California Deafblind Services

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Update — September 2021

  • New Technical Assistance (TA) Model

  • New online form!

Technical Assistance (TA) Description

CDBS staff members are ready to provide child-specific technical assistance to families, educators, and educational teams.

Child-specific technical assistance is custom designed to help you meet the complex and specialized needs of children and youth who are deafblind. CDBS does not provide direct services to children/students.

The role of the state deafblind project is to build the knowledge, skills, and capacity of educational team members and families to meet the unique needs of learners who are deafblind.

Yellow Pyramid showing ascending levels of TA: 1 Foundational, 2 Targeted, 3 Intensive

1 — Foundational Technical Assistance

All requests for child-specific technical assistance begin at the Foundational Technical Assistance level. A CDBS staff member will meet with you on the Zoom meeting platform to learn more about your child or student and determine your specific needs and expected outcomes. Based on this information, we will recommend trusted resources that other family members and/or educators have found to be useful. These resources may include any of the following:

  • Open Hands, Open Access deafblind learning modules
  • Webcasts
  • Archived training videos
  • Articles
  • Fact sheets
  • Other resources as identified.

It is likely that these resources will meet your needs and help you achieve your identified outcomes. If—after making complete use of these recommended resources—you and your assigned CDBS staff member determine that additional support is needed, CDBS will provide Targeted Technical Assistance.


2 — Targeted Technical Assistance

is typically provided to the entire educational team (i.e., educators and family members working together in partnership) to meet outcomes that have been determined to be too complex to be met solely through Foundational Technical Assistance. In some cases this level of technical assistance could be provided solely to an individual, although technical assistance delivered to well-functioning teams is typically more effective in improving student outcomes. Targeted Technical Assistance will include team meetings and training activities using the Zoom meeting platform. Targeted Technical Assistance represents a commitment by team members to improving educational practices (i.e., ongoing continuous improvement). Teams must meet a set of nationally recognized readiness indicators for child-specific technical assistance:

  • Recognize a need for improvement in the child’s program.
  • Agree about concerns and desired outcomes (e.g., the teacher, TVI, and family all agree about what the child needs).
  • Have a positive attitude toward family–school collaboration.
  • Are open to trying new ways of doing things.
  • Recognize their own need for training related to deaf-blindness.
  • See the advantages of the new practices and believe them to be better than other options (including what they are currently doing).
  • View the new practices as being easy to understand and use.
  • See the practices as having flexibility (i.e., can be adapted for changing situations or circumstances).
  • There is a champion on the team—someone with influence who puts energy into supporting new practices.
In some cases, educational team members and CDBS may agree that more intensive support is needed in order to reach your identified outcomes. (See Intensive Technical Assistance below)

3 — Intensive Technical Assistance
Represents the highest level of CDBS technical assistance. It is available to educational teams (i.e., educators and family members working together in partnership) who have successfully engaged in Foundational Technical Assistance and Targeted Technical Assistance and demonstrate readiness for this level of technical assistance.

Teams receiving this level of technical assistance should demonstrate readiness in all three areas of the child-specific readiness indicators document:
  1. Attitudes and beliefs
  2. Knowledge, and
  3. School characteristics.
These readiness indicators for Intensive Technical Assistance can be found at:

Intensive Technical Assistance represents a minimum commitment of one year (academic or calendar) and will likely include onsite classroom observations, face-to-face training activities, and evaluation processes to assess programmatic change. Because onsite Intensive Technical Assistance activities necessitate the maximum use of CDBS staff time and limited travel funds, it is important that all team members, including administrators, demonstrate a commitment to improving educational results at both the child and system levels.

Designed for educational teams that successfully complete foundational and targeted TA and require this intensive/sustained level of TA in order to design and implement evidence-based strategies to best meet the needs of children and youth who are deafblind. Key features include:

  • Agreement of entire team: family, teachers, specialists, and administrators.
  • Minimum time commitment of one academic or calendar year.
  • Onsite school and home-based TA and training activities as required.
  • Commitment to programmatic and systemic change to meet clearly identified TA outcomes.

Requesting Technical Assistance (TA)

To request TA, please use the convenient online form linked below. For Urgent TA requests, please continue to contact us directly via email or phone.

 CDBS Technical Assistance Online Request 



To request TA, simply complete the CDBS Technical Assistance Online Request form through the text link.
(If you are not able to see or access the form online, please contact Brian Devereux at )
Once we receive your request, we will assign a CDBS staff member to be your primary point of contact for your technical assistance activities.

Questions? Contact anyone at CDBS for help.

Contact Our Team


CDBS Technical Assistance Online Request


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Frequently Asked Questions about

CDBS Technical Assistance Activities



  What is technical assistance?


The term "technical assistance" is not specifically about assistive technology. It is a term used in education, government, and industry to mean "consultation" or, at its most simple, "help." CDBS technical assistance can pertain to anything related to deafblindness (e.g., communication and language, instructional activities, recreation, visual and auditory adaptations, transition to adulthood, etc.). Although it does not specifically relate to technology, CDBS technical assistance can address high and low-tech issues if this is an area of need for you.

CDBS technical assistance (TA) basically means consultation with CDBS staff to address specific challenges you are experiencing with a child or young adult who is deafblind. CDBS staff members understand the uniqueness of deafblindness and the profound impact that a combined vision and hearing loss can have on all areas of development. You might request technical assistance for a number of reasons. Here are some of the reasons individuals have requested CDBS technical assistance:

  • Your child/student has been recently diagnosed with vision and/or hearing problems.
  • You have concerns about a child/student’s hearing and/or vision.
  • You have a new student in your classroom and aren’t sure how to best meet their needs.
  • You are puzzled by one or more aspects of your child/student’s development.
  • You need ideas on how the child/student can be more actively engaged in valued home and school activities.

Technical assistance is different from direct services and therefore technical assistance is not written into IEPs/IFSPs. Technical assistance is also different from assessments. In education, “assessment” is a legal term with specific definitions, processes, timelines, etc. Technical assistance can, however, support the assessment process in many cases.


Who can request technical assistance?


TA can be requested by anyone on a child's educational team, including family members. The TA request must come directly from the person(s) who will be receiving the service. CDBS does not have the authority to accept third party referrals (i.e., you cannot request TA for someone else).


What is Urgent technical assistance?

Urgent TA is meant to address an immediate or emergency need with a child or student such as the sudden and significant loss of vision and/or hearing, significant and unexplainable changes in behavior, or infants who are not yet receiving any services. During the pandemic, urgent technical assistance will be handled in the same way as targeted technical assistance.


Is there a cost for CDBS technical assistance services? 


No, CDBS is a federally funded grant program under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Grant #H326T180015) and all services are provided at no cost to recipients.


What is distance technology and what do I need in order to participate? 


CDBS utilizes the Zoom platform for all TA and distance learning activities during the pandemic. Access to the Zoom platform for TA activities is provided at no cost.

What documents may be requested by CDBS to aid in the TA?


CDBS staff members may request the following supporting documentation:

  • IFSP or IEP
  • Triennial IEP
  • Most recent vision report   
  • Most recent audiological report    
  • Orientation and mobility assessment
  • OT assessment
  • Other assessments and reports as needed

If requested, please take whatever action is required by your LEA or agency/program to be able to share these documents with CDBS.

After my TA was completed, I received an email survey. Did you send this? Is completing it mandatory?


We periodically will email a survey to a sampling of people we have worked with. This is to look for suggestions for improvement and to ensure satisfaction with the process. While it is not mandatory, we do appreciate your feedback.


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Logo: Ideas that Work - US Office of Special Education Program

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H326T230014. 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, Louise Tripoli.

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