International Educational Outreach


The mission of CIEO at NTID is to expend education opportunities for Deaf communities outside of the United States by collaborating with Deaf leaders and higher institutions of other countries to build center of excellence in Deaf education.  CIEO works to expend research and collaboration opportunities between NTID and international institutions for the Deaf.

In 2001, the Nippon Foundation of Japan awarded NTID a grant to establish the Postsecondary Education Network-International (PEN-International). PEN-International was a multinational partnership of colleges and universities, whose goal was to improve and expand postsecondary education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students around the world by sharing educational technology and conducting faculty development and training.  After ten years of success with PEN-International, the Nippon Foundation awarded NTID another grant to establish the Pre-College Education Network (P-CEN) in 2011.

Participants in PEN-International and P-CEN include: China, Czech Republic, Russia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

The outstanding work in these countries has attracted the attention of other countries wishing to partner with NTID as they seek to improve the educational and employment opportunities for their deaf citizens.  As a result, NTID created the Center for International Educational Outreach.  The Center continues to expand on the principles of PEN-International and P-CEN by partnering with local community stakeholders who are seeking to improve educational opportunities for deaf children; enhance public policy as it pertains to disabled (including deaf) people; as well as expand postsecondary options and employment.

The Center for International Educational Outreach is currently consulting with China, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Japan, and the Philippines.  As funding allows, other countries within Africa, South America, and Asia will be added.

For more information please contact the Center Director, Ms. Thomastine A. Sarchet at


NTID uses a rights’ based approach to education and access technology development projects (UNCRPD):The deaf community members must be involved from the outset. Respect for local deaf culture and local signed languages Partnership and local involvement is required Interventions must have a strategic short-term and long-term advantage and Various technologies have an integral role in development.

Supported by Ford Foundation Global Travel and Learning Fund

Funding from the Ford Foundation is used to support the development of official partnerships with educational programs (primary through tertiary organizations) across Africa. Specifically, funds are being used to increase our presence and strengthen in-person, face-to-face discussions, as well as virtual communications. This will help facilitate the network building between existing programs that is currently lacking. Ford Foundation

Supported by UNICEF/Krousar Thmey Cambodia

The proposed project includes the in-depth analysis of available international and national educational resources related to standards and practices, the development of a comprehensive curriculum and training modules for training Special Needs Teachers specialized in leaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing in Cambodia, and the training of trainers with the modules. The project will include an on-site training of trainers (ToT) for selected veteran teachers lo become future trainers of current and future professionals working with deaf or hard of hearing students in Cambodia.

The purpose of this proposed project is to establish a solid comprehensive curriculum to be broken into 10 different modules of 45 hours each, for teacher training in Deaf Education. After the initial training of trainers on curriculum modules, the modules will be available for trainers to train special needs teachers working with deaf and hard of hearing students in Cambodia. This concept follows the grow-your-own approach for current and future professionals and teachers in the field.​

Supported by a Private Donor

This exploration grant draws upon the expertise and experience of educators and service providers from NTID who will collaborate with an Ethiopian team to assess the current programs; identify needs for extending secondary education as well as technical and vocational services to the deaf community in the country; and create a vision to meet those needs and a plan for implementing the vision.

The long-range goal is to propagate, expand and enhance secondary and upper secondary education for citizens who are deaf within Ethiopia. The outcome of the proposed exploration project will be a phased implementation plan for secondary/upper secondary and vocational programs for deaf Ethiopians. The implementation plan will present a detailed vision for the expanded programs and lay out the goals, outcomes and timelines for designing and developing the programs and making them operational. The entire process of planning and implementation will serve as a model for the East African Region.

Supported by NTID and the Nippon Foundation of Japan

This pilot project was established to prepare international Deaf students at NTID to serve as leaders who will make significant contributions to the betterment of their home communities as well as globally, in collaboration with their local Deaf advocacy organization(s) and/or the World Federation of the Deaf. The year-long program is designed to align with The Nippon Foundation’s primary purpose under the NTID Sasakawa-DeCaro Scholarship to help deaf people from developing countries participate in information and cultural exchanges, increase leadership skills, and return to their home countries to aid in the support of their local deaf communities.

