NRSC promotes training and participation for deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
NTID established its first NRSC in the Southeast in November 2016 in partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), to expand the geographic reach of activities and services supported by NTID, with the goal of improving access to postsecondary STEM education and employment for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
The region served by NRSC includes twelve Southeastern states:
The center's activities focus on:
Preparing postsecondary students to be successful in STEM
Providing professional development for middle and high school teachers
Developing relationships with business and industry to promote employment opportunities
Goals and Objectives
The NRSC achieves its goals of improving access to postsecondary STEM education and employment for deaf and hard-of-hearing students by:
Enhancing understanding about opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals 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 deaf and hard-of-hearing students to transition from high school to associate degrees, to baccalaureate degrees, and beyond in STEM areas.
Improving access to learning for deaf and hard-of-hearing students 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 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 the NRSC 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.
Camps and Programs
Check out NRSC’s featured summer program, STEM Academy! A four-week program with a variety of exciting and inclusive camps and activities for students in grades 9-12. Students will have a chance to explore topics like space, mechatronic engineering, cybersecurity, and marine biology. Students can choose one or all of the camps. The best part about STEM Academy is that there is no charge for students to attend. Learn more about STEM Academy.
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, our goal is to encourage deaf and hard-of-hearing students to get involved and expand their understanding of STEM topics. We achieve this by offering wide-ranging educational activities and workshops. To learn more about these initiatives, visit AIDB’s NRSC homepage.
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 and get information about our programs.
Summer Transition Program
Get a strong start on your college journey! STP is a free, six-week summer program for first-year deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT/NTID students. This program runs prior to NTID orientation, the Summer Vestibule Program (SVP). Students can qualify for tuition and room and board waivers upon completion of the program. Learn more about the Summer Transition Program.
STEM Bus Tours
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.
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.
If this sounds interesting to you please reach out to us via email.
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.
NRSC works with the NTID Center on Employment (NCE) to provide employer training workshops and present to organizations about working with deaf and hard-of-hearing job candidates. NCE 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.
Project Fast Forward helps qualified 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.
Technological 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.
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.
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: Which states comprise the Southeast region?
A: There are twelve states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
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: NTID’s previous partnerships in the area, and the nationwide push for STEM education pointed to a need in the southeast area for developing programs for deaf and hard of hearing high school students so they can compete for STEM jobs after graduation from college.
Dr. Denise Kavin
Assistant Dean and Executive Director
Division of Outreach, Placement and Special Projects
Rochester Institute of Technology
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York l4623
Dr. Dennis Gilliam
NTID Regional STEM Center - Southeast
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
205 South Street E
Talladega, AL 35160
(256) 761-3765 Gilliam.Dennis@aidb.state.al.us