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Volunteering at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The fall semester group of volunteers is closed and we thank all of the wonderful volunteers who worked with us. The next openings will begin in January 2020 for the spring semester, Download and fill out the fall/spring school-year application and email it to , mail it to Gloria Bennett @ 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, 78756 or fax your application to 512-206-9453. Once your background check is cleared, you will receive information about the orientation date(s) by email. At the orientation, you will learn about the opportunities available and be able to choose a placement.

Download and fill out the fall/spring school-year application and return by email, mail or fax (see details below).


Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) will be a leading center of educational expertise in Texas for students with visual impairments, their families, and the local and regional providers who work with them. TSBVI will provide opportunities for children and youth who are visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities or deafblindness, to develop the skills necessary to lead vocationally, personally, and socially satisfying and productive lives.

What is TSBVI:

TSBVI is a school that partners with independent school districts in Texas to provide instructional and related services to students who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. We are a special public school established by the Texas Legislature as one of several alternative educational placements guaranteed to students to ensure that learning occurs in an environment appropriate to meet their individual needs. There is no cost to students or their families for the instructional and residential services of the School.

Who Can Be Served:

Students, ages 6 through 21, who are blind, deaf-blind, or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities, are eligible for consideration for services at TSBVI.

Volunteer Requirements and Opportunities:

A Volunteer is required to fill out an application, pass a criminal records check, and attend an 2-hour orientation. Volunteer placements will be discussed at the orientation.

Applications will be accepted at the beginning of fall and spring semesters for placement for the duration of the semester. Volunteers may request to continue their placement for the next semester. The volunteer program is not active during the summer months. When volunteering with students, in order to maintain consistency in our very structured environment, we request volunteers sign up for at least 1 hour per week for an entire semester. Opportunities include: tutoring, special activities or events, and providing assistance to instructional, recreation, or residential staff at their request during daytime classes or in the afternoon or evening. To volunteer at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, download and return the application.

Court Ordered Community Service Volunteers -

The process for fulfilling Court Ordered Community Service differs from that of other volunteers. Applications will be accepted throughout the year, including summer, when there is an appropriate placement open. Community service activities must be done between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM on Monday-Friday and will include clerical duties,  computer scanning and editing or various duties that might involve lifting. Court Ordered volunteers will NOT be working with students. To qualify to fulfill your Court Ordered Community Service hours at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, call 512-206-9234 to check for an open placement, then download and return the application.

Applicant Criminal Record Check Information

Texas Government Code 411.098 authorizes a school district to obtain the criminal history record of every applicant for employment or volunteer services with the district.

All volunteers and employees of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) are subject to a criminal background check. TSBVI is able to run this check at our own expense through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) provided that we have your full name and date of birth. If for any reason you do not wish to provide your date of birth, you may have the criminal check run at your own expense at DPS. In either case, you may not begin your volunteer assignment until your criminal background check has been received, reviewed, and cleared by the Director of Community Resources.

Contact Information:

Gloria Bennett , Director of Community Resources
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3494
Volunteer Office #: (512) 206-9234
Fax #: (512) 206-9453
E-mail address:

You must complete the application (linked above) in order to volunteer at TSBVI  and  return the form by fax, mail, or email.