When hearing people think about exciting new technologies for those who are deaf, their minds most likely jump to the latest developments in cochlear implants or hearing aids. Or perhaps they may vaguely recall reading about any number of devices being developed to translate sign language into speech (or speech into ASL, or ASL into text). When hearing people think about deafness in general, they tend to think only in terms of “problems” and “solutions.” Luxury technology now forms a cornerstone of our sleek American culture, yet very few innovations seek to enhance — or even consider — the real diversity of the modern user base.
Chris (“Phoenix”) Robinson, who has severe hearing loss in his right ear and is completely deaf in his left, and Brandon (“Zero”) Chan, who is deaf, began their Twitch.tv channel DeafGamersTV with a seemingly simple goal: break down the barrier between deaf and hearing people in the gaming world.
It’s a team sport, but indoor polo doesn’t take much talking—which helped make it an instant fit for Peter Hauser. During his freshman year of college, a few horse hours were a weekly routine: polo three times a week, together with training ponies or coaching local students in the sport. But Hauser had a stronger motivation than his love of the game: The horses didn’t expect him to hear them.
At the age of 5, a bout of spinal meningitis left Hauser completely deaf. While in middle school, he attempted to use cochlear implants—considered an experimental treatment at the time—but the prosthetics proved ineffective. The procedures and monitoring nonetheless had an upside: They provided his earliest experiences working with researchers, which helped him become interested in pursuing science himself.
Hauser had a longstanding interest in human psychology. As a deaf student, however, he didn’t think he could work with people as research subjects, so he chose to major in animal sciences instead. But when his advanced courses proved challenging, he began taking evening sign language classes at a community college so that he could use an interpreter to keep up—he had relied on lip-reading up to that point—and the decision was life-changing.
Posted Mar. 1, 2016
National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology ’s SpiRIT Writing Contest and Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition is open to deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students until March 18.
The writing contest is open to deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students in 10th and 11th grades. Winners can choose a scholarship and travel expenses to the Explore Your Future program at NTID, or $500. Explore Your Future is a six-day summer career exploration program in July for deaf and hard-of-hearing students that provides the opportunity to sample different careers as well as college life.
The digital arts competition is open to students in grades nine through 12 and has a $250 prize. Winning work will be exhibited in the Dyer Arts Center and on the college website. This national competition recognizes students’ artistic expression with awards in film, graphic media, interactive media, photo imaging, 3D animation and web page design. Students may submit up to two entries.
Deaf hip-hop artist and Rochester Institute of Technology graduate Sean Forbes returns to RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf to perform his show “Deaf and Loud” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9 in Panara Theatre. Tickets for the concert are $10 and can be purchased beginning Monday at the NTID Box Office.
In addition to performing hip-hop, Forbes—a 2008 graduate of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology—is an accomplished drummer, songwriter and communicator. His debut album, PerfectImperfection, contains 12 American Sign Language music videos that are coupled with his original songs. He has been featured on CNN, National Public Radio and the Ovation Network series, Motor City Rising, and articles about him have published in Spin,New York Post and The Washington Post, among others. He has performed hundreds of live shows for both deaf and hearing audiences and has achieved viral success on YouTube.
Science, technology, engineering and math will be explored during week long session in July
Deaf and hard-of-hearing girls and boys who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math and entering 7th, 8th or 9th grades in September can attend “TechGirlz” or “TechBoyz” summer camps at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, July 25 30.
TechBoyz and TechGirlz camps are designed to help students learn about and consider careers in science and technology. Through hands-on activities, campers will explore chemistry, computers, engineering and science; learn to build their own computer; and command a simulated mission to Mars. They also will meet other students with similar interests and participate in social activities.
Camp classes—held in English and in sign language—are certified by the New York State Department of Health and incorporate National Science Education standards.
In the span of less than two months this summer, we will celebrate the anniversaries of two major milestones that have changed the lives of millions of Americans, including my own.
