-study course about deafblindness?

California Deafblind Services is offering a FREE Pilot Spanish-Language Online Self-study course for Families of Children who are Deafblind.

August 26: Orientation session to discuss details and answer questions about OHOA
September: An Overview of Deaf-Blindness and Instructional Strategies
October: The Role of the Intervener in Educational Settings
November: Understanding Communication Principles
Wednesdays September through November: 45-minute discussion sessions.
FREE Spanish-Language Online Course Study
Registration open now!

Please contact Myrna Medina, Family Engagement Specialist


INFORMACION ACTUALIZADA 17 de Agosto del 2020:

¿Esta usted interesado? ¿O conoce a alguien que pueda estar interesado en participar en un curso
de autoaprendizaje en línea sobre sordoceguera?
California Deafblind Services esta ofreciendo un curso de aprendizaje piloto GRATUITO en línea en Español para familias de sordociegos.

¡Ya esta abierta la inscripción para el curso de autoaprendizaje en línea sobre sordoceguera!

El curso utilizara tres módulos de aprendizaje de Open Hands Open Access (OHOA) por
los próximos tres meses (un modulo por mes) con sesiones de discusión semanales
(Miércoles). Lectura y tarea serán en su propio tiempo durante el mes asignado y se
reunirán una vez por semana con el resto del grupo para discutir los temas.

26 de Agosto: Sesión de orientación, preguntas y respuestas sobre OHOA

Septiembre: Una perspectiva general de la cordoceguera y estrategias de instrucción.

Octubre: La función del interventor en el entorno educativo.

Noviembre : Comprensión de los principios de comunicación.

Curso de aprendizaje Gratuito en línea Español

¡Y esta abierta la inscripción!

Please contact Myrna Medina, Family Engagement Specialist at or 323-363-7499

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Update — August 2020

CDBS Announces Modified Technical Assistance Model During the Pandemic

The staff of California Deafblind Services (CDBS) has revised our technical assistance model to better meet the needs of family members and educators during the pandemic and the switch—at least for now—to distance learning. We know that many families are struggling to support the education of their children while trying to juggle multiple responsibilities. For educators and agency personnel, we know that distance learning is a challenge for children and youth who are deafblind and we are here to help you best meet the needs of the children/students you serve.

Because face-to-face activities in schools, agencies and homes are not possible at this time, this temporary technical assistance (TA) model collapses the three previous levels of CDBS TA into one new level: Targeted TA. CDBS staff will meet all requests for targeted TA for the remainder of 2020.




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Our Spring 2020 issue of reSources newsletter is available online!

  • Building Peer Partnerships through Information Provision
  • The Art of Persuasion and What We Can Learn from the World of Sales
  • Confidently Engaging Yourself into Your Community: Lessons from “The Feeling Through Experience”
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder: The Hearing Equivalent of CVI Risk Factors, Features, and Strategies
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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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 Maurice Belote at or leave a voicemail message at 415-405-7558.

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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.


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UPDATE — April 8, 2020

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.
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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2019/2020 Child Count in action


Annual Child Count of Students with Deafblindness is COMPLETED for 2019/2020

We will send-out next year's forms and paperwork in Feb 2021.


THANK YOU to all of the LEAs, county departments of education, SELPAs, districts, and school teams that helped provide and verify information and special thanks for all of the help from the California Department of Education!



We are required to conduct an annual child count to determine how many students in our state have both a vision and a hearing impairment. This census seeks to identify all such youth no matter what their IEP category is, as most students with deafblindness fall under a variety of designations. This information is very important as it influences what level of level of funding is made available for services. Thank you for your help.


2019-2020 Child Count  - Pre-printed forms for counties and districts to verify were mailed on February 1 and needed to be returned before May, 2020. We have submitted our data to be compiled for the United States Department of Education and look forward to working with everyone on next year's 2020/2021 California deafblind census.

Please mail or fax completed census forms to:


Census Coordinator
California Deafblind Services
San Francisco State University
Department of Special Education
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132-4158

Fax: 415-338-2845

Questions? Please contact Brian Devereux at


CDBS Child Count Materials

*If you have trouble printing the pdf of the Census Form on an Apple computer, try using Preview instead of Adobe Acrobat to open and print it.


A very special thank you again in advance to all of the teachers, administrators, LEAs, SELPAs and Districts in California as well as the California Department of Education for your help in completing this year's Annual Child Count Census!


For more information, please visit the Child Count section of our website:


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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 jacketPhoto of child and adult eating

Photo - family of 5 in front of Christmas treePhoto of young boy eating ice creamPhoto of parents with young girl

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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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