NTID Regional STEM Center


NTID established the NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC) in partnership with various organizations to develop regional centers in parts of the country to deliver a variety of STEM programming. These partnerships enable NTID to expand geographic reach of services and activities supported by the college for students in middle and high school who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. 

Partnership activities include:

  • Promoting training and participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields for middle school and high school students.
  • Working with NTID faculty and staff to develop and provide postsecondary preparation activities for middle school and high school students.
  • Providing resources and activities for teachers, interpreters, and vocational rehabilitation personnel.
  • Developing partnerships with STEM-related business and industry to promote employment opportunities for individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

The NTID Regional STEM Center’s audiences are:

  • Middle school and high students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and their families
  • Teachers of such students
  • Educational interpreters
  • Vocational rehabilitation personnel
  • STEM employers

Goals and Objectives

The NRSC achieves its goals of improving access to STEM education and employment for students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing by:

  • Enhancing understanding about opportunities for individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing in STEM careers among middle and high school students, teachers, counselors, and vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors. 
  • Improving the instructional and technical skills of high school teachers in STEM areas.
  • Establishing, expanding, and improving pathways for students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing to transition from high school to associate degrees, to baccalaureate degrees, and beyond in STEM areas. 
  • Improving access to learning for students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing who may be in mainstream classes, with or without support and access services.
  • Developing employers' awareness of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals as potential employees and how they can be hired and successfully integrated into the STEM workforce. 
  • Improving the STEM knowledge and sign language skills of American Sign Language interpreters.


Collaboration with Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB)  
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf has partnered with AIDB to form the NTID Regional STEM Center--Southeast, which is housed on the campus of AIDB in Talladega, AL. The mission of NRSC Southeast is to promote STEM education initiatives and career awareness for students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing in primary and secondary schools. This includes, but is not limited to, mainstream and residential programs. All programs and services offered by NRSC-Southeast are free of charge.

NRSC Southeast serves the following 12-state region:

• Alabama • Mississippi
• Arkansas • North Carolina
• Florida • Oklahoma
• Georgia • South Carolina
• Kentucky • Tennessee
• Louisiana • Texas

By way of NRSC, AIDB and their staff have developed a number of programs and collaborations for students of all ages. Serving 12 states in the Southeast, their goal is to encourage deaf and hard-of-hearing students to get involved and expand their understanding of STEM topics. They achieve this by offering wide-ranging educational activities and workshops. To learn more about these initiatives, visit AIDB’s NRSC homepage.

Summer Programs

Check out the featured summer programs of NRSC-Southeast:
STEM Academy
Prepare for the transition from high school to college! At this 3-week program, students will:
•    Improve academic skills
•    Develop leadership skills
•    Enhance college readiness
•    Meet new friends
•    Experience life on a college campus

STEM Academy is only offered to students who are at least 15 years old and in grades 10-12.
STEM In Agriculture
Explore how robotics are used in farming and learn through fun, hands-on labs about nutrition, soil science, biology, and coding! Build a robot that will plant, water, and maintain a good environment for crops.

STEM In Agriculture is offered to students in grades 9-12.

Students explore potential careers in cybersecurity through hands-on experiences in programming, digital forensics, cryptography, networking, and online safety. 
GenCyber is offered to students in grades 9-12

At all of our programs, students spend time learning about exciting concepts, participating in fun activities, and meet other students just like them. Learn more about NRSC – Southeast summer programs at www.aidb.org/nrsc.

Book an activity tour with Boomer, the traveling STEM bus. Boomer is a converted RV available via appointment for a variety of programs and activities. Bring the classroom outside of the classroom! Boomer offers basic coding activities, a Droids and Drones program, and more for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Learn more about Boomer, the traveling STEM Bus.  
STEM Interpreting
Workshops are offered addressing some of the differences working in STEM environments compared to non-STEM environments. We discuss strategies of how to approach STEM environments and provide links to a variety of resources for vocabulary and content comprehension. We provide opportunities for practice, modeling of teaming and how to look at/talk about the interpreting work product. These workshops are heavily dependent on participant interaction with fellow participants and the facilitators.  
Specific content areas that can be discussed include but are not limited to; Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Math and Physics.  
Remote colleague mentoring is also offered. Semester long, individual or group format. We subscribe to the belief that no interpreter has “arrived” and that we all have something to learn.  
About NRSC STEM Interpreting:
We are a group of postsecondary interpreters with more than 75 years of combined experience with an emphasis on STEM content areas. We love learning new things and from each other. Our passion is to develop personally and to inspire our colleagues to do the same, regardless of where they are on their professional path.
For information about STEM Interpreting, inquiries, or workshops, contact Cheryl Reminder at cardis@rit.edu
STEM Academy: PNW
Prepare for the transition from high school to college! At this 3-week program, students will:
•    Improve academic skills
•    Develop leadership skills
•    Enhance college readiness
•    Meet new friends
•    Experience life on a college campus

