Technical Assistance (TA) and Training

Technical Assistance (TA) includes training and consultation in specific knowledge and skills needed when working with a student with deafblindness. These specific areas include, but are not limited to communication, language, social skills, behavior, and transition. We work with each team to determine the type of TA and training content appropriate that will support improved skills for the educational team and outcomes for the student. If you are interested in support, please complete the CBSS referral form.

Foundational Technical Assistance

All requests for child-specific technical assistance (TA) begins at the Foundational Technical Assistance level. A CBSS 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
  • Disability specific 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 CBSS staff member determine that additional support is needed, CBSS will provide Targeted Technical Assistance.

Targeted Technical Assistance

Targeted Technical Assistance (TA) 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 may include team meetings and training activities using the Zoom meeting platform or in-person meetings. 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 targeted 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 deafblindness.
  • 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 CBSS may agree that more intensive support is needed in order to reach your identified outcomes.

Intensive Technical Assistance
Represents the highest level of CBSS 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 includes 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 CBSS 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 the 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.

Please complete the CBSS Referral Form if you are interested in receiving support.

Assessments / Evaluations CBSS can offer or assist with in your school:

Functional Vision Assessment (FVA)

Communication Matrix (CM)

Informal Functional Hearing Evaluation (IFHE)

Orientation and Mobility (O&M)

Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC) Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) Matrix

Examples of Professional Development Training Offered:

  • Introduction to / Overview of Deafblindness: Participants will learn about the impact of deaf-blindness on access to information and specific strategies to support learning. Participants will be provided with information about supports and resources on deaf-blindness that are available for educational teams.
  • Communication & Language Development for Children with Complex Communication Needs: Participants will develop an understanding of communication modes used by students with deaf-blindness, understand how to use the Communication Matrix to assess students who are early communicators and use the results to develop an individualized education plan.
  • Introduction to Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI): The course content is designed to provide assessment and educational information regarding Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). Participants will gain knowledge and skill to better identify, assess and educate children with CVI. A unique focus on the complex communication needs for students with CVI will be addressed.
  • Accessing the General Education Curriculum and Developing Effective IEP Goals for Students with Deafblindness

*Please be advised that trainings listed above are just examples of trainings offered but are not limited to these topics*