Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

National Technical Institute for the Deaf receives $88.5M, expands STEM programs

NTID President Dr. Gerard Buckley
Photo provided
NTID President Dr. Gerard Buckley

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology is getting a boost in federal funding.

NTID has been awarded $88.5 million dollars in the 2022 Omnibus budget, a $7 million dollar increase from last year.

Gerard Buckley, president of NTID, said the institute plans to use this opportunity to expand projects in biomedical science and cybersecurity that reach deaf students as they prepare for college.

“Deaf individuals have traditionally just been underrepresented, so young deaf people grow up and they don't see role models like them,.” Buckley said, adding that the robust Deaf community in Rochester is an exception. “We want to change that. We want them to see more role models and have higher career aspirations.”

The funding will help to formalize and expand the institute’s national hub of innovation for deaf and hard-of-hearing biomedical scientists as well as health care professionals.

The college has already partnered with the University of Rochester and Rochester Regional Health to expand access in those fields, Buckley said, including through a pre-career training pipeline, summer institute, and mentorship programs.

“We want to make Rochester a hub for the training of deaf professionals and healthcare and healthcare related fields,” Buckley said. "We're really trying to make sure that everything from ultrasound, to you know, to nursing to physicians to all the things that support the health care professions, that they are accessible and available in Rochester.”

The funds will also aid in the development of a Center for Cybersecurity Training for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in partnership with RIT’s ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute.

“We are grateful to Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, and to Congressman Morelle, for understanding the value of the work being done at NTID and the rest of RIT,” RIT President David Munson said in a statement. “NTID leads the world in technical education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier this week that the NTID funds were part of a larger package of financial investments in the Finger Lakes region that would drive economic growth.

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.