NTID Computing Program Wins NSF Grant




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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) a second, three-year, $686,000 grant to continue its work on the continuing education needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals working in the information technology field.

The award, given to NTID’s Deaf Initiative in Information Technology program, is unique because it addresses workforce, faculty, and curriculum development in a single project.

The DIIT program provides one-week workshops on networking, web development, programming, computer hardware, database programming, wireless/mobile computing, and software applications.

In addition, it provides professional development leaves for 10 NTID Applied Computer Technology faculty members, who spend one academic quarter on leave from teaching to enhance their IT skills, prepare curricula and lead the workshops. DIIT also enhances NTID’s classroom offerings, since faculty return and incorporate the new skills into their courses.

“It’s a win, win, win situation,” said NTID Assistant Professor Donna Lange, principal investigator of the project. “Since all workshop leaders and attendees know sign language, there’s direct communication between people. In the past, a deaf or hard-of-hearing person attending a technical workshop with hearing peers would use an interpreter. Our deaf attendees have repeatedly told us this was an isolating experience.”

The first and largest technological college in the world for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, NTID offers educational programs and access and support services to 1,100 students from around the world who study, live, and socialize with 14,000 hearing students on the RIT campus. Web address: www.rit.edu/NTID.