STEM Academy: PNW is offered to students in grades 9-12.

Learn more about STEM Academy: PNW  

NTID Outreach Programs

The RIT/NTID Outreach team works with NRSC to coordinate middle and high school STEM programs. Our outreach team has years of experience with developing diverse and interactive camps and programs, and connecting with students, parents, and educators. 

Learn more about NTID Outreach

Employer Information

NRSC works with the NTID Co-op and Career Center (NCCC) to provide employer training workshops and present to organizations about working with deaf and hard-of-hearing job candidates. NCCC assists deaf and hard-of-hearing students, graduating students and alumni with their job search and works with employers to facilitate hiring of highly qualified co-op students and graduates.

Learn more about the NTID Co-op and Career Center.

VR Information

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) provides services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or to those who have disabilities and who need help to qualify for or to find a job. VR may assist with vocational training or college. VR services may include financial assistance, employment planning, counseling, transportation, and job placement assistance. A VR counselor, who determines eligibility for services, is assigned to each individual requesting assistance. States have various names for VR, and services vary depending on need and the state in which a student lives.

Learn more about NTID VR


Project Fast Forward

Project Fast Forward helps deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students across the country get a jump start on a college degree by offering dual-credit college courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas. The ultimate goal of the program is to help deaf and hard-of-hearing students transition from high school to college and earn a college degree in a STEM field. The dual-credit courses are offered by Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The courses are taught at the students’ high schools, by their own teachers, during regular school hours. Courses are offered in schools for the deaf as well as public high schools with programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The credits earned by students can be used toward a degree at RIT/NTID or any other college across the country that accepts the credit.

Learn more about Project Fast Forward


Deaftec brand white text deaftec on black background spiralling dots in alternating white and orange squaresTechnological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students, a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education National Center of Excellence, serves as a resource for high schools and community colleges that educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students in STEM-related programs and for employers hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. NRSC works with DeafTEC to provide support in developing these STEM-related programs. 

Learn more about DeafTEC

Sunshine 2.0Sunshine 2.0 Company members with arms crossed next to yellow start with the text sunshine 2.0

This free traveling road show offers performances for children, teenagers and the community at large. Workshops and performances provide educational opportunities for audience members to learn from each other, make discoveries in STEM fields, and gain new awareness. NRSC works with Sunshine 2.0 to support their engaging shows, which provide valuable insights into the human condition by way of STEM education and demonstrate how hearing and deaf people can interact with one another.

Learn more about Sunshine 2.0


Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How did the NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC) - Southeast come to be?
A:  An agreement between Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talladega established the partnership called the NRSC-Southeast.

Q: Where does funding come from?
A: The center is funded from RIT/NTID’s federal appropriation.

Q: What is the center’s purpose?
A:  The center’s purpose is to promote training and postsecondary participation for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in STEM fields.

Q:  Why establish this regional partnership in the south?
A:  The nationwide push for STEM education and NTID’s previous partnerships in the Southeast region pointed to a need for developing programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students so they can compete for STEM jobs after graduation from college.

Contact Us

Mark Sommer
NRSC Project Director
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York l4623
(585) 475-7695
Rick Hauan
NTID Regional STEM Center - Southeast
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
205 South Street E
Talladega, AL 35160
(256) 761-3765

Erica Pedro, PhD
Director of Outreach K-12
NTID Regional STEM Center – Pacific Northwest
Washington Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth (CDHY)
Washington School for the Deaf (WSD)
611 Grand Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98661
(360)  418 - 0400