Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is announcing her push for $95.2 million in funding for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in FY23, a $6.7 million increase from FY22. Every year, Senator Gillibrand leads the fight for RIT NTID appropriations to ensure the one-of-a-kind institution has the resources needed to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing students from around the country with a college education that gives them the skills needed to excel and advance their careers. The additional funding will help NTID invest in critical areas such as instruction, sign language, and captioning services.
“Since its creation, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester has played a uniquely important role in ensuring our deaf and hard-of-hearing students have every opportunity to receive a quality education. They help students become leaders, not only in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, but in key industries across our economy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These additional resources are critical to investing in NTID, our deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and our economic growth. NTID remains one of the world’s renowned institutions for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and I’m proud to serve as an advocate for it in the Senate.”
“The pandemic has had a profound impact on our students, and we are grateful the senator is fighting for the funding NTID needs to continue supporting them. This funding would enable us to make crucial investments in mental health and case management, access services, outreach, and expanding our degree programs to train teachers of the deaf and sign language interpreters to help address the national shortages in those crucial professions,” said Dr. Gerard Buckley, President of NTID and RIT Vice President and Dean.
“Sen. Gillibrand recognizes NTID’s importance nationally in providing fully accessible professional and technical education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. We are fortunate to have her leadership and advocacy this year and every year as members of the NTID community continue to make valuable contributions to diversity and innovation at RIT,” said Dr. David Munson, President of RIT.
One of nine colleges within RIT, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf was established in 1965 under the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act. As the first and largest technological college in the world for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, NTID has pioneered and set the standard for postsecondary and technical education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. NTID helps ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing students from around the country have both an exceptional college education and the skills and training needed to find jobs and advance their careers in key industries. With the $6.7 million in increased funding, NTID will have the resources needed to provide much needed mental health and access services for students, establish a new baccalaureate degree in Applied Internet of Things, create new scholarships to increase the number and diversity of future interpreters, teachers of the deaf and audiologists, expand STEM outreach, and manage inflationary costs.
Senator Gillibrand has long fought for funding increases for NTID. In 2022, Gillibrand, along with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Congressman Joseph Morelle, helped secure $88.5 million in funding for NTID in the FY22 bipartisan appropriations package, a $7 million increase from FY21.