NTID and CSD Partner on Student Development Center

Follow RITNEWS on Twitter Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD), a national non-profit organization dedicated to serving deaf and hard-of-hearing people, has committed the first lead gift for a new student development center at the world-renowned National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology.

After nearly two years of planning, NTID and CSD leaders broke ground today for the new, $4.5 million, two-story, 30,000 square-foot building, designed by Harrison Bridges & Associates Architects, with input from students, faculty and staff, as well as a deaf consulting architect. The design employs particular consideration for maximum accessibility through technology, lighting, room design and seating.

The CSD Student Development Center is named to recognize CSD's many contributions to the educational, social, cultural and economic development of deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

"We are extremely honored and delighted by this recognition," said Dr. Benjamin Soukup, president and CEO of CSD.

Connected to NTID’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Building, the CSD Student Development Center will extend students' learning experience by fostering their potential for leadership and community service, and provide them opportunities to explore other interests through different educational and recreational activities housed there.

The Center will be home to NTID student government, student life, multi-cultural clubs, a study center, a communication center, commuter lockers, and informal spaces that will facilitate interaction and socialization.

"CSD has always believed in giving back to the community," said Soukup. "As a technical institute, NTID's mission complements our own. We are proud to contribute to NTID in such a meaningful way, so that the passion for learning and creating a better future can be nurtured and enhanced in tomorrow's leaders."

“Only 25 percent of a student’s time is spent in the classroom,” explained Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, vice president of RIT and CEO/dean for NTID. “This center will serve as a gathering place where education can continue day and night in a centrally located area with a safe, supportive atmosphere. This will be a place where students can enrich and celebrate their unique talents and skills.”

History will be both preserved and celebrated throughout the building. Pictures and documentation of student activities, representation of classes through the years and images of alumni, past visitors and guests of the college will line the halls and various rooms.

“We hope these displays will help students see themselves as part of the larger history of the deaf education movement in our country,” Hurwitz said.

Construction will be completed by fall of 2006. For more information about contributing to the CSD Student Development Center, please contact the NTID College Advancement Office at 585-475-6836 (v/TTY).

Founded in 1975, CSD is a private, nonprofit telecommunications and human services organization based in Sioux Falls, S.D. CSD employs 3,000 people and has more than 30 offices nationwide to serve its 15 million customers.

The CSD mission is to provide greater opportunities for access, independence and awareness for all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through global leadership and a continuum of quality communication services and human services programs, CSD provides the tools conducive to a positive and fully integrated life.

The first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, NTID, one of eight colleges within RIT, offers educational programs and access and support services to the 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT's Rochester, N.Y., campus. Web address: www.rit.edu/NTID.

Visit www.rit.edu/NTID/newsroom for more NTID news.