Design. Build. Publish.

Mike Guinto

Christine Maldonado, a third-year student in the mobile app development program from St. Augustine, Florida, works on her capstone project, a greenhouse control system, for Pelligrino’s Pickle Pagoda. Once finished, the greenhouse app she helped build and publish will be used to monitor, access, and control climate conditions in greenhouses.

Today there are billions of mobile phone users as well as a seemingly endless array of mobile apps designed to meet every need. It should be no surprise that this vast and growing market needs skilled mobile programmers—professionals who know how to design new mobile apps and successfully launch them into the marketplace.


NTID recognized this need and, in 2016, accepted its first cohort of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the mobile app development program. To date, 20 students have enrolled, and last year, the first students graduated from the program. These students, and others who have started in an NTID associate degree program, continue their education in RIT’s bachelor’s degree program in web and mobile computing in RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. NTID’s associate+bachelor’s degree option makes this a seamless transition.


Information and Computing Studies Department Chair David Lawrence says the skill sets of RIT/NTID students in the mobile app development program set them apart from students in other mobile app programs.


“Our students design and build apps and are required to publish them in iOS and Android stores before they graduate,” Lawrence said. “This experience, as well as doing a co-op and completing a capstone project, gives our deaf and hard-of-hearing students a competitive advantage in demonstrating discipline-related skills for the job market when they seek employment.”


Apps by RIT/NTID mobile app students:

Weather App: Displays current weather for the day in the user’s location.

Teach2Connect App: Best practice tips and advice for faculty working with deaf students.

NTID 50th Reunion App: Programming information and ticket sales for attendees to use during the three-day event.

Deaf Refugees Conference App: Information for attendees to use during the conference.

All Access App: Makes information about local businesses accessible for app users who are deaf or hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or non-native English speakers.

Memorial Art Gallery: Provides accessible content regarding artwork in forms of text-based content, captioned videos in sign or spoken language, audio descriptions, adjustable font size, and more.
Greenhouse App (design underway): Used to monitor, access, and control climate conditions in greenhouses.