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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Announces a $2.6 Million Dollar Federal Award for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf

August 8, 2017
Press Release
Will be used to launch a first-of-its-kind study examining language outcomes in young deaf adults

ROCHESTER, NY – Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) announced today that Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) has received a $2.6 million five-year federal award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This award will be used to launch a first-of-its-kind study with college-age adults examining the neurological, linguistic, and behavioral outcomes for deaf individuals after childhood.

“I’m proud to announce this major federal award for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. This five-year award will be used to launch the first-of-its-kind study examining language outcomes in young deaf adults. This investment from the National Institutes of Health will help ensure the world’s first technological college for deaf students continues leading the way in helping students in Monroe County and across the country,” said Slaughter.

“We are grateful to Congresswoman Slaughter for her continued strong support of NTID,” said Dr. Gerard J. Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “This grant will allow us to continue to study and develop best practices that make RIT/NTID the leader in technological education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.”

The latest data from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders indicates that two to three out of every 1,000 children born in the United States are deaf or hard of hearing. For some of these children, being deaf can preclude typical acquisition of spoken language. Some children use hearing aids, learn sign language only, spoken language only, or a combination of sign and spoken language, with or without hearing aids. Others use a cochlear implant.

The research made possible by this federal award will examine spoken language outcomes in young deaf adults who received their implants in childhood and now are enrolled at RIT/NTID. The unique sample will include those who learned sign language in infancy and use a cochlear implant. This will allow the research to include a look at how early exposure to American Sign Language influences spoken language outcomes.

Congresswoman Slaughter has a long history of supporting Rochester’s deaf and hard-of-hearing community—the nation’s largest on a per-capita basis. In 2010, Rochester Institute of Technology honored Rep. Slaughter with their most prestigious Presidential Medallion for her work on behalf of Rochester-area students, especially those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Also in 2010, Rep. Slaughter announced an innovative partnership between NTID, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester General Health System, and Gallaudet University to increase the participation of the deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans in the healthcare industry. Last year, Slaughter announced a $820,504 grant to Rochester Institute of Technology to create a new curriculum for mobile app development that is being developed and initially offered at the NTID.

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