The first of these anniversaries is June 8 — the 50 th anniversary of the signing of Public Law 89-36 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. PL 89-36 is also known as the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act, and for the first time in our nation's history, it established a technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, more commonly known now as STEM.
Since its establishment, NTID and its host institution, Rochester Institute of Technology, have graduated more than 7,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and I'm proud to be one of them. I'm prouder still to now lead the college as we continue to help students earn degrees and hit the ground running in scientific, technical and professional careers.
Twenty-five years after PL 89-36 was enacted, I, by then an RIT/NTID alumnus, was fortunate to be invited by Sen. Robert Dole to witness the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The ADA has provided still more opportunities for equal access to Americans of all abilities. As President Bush said in his remarks that day, "With today's signing … every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence and freedom."
Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Institute for the Deaf has been tapped for its expertise by the Federal Communications Commission, RIT leaders said.
The Center on Access Technology Innovation Lab at NTID has been named the major technical subcontractor in a partnership with VTCSecure LLC.
The team will develop a video access technology reference platform, designed to advance telecommunications access for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-disabled populations in the United States. NTID will provide technology support as well as alpha and beta testing.
The Explore Your Future (EYF) program at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y., offers deaf and hard-of-hearing college-bound high school students who will begin their junior or senior year in the fall of 2015 a unique opportunity to experience life on a college campus, explore their interests, and sample various careers. This six-day, summer career-exploration program provides students with hands-on activities related to careers in art, business, computer science, engineering, health sciences, information technology, science, and more.
EYF sessions for summer 2015 run July 11‑16 and July 18‑23. On the final day of each session, parents attend a workshop that helps them prepare their student for life after high school.
Students can apply online at www.rit.edu/NTID/EYF. For more information, call (585) 475-6700, (585) 743-1366 (videophone) or email EYFInfo@rit.edu. The application deadline is May 31.
RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf offers educational programs and access and support services to 1,200 hard-of-hearing and deaf students who live, study and work with more than 15,000 hearing students on RIT’s campus. Visit www.rit.edu/NTID for more information.
RIT/NTID to Offer Educational Summer Camps for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Camps for deaf and hard-of-hearing teenagers are planned this summer at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where they will get hands-on experience building computers or other high-tech devices, learn which college majors and careers may be best suited for them and meet other campers from around the country while enjoying recreational activities.
Explore Your Future, a six-day career awareness program for college-bound high school sophomores and juniors who are deaf or hard of hearing. Students experience college life, enjoy hands-on activities and get a taste of real world careers in the fields of art, business, computing, engineering, health sciences and science. Two sessions of the camp are being offered this year: July 13-18, or July 20-25, 2013. Deadline to apply is April 30.
I stopped by the RIT table and asked Mary Ellen Tait from NTID’s Center on Employment department, what she wanted our NVRC readers to know. Mary Ellen said she would be delighted if we could help get the word out on the RIT bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for veterans who have hearing loss as a result of their service. Named to the 2010 Military Friendly Schools list, RIT offers tuition-reduced classes with access to C-Print captioning services, counseling, and audiology services which include cochlear implant mapping.
RIT holds a job fair every October and assists in finding internships. The graduates are high-tech, highly trained workers and the university helps find work positions. The Outreach Education and Training department offers on-site employer workshops with each program custom designed to address issues unique to that firm. For more information about the veterans degree program visit their website: https://www.rit.edu/ntid/veterans/
Federally funded by the National Institute for Health, the NIDCD uses supports research in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. The knowledge obtained by this research is translated into easy to read, free publications available to the public. NIDCD’s “Ten Ways To Recognize Hearing Loss” bookmark has been a valuable tool at the health fairs where NVRC exhibits throughout the year.
A popular NIDCD program started a couple of years ago is called “It’s a Noisy Planet” and is presented in schools to teach kids how to protect their hearing in loud places. The NIDCD website is loaded with great information and you can learn about their latest research at http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/