SDSU/CDBS Intervener Training Program


SDSU/CDBS Intervener Training Program

2018/2019 First Year Pilot

(Click here for program  flier in PDF format)


San Diego State University logo showing a large white mission-style building against a field of redCDBS Logo showing the outline of the state of California intersected by the words


San Diego State University (SDSU) and California Deafblind Services (CDBS) are collaborating 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.  


Over the course of two semesters (Fall 2018 and Spring 2019) students will engage in an online course of study that includes the rigorous and nationally recognized Open Hands, Open Access Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules. Through self-guided study students will access the modules asynchronously (i.e., at days and times of their own choosing), with thee synchronous class meetings each semester. Course instructors will be deafblind specialists from SDSU and CDBS.

District and LEA support of the participant’s efforts (e.g. release time, stipend) will increase the likelihood of successful completion of this training program. This is a non-credit bearing university program. Upon successful completion each participant will receive a university certificate of completion of the SDSU/CDBS Intervener Training Program.


Recruitment Criteria:

      Desire to work with and support individuals with deafblindness

      High school diploma (or equivalent)

      Commitment to at least 3 hours of module participation per week for 2 semesters

      Basic internet skills, knowledge of computer functions, and ability to use online communication tools (email, video conferencing, and online learning platform)

      This first-year pilot program will give preference to paraeducators who are currently working with children with combined vision loss and hearing loss.


Benefits of this training program include:Description: An image of two sets of hands. A teacher supports a child's hand as black and gold butterfly rests in their cupped hand.

      High-quality professional development for the paraeducator

      Increased knowledge and skills for the paraeducator regarding the use of evidence-based practices for learners with deafblindness

      Support staff that meet Council for Exceptional Children paraeducator competencies in the area of deafblindness

      University certificate of completion of the SDSU/CDBS Intervener Training Program


Courses of Study:Open Hands, Open Access logo showing two hands using tactile sign

The training utilizes 13 prescribed and one elective learning modules from  the Open Hands, Open Access Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules, which are aligned with all seven of the CEC standards for special education paraeducators intervener for individuals with deafblindness.

During the training, participants will receive:

      Feedback on all assignments

      Support and monitoring to ensure active engagement

      Free course materials


Fall 2018 Semester: Overview of Deafblindness and Principles of Intervention (3 units)

Spring 2019 Semester: Intervention Practices with Learners who are Deafblind (3 units)


Registration and Program Fees:

Registration materials will be available mid-summer on the CDBS website:

The year-one pilot grant will cover tuition costs. Participants will be responsible for a nominal recording fee upon acceptance.





For more information please contact:


Christopher Brum, Ph.D.

San Diego State University - or 619-594-4814


Maurice Belote

California Deafblind Services or 415-405-7558


Julie Maier

California Deafblind Services - or 415-405-7559



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