RIT/NTID Named Major Technology Sub-contractor on FCC Contract

The Center on Access Technology Innovation Lab at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has been named the major technical sub-contractor in a partnership with VTCSecure, LLC to advance telecommunications access for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech disabled populations in the United States. RIT/NTID will provide technology support, alpha and beta testing for the development of a state-of-the-art Video Access Technology Reference Platform (VATRP).

The Federal Communications Commission awarded the contract to VTCSecure, with the subcontract going to RIT/NTID to focus on the technological aspects of the platform, which will provide high quality, open source text, voice and video.

RIT/NTID, a global leader in accessible technology, STEM- and career-focused education, will be providing advanced technology support for the project. NTID is the first and largest technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the world and has the largest number of deaf and hard-of-hearing students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level anywhere in the world.

“RIT/NTID, through our Center on Access Technology is proud to partner on this ground-breaking project and provide consultation on technology development for software that will significantly enhance communication services for individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing,” says Gary Behm, director of RIT/NTID’s Center on Access Technology Innovation Lab. To ensure that the VATRP meets the needs of those it intends to serve, “We will be enlisting the services of deaf RIT/NTID faculty and staff members with expertise in information technology to work on this project and have hired a deaf doctoral student who is pursuing her Ph.D. at RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.”

RIT/NTID’s goal in joining the partnership is to ensure that deaf users will have the best possible access to the latest telecommunication technology.

A full description of the contract partnership can be found here