The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $4.45 million over four years to RIT and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to establish DeafTEC: Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, an Advanced Technological Education National Center of Excellence.
It is the single largest NSF award in RIT’s history. There are about 40 ATE centers across the country, and DeafTEC will be the first ever established to serve individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
DeafTEC will serve as a resource for high schools and community colleges that educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs and for employers hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
Through its website, DeafTEC will serve as a clearinghouse for information related to technical education and technician careers for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, including career awareness materials, teaching strategies for improving student access to learning, developmental math and English curricula, and information for employers.
“The goal of this national center is to successfully integrate more deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals into the workplace, especially in highly skilled technician jobs where deaf and hard-of-hearing workers are currently underrepresented and underutilized,” says NTID President Gerry Buckley. “DeafTEC will provide them, as well as their teachers, counselors, employers and co-workers, with the resources that will help them succeed, both in the classroom and on the job.”