The deaf and hard of hearing don’t always require the support of outside networks, because they build their own. The deaf community is strong and robust, and the pride of its members is unrivaled. If you were to ask a deaf person whether or not they would choose to be granted the ability to hear, the answers of many might surprise you. Most individuals who are born deaf do not consider themselves disadvantaged or disabled in any way, and many would choose to remain deaf in order to remain a part of the greater community. Even so, many institutions do provide support for those who require it. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf is one such institution.
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (or NTID) is one of nine colleges that make up the Rochester Institute of Technology (or RIT). Of the 15,000 undergrads who choose to study at RIT, 1,200 are deaf or hard of hearing. That’s because the NTID provides the tools they need to learn on an equal footing with their peers who aren’t deaf. NTID has a number of programs that focus on career paths for any student, and has a phenomenal graduation rate. The NTID job placement rate is top of the line as well.
The mission statement of the NTID is simple, yet profound in its scope: the institute strives to give deaf or hard of hearing students state of the art technical programs, while complementing education with traditional arts and sciences packages. The purpose of all of this is to teach students how to maintain a proper work-life balance when they must eventually integrate with a fast-paced and quickly transforming world on the outside.
On top of that, NTID also strives to enhance already-strong networks for deaf and hard of hearing individuals by training new professionals how to work with them and for them. The institute complements its mission by taking advantage of research opportunities that might prove helpful to deaf members and people in general. The college does not keep the fruits of this labor to itself. Instead, it disseminates the relevant knowledge acquired to other organizations and institutions that could make use of it.
The instructors at NTID use a variety of methods to communicate with students. Sign language is of course used, as is fingerspelling, visual aids, and the Internet which provides material on the web. Tutoring is available for those who require it, as are the resources of any of the other eight colleges within RIT. When necessary, captioning services are rendered. NTID currently retains the biggest staff of interpreters for deaf or hard of hearing students in the United States, according to a personal injury attorney in Dallas.