April 14, 2021
Press Release
Grant will support DeafTEC Ready pilot program to equip deaf and hard-of-hearing students with skills to succeed in the workforce

April 14, 2021 (Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle announced that $470,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been awarded to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). RIT is the home of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), the first and largest technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the world. This grant will support the DeafTEC Ready Pilot Program housed at NTID to help deaf and hard-of-hearing students learn IT technical skills to better prepare them for the workforce.

“I’m excited that RIT/NTID has received this award to expand technical education and bolster their dedicated efforts to prepare deaf and hard-of-hearing students for the workforce,” said Rep. Morelle. “This will further cement RIT’s reputation as a global leader in providing innovative services to help deaf and hard-of-hearing community members reach their full potential. Investments like this are essential to fostering a more accessible and inclusive society for all people, and I thank NSF for their support.”

“This significant award will advance NTID’s goal of increasing the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the IT sector,” said NTID President Gerard Buckley. “We are grateful for Congressman Morelle’s support of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and for his leadership in advocating for the advancement of technical education.”

The grant award will fund the pilot program for DeafTEC Ready, a 10-week, 40-hour boot camp for 12 deaf and hard-of-hearing adults on the RIT campus during summer 2022. In this program, deaf and hard-of-hearing students will learn technical skills such as repairing and maintaining computer equipment, networks, and operating systems as well as key workplace skills such as professional communication and problem solving. Upon successful certification, students will receive direct job placement assistance as well as course credit that can be used to pursue an associate degree at NTID or at other colleges across the country.