Monthly Archives: October 2014

RIT/NTID Student Changes Statewide Testing, Earns National Girl Scout Award

A second-year RIT/NTID student is receiving national recognition this week as one of 10 Girl Scout USA 2014 Young Women of Distinction at a national convention in Salt Lake City.

Anna Krauss of Manorville, N.Y., has been a Girl Scout since age 5, when she joined as a Daisy Scout. Now that she is in college, she’s an Ambassador Scout and majoring in biotechnology and molecular bioscience. She regularly makes the Dean’s List at RIT.

Born deaf in one ear, Krauss lost her hearing in her other ear at age 9. Since then, she has relied on a sign language interpreter in her school classes.

In 2011, two years before she’d graduate from high school, Krauss was taking state-required tests. A portion of the test was a listening passage, given orally. Being profoundly deaf, Krauss had to rely on her interpreter to help her understand what the teacher was saying.

“I always dreaded the state tests for their listening portions,” she said. “Sometimes things get lost in translation,” Krauss said. She ended up with a test score of 80. “I started to cry if I got below a 90 in school,” she said. “It was ridiculous.”

For her Golden Award project, similar to the projects Boy Scouts must complete to become Eagle Scouts, Krauss decided to try to change the way those mandated listening portions of state tests are given to deaf and hard-of-hearing students in New York.

“I picked that because I felt very strongly about it,” she said. Krauss started lobbying state officials and as a result, the state now allows deaf and hard-of-hearing students across the state to use a written transcript during oral portions of examinations.

“It took three years for me to fight for that accommodation,” she said.

She doesn’t plan to attend the Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City because she doesn’t want to miss any classes. This summer, she traveled to the Girl Scouts of USA headquarters in New York City and met Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of the Girls Scouts of the USA. Chavez presented Krauss with a $5,000 check that came with her award, which Krauss will use for college.

After college, she’s considering becoming a researcher or a science teacher, perhaps at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

But Krauss hopes to stay connected with the Girl Scouts as an alumnus so they can continue to empower girls like her. “I do want to continue in some way, to talk with younger troops to tell them how much they can do by staying with Girl Scouts and going all the way,” Krauss said. “It starts with cookie sales and ends with changing the world.”

Job Fair 2014

More than 40 employers from all over the country will attend the NTID Job Fair on October 29. They will meet students and graduates, review resumes and share information about co-ops and jobs. More

NTID Dyer Arts Center Hosts Exhibit Honoring 25 Years of Deaf View/Image Arts

In 1989, the term Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA) was coined after nine deaf artists met for a four-day workshop preceding the Deaf Way arts festival at Gallaudet University. Their objective was to represent the visual perceptions of deaf artists based on their deaf experience.

Twenty-five years later, Dyer Arts Center at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf is honoring Deaf View/Image Arts with an exhibition called “Viva De’VIA.” The show runs from Oct. 3 through Nov. 8, with an artist reception at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, and a closing reception at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8.

“ ‘Viva De’VIA’ at Dyer features resistance and affirmation works of emerging artists alongside established De’VIA artists,” said Patti Durr, associate professor in the Department of Cultural and Creative Studies at NTID. “Themes of personhood, perspectives, place, politics, perseverance and affranchisement underscore the central focus of the exhibition.”

The exhibition features 40 deaf artists with close to 70 pieces of work—varying from painting and assemblage, to mixed media, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, digital art, photography and video.

The Dyer Arts Center, located at 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by request. For more information, email dyerartscenter@rit.eduor call 585-475-6406.

Universities Should Follow RIT’s Role in Preparing Students with Disabilities for Work

Rochester Institute of Technology has been credited by the National Organization on Disability as a good example of a university that successfully helps its students find jobs upon graduation.

At a news conference at RIT to kick off National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NOD President Carol Glazer said colleges across the country must do better to provide a pipeline of graduates with disabilities.

“The message we hear repeatedly from corporate America is that while colleges and universities are doing many things well, most fall short in building a pipeline of talent with disabilities,” Glazer said. “Their inability to hire new graduates is not due to a lack of qualified candidates, but rather a lack of access.”

Statistically, students with disabilities take twice as long to find a job after graduation. New federal regulations require federal agencies and companies who contract with them have a target of 7 percent of employees with a disability on their workforce.

“RIT is proud to be recognized as a national leader in helping to place our students with disabilities into the workforce,” said RIT President Bill Destler.

white paper, “Bridging the Employment Gap for Students with Disabilities,” published by NOD, states there are 1.4 million college students with disabilities, and 60 percent of disabled college graduates are not working. The report offered recommendations for colleges, including better coordination and communication between school career services and disability offices.

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of nine colleges of RIT, has more than 1,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students, coming from all 50 states and beyond. NTID was created by Congress nearly 50 years ago to provide technical postsecondary education to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT’s long experience with co-operative education—enabling students to get real-world experience in the workplace prior to graduation—was one reason NTID came to Rochester.

NTID’s Center on Employment staff also provides workshops nationally for potential employers to teach them what it is like to work with a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual and what few accommodations may actually be needed.

“With more than 7,700 graduates across the country and beyond, RIT/NTID has been the leader in providing career-focuses postsecondary education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students for more than 45 years,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “We work with employers to provide co-op opportunities for our students while in school and careers upon graduation. Despite a rough economy in recent years, 90 to 94 percent of our deaf and hard-of-hearing graduates seeking employment historically have found a job within a year of graduation.”

NTID employs more than 130 sign language interpreters, more than 50 classroom captionists and hundreds of notetakers who provide access to deaf and hard-of-hearing students throughout the RIT campus.

Officials from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD) and General Electric Aviation—a company known for hiring employees with disabilities—also participated in the press conference.