Assistive Technology

The Assistive Technology (AT) team at the California School for the Blind (CSB) provides assessment and instruction to students with visual impairments on campus and throughout the state of California. Training and workshops are provided to educators, students, and their families on technology and educational topics through requests and conferences. The highly skilled assistive technology specialists continually develop curriculum to reflect the changing technology and the demands of current educational needs. Outreach requests can be made through the Outreach Application Form External link opens in new window or tab. (Google Form).

Who we serve

The AT team serves students with visual impairments on campus and throughout the state of California. We offer services to districts, vision professionals, Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams, and families on request, through conferences, or through training.

Our Focus

The Assistive Technology Team provides instruction in the following areas:

  • Screen reading software
  • Magnification software
  • BrailleNote takers
  • Smart phones & tablets
  • Optical character recognition software
  • Internet navigation
  • Accessing mainstream technology and software
  • Electronic braille displays
  • etc.

In addition to expertise in assistive technology, our teachers have backgrounds in higher education with an emphasis in visual impairment including Teachers for the Visually Impaired (TVI), Rehabilitation, and Orientation & Mobility.


On-Campus Assessments

The AT team conducts technology assessments for all potential students during their Assessment of Suitability of Placement period, by performing a series of observations, file reviews, interviews, diagnostic tests, and device trials. Ongoing assessment for CSB's current students takes place through classroom observations and instruction, collaboration with the educational team, triennial assessments, and through individual instruction.

Off-Campus Outreach and Assessments

The AT team provides training and support for teachers, students, and families on campus and throughout the state on a wide variety of topics. A student's teacher for the visually impaired (TVI) can request an assistive technology assessment, which involves an AT Center team member conducting interviews, observations, providing collaborative consultation to the team, and preparing a series of technology recommendations. You can make outreach requests through signing up on our Outreach Application FormExternal link opens in new window or tab. (Google Form).


The team at the CSB AT Lab provides online, on campus, and off campus training opportunities for TVI's and students with a visual impairment throughout the state of California on a wide variety of assistive technology topics. A TVI can have their student follow an online course of lessons on the Screen Reader Training (SRT) website teaching the use of screen readers such as JAWS and VoiceOver on iOS, or plan with us a customized in person training taking place on the CSB campus or in your home district. On a custom training, the AT team prepares a one day series of interactive lessons and activities to introduce, familiarize, or refine a team's skills with a particular device, program, or application. Previous workshops offered by the AT team have included Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), Job Access with Speech (JAWS) beginning and intermediate, iOS VoiceOver, Coding, braille note, Google Suite, etc. Subscribe to the Braille n Teach listserv or check the CSB homepage for current and future offerings. Please fill out the Outreach Application Form External link opens in new window or tab. (Google Form) to make training requests.

Short Courses

CSB offers week-long Short Courses throughout the school year. Previous Short Courses offered by the AT team have included the Braille Short Course, Google Short Course, and the iPad Short Course. You can find our current offerings on the Short Course Website.

Lending Library

TVI's can make requests to borrow devices for a period of up to 60 days to trial devices with students to aid in determining the most appropriate devices for students, and while devices are being repaired. Devices available include, braille displays, braille notetakers, embossers, etc. Please fill out our Lending Library Form External link opens in new window or tab. (Google Form) to make requests.

Training Materials and Resources


News & Recognitions

Assistive Technology Staff

Barbara, Allison, Crystal, Max, Vanessa, and Ramani are posing for a photo.

Meet our Assistive Technology Team!


Vanessa Herndon

Vanessa Herndon
Assistive Technology Specialist

Barbara Pickney

Barbara Pickney
Teacher Assistant, Keyboarding Specialist

Crystal Hurst

Crystal Hurst
Assistive Technology Specialist

Allison Mello

Allison Mello
Assistive Technology Specialist

Max Avendano

Max Avendano
Assistive Technology Specialist

Ramani Gokhale

Ramani Gokhale
Teaching Assistant

Want to join our team? Please visit our Jobs and Exam Announcements page for any open positions.