California School for the Blind

Short Course Program

The Short Course program at the California School for the Blind is designed to address the unique educational needs of students with visual impairments currently attending school in their local school districts.

The demands of classes and homework can leave little time to concentrate on the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), such as daily living skills, adaptive technology, or orientation and mobility. This program will provide intensive short term instruction in areas of the ECC. Time will also be provided daily to maintain the core curriculum assignments missed during attendance at the short course. Students who can adapt to a new learning and living environment for a short period of time will benefit from this experience.

Answers to frequently asked questions:

  • Students are not counted as absent from their local schools.
  • Participation in a short course is not considered a change in placement.
  • There are no costs associated with the attendance of a short course.
  • Transportation can be provided if coordinated in advance.
  • Districts and families should collaborate to complete the application for a short course.
  • Students may take more than one short course in a school year.
  • Only one application is required for each school year.

To begin the application process please follow link below:

Short Course Interest Form

You may also be interested in our 2018 Summer Academies.

Short Courses 2018-2019

The Ultimate Google Experience (JAWS and NVDA users)
September 10-14, 2018
(Registration closes, August 13, 2018)
Ages: Middle School & High School

Join us for an exciting week of all things Google! You will learn how to access Gmail and send attachments, explore and navigate Google Drive, open and create Google Docs, and explore and navigate Google Classroom. There will also be a field trip to a secret location. Act fast and be one of the few to participate in The Ultimate Google Experience.

Preparing Your Best Burger
October 15-19, 2018
(Registration closes, September 17, 2018)
Ages: 16+

Discover what it takes to make a really good burger.  Not something you heat up in a microwave, but a fresh burger with all the fixings.  It could be a beef patty, a veggie burger or turkey.  The choice is yours.

Creating that meal requires knowing what you want, a shopping list of ingredients, how to purchase what you need, money skills to buy your ingredients, safe food handling, knife skills, kitchen tools, how to measure quantities and of course the oven.

Join us for a week of cooking, shopping, chopping and of course eating your ultimate burger.

Let's Get Cooking
November 5-9, 2018
(Registration closes, October 8, 2018)
Ages: High School

Are you ready to look beyond the microwave to prepare food?  Join an existing CSB functional academic classroom for a fun filled week in the kitchen.  Learn to prepare snacks and meals that are simple, nutritious and delicious.  Participate in meal planning, shop for ingredients and follow recipes.   Access customer service to locate your ingredients and improve your safety and independence in the kitchen.

Cane to Canine; Is a Guide Dog Right for You?
December 3-7, 2018
(Registration closes, November 5, 2018)
Ages: High School

CSB is excited to partner with Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) to offer an Orientation & Mobility Immersion Program! Students will work on O&M skills important for guide dog mobility such as the use of non-tactile feedback, auditory information, and time-distance estimation for indoor and outdoor travel. They will also experience Juno (simulated guide dog) routes in preparation for a trip to GDB and a walk with a working guide dog! Students will participate in daily hands-on activities with dogs and learn about the responsibilities of dog ownership. Get ready for a tail-wagging good week, and find out if a guide dog is right for you.

Activities in this course will support developing orientation and mobility, independent living skills, self-determination, sensory efficiency, and social interaction skills.

Media Makers Workshop - Making Media that Matters to You!
February 4-8, 2019
(Registration closes, January 7, 2019)
Ages: 10 to 15 years old

Become a media maker.

Join this week-long media making workshop where participants will learn how to produce fun, informative, authentic media that matters! Together, we’ll go through the basics of storytelling, and will embark on the beginning steps of production. Students will strengthen functional skills and increase self-determination while they interact with their environment in new and exciting ways, all the while capturing the adventure using technology!

Lil' Sprouts - Plant Life
Day 1 of 2: February 27, 2019
Day 2 of 2: May 22, 2019 (Day of CSB Carnival - afternoon)
(Registration closes, February 11, 2019)
Ages: Elementary

Join CSB’s elementary age class for two unique days of all things plants.  In early spring, we will prepare our garden beds and plant vegetable starts and a variety of seeds.  We will explore plant development and learn about the importance of roots, stems and leaves.  Discover how water and nutrients move through the plant.  Return to CSB in late spring to harvest our bounty and prepare a simple and nutritious meal from the garden.  In the afternoon, we will join the wider CSB school community for our annual carnival.  Transportation is not provided for these one day courses.  Students must arrive with a parent/guardian or district teacher.

Sensory Exploration
Day 1 of 2: March 21, 2019
Day 2 of 2: May 22, 2019 (Day of CSB Carnival - afternoon)
(Registration closes, March 4, 2019)
Ages: Elementary

Come explore a variety of sensory activities from a simple water table to an engaging interactive bubble tube surrounded by a fiber optic curtain.  Both morning and afternoon activities will include a sensory craft and time for exploring the many sensory experiences available:  two tactile walls, a musical percussion wall, a musical touch wall, a ball pit, a cloud pit, platform swing, vibro-acoustic chair, mini-trampoline and more.  So, whether you are craving an energizing experience or needing a calming corner, you will find what you need here in the sensory room.

Activities in this course will support social interaction skills, recreation and leisure and sensory processing skills.

UEB/BrailleNote Touch...Yes!
March 4-8, 2019
(Registration closes, February 4, 2019)
Ages: Elementary and Middle School

Are you confused by some of the UEB changes to the braille code?  Maybe you don’t have time in your busy day to learn the new contractions and rules.  Apply now for a fun filled week focused on learning the UEB changes.  In addition, students will work with our technology staff and be introduced to use of the BrailleNote Touch.  

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their new skills by participating in CSB’s school wide Braille Bee competition, as well as the Hall of Fame reading and brailling contest.  These contests will consist of reading and brailling approximately 200 braille contractions, difficult to braille words and commonly used punctuation and termination signs. 

It should be a great week of braille, braille, braille.  A willingness to compete before an audience of at least 100 people is part of the Braille Bee experience.  Students may also have an opportunity to participate as judges for students at a lower skill level.  Parents and TVI’s are welcome to attend the Braille Bee and cheer everyone on to victory.

Students applying for this course should already know 75% of the EBAE contractions or a total of about 150 contractions.  Previous experience with a BrailleNote, is strongly recommended.  The week will begin and end with an assessment of braille skills to demonstrate the development of newly learned knowledge.

Access Through Transit, O&M Style
April 8-12, 2019
(Registration closes, March 11, 2019)
Ages: 14+

CSB is proud to bring back this O&M themed short course designed to expose participants to a wide variety of Bay Area public transportation including AC Transit, SF MUNI, BART, & Paratransit. Basic O&M skills will be reviewed and supported as students explore with a fun peer group! Content will be shaped to meet the interests, skill level and needs of applicants, but likely activities will include a trip made on public transportation to the new Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco, exploration of a BART train, hands-on access to a parked AC transit bus, and lessons that support trip planning and the use of smart phone apps to support access to safe, efficient and successful public transportation travel.   There will be a walking component with each activity and it is recommended that applicants be able to walk a ¼ of a mile without needing to rest.

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