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NTID Information

In any grant proposal involving NTID, it is appropriate to inform funding agencies about NTID's unique history, mission, and students.


Public Law 89-36, which provided for the establishment and operation of a National Technical Institute for the Deaf, was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson on June 8, 1965. NTID, a federally funded institution located on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, was the first technological college for deaf students in the world. The primary objectives of NTID at the time it was established were:

  • To provide, for postsecondary deaf students, the opportunity to prepare for and to pursue semiprofessional and professional level educational programs in science, technology and applied arts that lead to successful employment in business, education, government and industry.
  • To provide special support services, within an institution of higher learning, which facilitate and encourage deaf students to achieve a high degree of personal, social, and cultural development.
  • To encourage qualified deaf students to pursue graduate studies at RIT or elsewhere.
  • To conduct research into the occupational and the employment related aspects of deafness.
  • To develop and evaluate new imaginative instructional technology for application in the education of deaf students.
  • To conduct training programs, seminars, and short courses relating to deafness for RIT personnel, for graduate students preparing to work professionally with the deaf, and for other special groups.
  • To disseminate information regarding current NTID practices concerning curriculum, courses of study, special services, and research findings related to those offering programs for deaf children and to the RIT educational community.
  • To develop and modify the educational specifications, to design and construct the facilities, to procure the equipment, and to develop and maintain the staff necessary to meet the objectives of NTID.

NTID currently enrolls 1,200 students, over 460 of whom are fully matriculated into the other seven colleges of RIT. See the section on NTID Students for additional information.

In 1992, NTID revisited its purpose and objectives in its STRATEGIC PLAN: An Agenda for Action. The following mission statement comes from this plan.


The primary mission of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf is to provide deaf students with outstanding, state-of-the-art technical and professional education programs, complemented by a strong arts and sciences curriculum, that prepare them to live and work in the mainstream of a rapidly changing global community and enhance their lifelong learning. NTID's distinctive programs, as well as its responsiveness to the needs of business and industry, are designed to maximize the career development and employability of students in technological, business, scientific, artistic, and other professional fields. Students may pursue programs at NTID that lead to certificates, diplomas, and associate degree, and through other colleges of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), programs that lead to baccalaureate and graduate degrees. The quality and relevance of students' academic experience are strengthened through cooperative work experience. As a college of RIT, NTID offers its students a unique educational living and learning environment where deaf and hearing people reside, study, and collaborate.

Secondarily, in its role as a national (and international) institution, NTID is dedicated to:

  • Serving as a leader and model in the design of services that provide access to broad educational opportunities at all levels. Access and support at RIT are defined as coordinated services that include, but are not limited to, interpreting, notetaking, tutoring, and advising;
  • Sharing its knowledge and expertise through educational outreach activities, information dissemination, and continuing education, with alumni, other deaf adults, vocational rehabilitation personnel, employers, educators and parents, among others;
  • Offering educational programs that prepare individuals for careers that are related to working with deaf people;
  • Conducting applied research that improves the teaching and learning processes; advances the study, technology, and application of communication strategies; and assesses the occupational and community experiences of deaf people;
  • Promoting scholarship that enhances professional practice and supports the creation of artistic works; and
  • Exploring emerging career opportunities and integrating new and innovative programming at all degree levels to keep pace with technical and occupational changes.

In fulfilling its mission, the faculty, staff and administrators of NTID are committed to:

  • Fostering institutional, programmatic and professional excellence, integrity, and credibility;
  • Innovating and changing to meet the many and varied challenges that NTID will encounter in the future, with each member of the community responsible for seeking continuous improvement in order to provide the highest quality programs and services to NTID's clientele;
  • Understanding and appreciating the diversity of the deaf community and Deaf culture;
  • Promoting pluralism and respect for diversity throughout the college's curriculum and organization;
  • Recognizing, studying, and using English and American Sign Language as languages of the educational community, with all community members sharing the responsibility for respecting language preferences of students and colleagues; [By English is meant the spoken, written and signed forms of English. By American Sign Language is meant the range of form from meaning- based, English-like signing with ASL features to more purely structured American Sign Language.]
  • Creating an educational community that is student centered and encourages students to develop a sense of service to others, as well as leadership and self-advocacy skills;
  • Creating an environment where collaboration in instruction, scholarly activities, and service is highly valued and recognized; and
  • Fostering a spirit of shared governance, participatory decision- making and open dialogue.


The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) was established as part of a larger university (Rochester Institute of Technology) to serve as a model provider of technical curricula and support services for deaf and hard of hearing students; it now serves over 1,200 students each year in a variety of programs ranging from certificate-level technical training through graduate studies. More than 460 deaf and hard-of-hearing students are fully matriculated in the other seven colleges of RIT, supported by NTID with more than 94,000 hours of interpreting, more than 54,000 hours of notetaking, more than 14,000 hours of tutoring/advising, and almost 5,000 hours of C-Print captioning (a total of 1,798 class sections).

NTID's support services and training programs have become national and international models; its success is validated by the fact that NTID alumni (over 5,200 to date) enjoy a 95% placement rate, with almost three-quarters of them in business and industry. NTID graduates with Bachelor's degrees earn 300% more than deaf people with only high school degrees, and those with sub-Bachelor's level degrees earn 216% more than peers with only high school degrees.