Rochester Police Department Honors NTID Interpreting Students

Follow RITNEWS on Twitter Sign language interpreting students from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), a college of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), were honored for their community service to the Rochester Police Department at the annual Highland Section Community Police Awards program. The students were recognized for interpreting monthly meetings of the Police Citizen Interaction Committee (PCIC), as well as the Section’s annual awards ceremony attended by many deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.

“Several years ago, when deaf and hard-of-hearing residents of the Highland Section began attending our monthly meetings, we turned to you for assistance with obtaining sign language interpreters,” Captain Fred J. Bell, Highland Section commanding officer, wrote in a congratulatory letter of recognition to Dr. Linda Siple, professor in NTID’s Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education. “For the past five years, many students have served their community in a most valuable manner—bringing police and citizens together and providing the means for all to communicate.”

“By providing this service, the students have earned real-life experience and deaf citizens living in the Highland area have the opportunity to participate and interact with their neighbors and the police,” said Siple. “It has been a wonderful collaboration. Citizens who are deaf have been able to freely share their perspectives, and in doing so, have educated the committee members about issues and challenges facing the deaf community in Rochester.”

NTID, the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, is also the first college in the world to formally educate sign language interpreters, and has graduated more interpreters than any other college. NTID employs more than 100 full-time interpreters who support 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students in classrooms, sporting events, and other activities. Nationwide, only 25 bachelor-level ASL-English Interpretation programs are available, while some 120 programs are offered either at the associate, certification, or continuing education level.

One of eight colleges of RIT, NTID offers educational programs and access and support services to its 1,100 students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y., campus. For more information on NTID’s ASL-English Interpretation degree programs, contact 585-475-6809 or visit

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