Volunteer Opportunities at CSB


Thank you for your interest in being a volunteer at the California School for the Blind!

This information is intended to provide you with an idea of what volunteer activities at CSB involve, to assist you in setting your goals for a volunteer experience, and to outline the policies and procedures of the California State Department of Education regarding volunteers at a state special school.

Volunteer activities at our school may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting classroom teachers in activities with students;
  • Directly assisting students with assignments and activities, and might include working in art, music, Braille, adapted physical education activities, and dorm events;
  • Working with teaching, dormitory, library and other staff members in preparing materials for students for academics and recreational purposes; and
  • A variety of activities to assist students in their academic, social and personal growth.

Please think about what your own goals are for being a volunteer.

One of our goals in assigning you to volunteer tasks is to match your interests with student activities you might both enjoy and at the same time, contribute your own experiences and knowledge.

  • What are your own personal strengths? For example, if you are a person who likes the outdoors, do you hike? Camp?
  • Are you a musician? An artist? A reader of books? Do you love math and science? Are you "into" computers and technology? Do you speak multiple languages? Perhaps you would like a classroom assignment?
  • Are you active? Do you swim? Boat? Ice skate? Perhaps you'd like to work in our PE program?
  • Do you dance? Like social activities? Enjoy being with groups of people? Like fashion? Perhaps you'd enjoy working in our dormitories with dances and social activities?

What are the policies, procedures and necessary steps?

The State of California encourages volunteerism for three reasons: 1) it allows work experience for those who may be interested in working for the State of California or the field of visual impairment; 2) it allows interested persons to work to support, but not supplant, the work of state employees, and 3) it assists our community to acquire employment skills. Our volunteers have the chance to contribute much and in turn, receive much from our students and staff.

To Get Started

  • Please download the volunteer application form Link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) from our website,
    or contact our volunteer coordinator James Rudder at 510-936-5506 or jrudder@csb-cde.ca.gov.
  • Complete the application and send it back to our volunteer coordinator, and we will arrange for an interview.

If we agree that we have an opportunity for service that meets the needs of our school and our volunteer, you will be asked to complete paperwork (the minimum age to volunteer is 16 years old, however if you are under 18, that will include obtaining permission from your parent or guardian), be fingerprinted, and complete a TB test. You will then receive training on general principles of working with people who are visually impaired, and receive your assignment. We ask that you commit to the hours you will serve (minimum of 1 full school quarter), and treat those hours as you would your job - that is, you are here regularly as scheduled, let us know when you are ill, and notify us if you are tracking your volunteer hours as community service.

The California School for the Blind is closed on weekends and most holidays including Thanksgiving break, Winter break and Spring break.

Available hours to volunteer are: Monday - Friday; 8 am - 8pm.

We look forward to meeting you!