Supported by the Nippon Foundation of Japan

The Pre-College Education Network (P-CEN) was the evolution of the PEN-International approach to enhancing deaf education in developing countries through the use of wide networks of motivated and dedicated faculty and administrators of local and regional programs supporting deaf students. P-CEN

Supported by the US-Japan Foundation

Secondary Educational Enrichment for Deaf Students – International: Sowing the SEEDS of Cross-Cultural Understanding (SEEDS-International) is the first-of-a-kind pilot program that provides global learning opportunities and cultural awareness for deaf high school students, a historically under-served population. Delegations of students, faculty, and sign language interpreters from both schools participate in video conferences, local cultural classes, journaling, week-long reciprocal school visits, and capstone presentations about their experiences to assemblies at their home schools.

Supported by the Nippon Foundation of Japan

The Postsecondary Education Network-International (PEN-International), a multinational partnership of colleges and universities worldwide, was created in 2001 through grants funded by The Nippon Foundation of Japan. Its goal is to improve and expand post secondary education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students around the world by sharing educational technology and conducting faculty development and training, particularly in developing countries. PEN-International


International Research Scholars

RIT International Student Services - The central hub for information and resources for prospective and current international students as well as international research scholars.

RIT Global - Provides information about RIT’s international campuses and study abroad opportunities.

Sasakawa-Decaro Scholarship

Center on Access Technology

Class Act - This site contains a large amount of information intended to improve existing teaching practice regarding "access" to learning for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in postsecondary classrooms.

Deaf Studies Internet Resources - This listing includes links to resources in over 40 categories, including assistive technologies, interpreting, legal issues, captioning and media information, TTY and relay services resources, and much more.

NTID Deaf Index - This index was created to help locate articles, papers, publications, and information on interpreting, interpreting issues, sign language, deaf studies, deaf history and other related materials. It contains over 20,000 entries.

C-Print Speech-to-Text System - C-Print is a speech-to-text system developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf as a communication access service option for some deaf and hard-of-hearing students in educational environments. It was developed by researchers to improve the classroom experience for students at both the secondary and college levels.



Established in 1993 by the Nippon Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in Japan, the Sasakawa-DeCaro Endowed Scholarship fund began under the name of the organization’s founding father–Royichi Sasakawa. In December of 2012, the fund’s name was changed to recognize the strong devotion and lasting contributions made by Dr. James J. DeCaro, Professor & Dean Emeritus of NTID, and the founding director of the Post-Secondary Education Network International (PEN-International).

The heart of the Nippon Foundation’s initiatives is rooted in the guiding principles laid down by Ryoichi Sasakawa: “The world is one family; all mankind are brothers and sisters.” In acknowledging our shared humanity, he emphasized that each individual has the inalienable right to live as an equal within society. Working in line with this principle, the Nippon Foundation has partnered with NTID, to accomplish its aim of creating a framework that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing people to more fully participate in society through providing them a world-class post-secondary education.


The Sasakawa-DeCaro Endowed Scholarship Fund at NTID at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) provides scholarship assistance to qualified international students. Its recipients are individuals who will study in disciplines offered at RIT/NTID and who will subsequently use the skills they have developed to contribute to the betterment of people who are deaf and hard of hearing in their home countries. The award of a Sasakawa-DeCaro Endowed Scholarship carries with it the expectation that the recipient will return to their home country upon graduation.

Students from developing countries receive highest priority for this award; however, highly qualified and motivated individuals with financial need from other countries, external to the United States, may also be considered.

Each year, approximately five or more students are designated as Sasakawa-DeCaro scholars and receive partial or full scholarships to attend RIT. Sasakawa-DeCaro Endowed Scholarships are not limited to specific fields or career objectives and can be utilized to pursue any academic discipline offered at RIT. 

Contact IEO

Reason for contacting the IEO

International Educational Outreach
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623