Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) to call for $89.7 million in funding in FY22, an $8.2 million increase from FY21. 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. After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, these additional resources will help NTID develop programs and resources for those who have experienced layoffs or have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and will help them re-enter the workforce.
“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. “In the midst of this pandemic, these additional resources are critical to investing in NTID, our deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and to 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.”
“All of us at RIT, and especially those at our National Technical Institute for the Deaf, thank Senator Gillibrand for taking the time to visit our campus today,” said RIT President David Munson. “Senator Gillibrand’s steadfast support of NTID’s mission to educate, train, and employ our deaf and hard-of-hearing community members is greatly appreciated. Funding from our federal government partners helps this gem on our campus shine and provides superior opportunities for our deaf and hard-of-hearing students, faculty, and staff that are simply unmatched. We are all fortunate to be able to benefit from this unique educational and experiential enterprise that enriches our campus community.”
“For more than 50 years, NTID has benefitted from a strong partnership with our Senate and Congressional representatives,” said Gerard Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “Senator Gillibrand’s unwavering support and advocacy for NTID’s mission has provided countless opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students to learn and succeed, and become the leaders of tomorrow. We are grateful for Senator Gillibrand’s ongoing advocacy, and her support for NTID’s FY22 request, that will allow us to continue to expand the services we provide to deaf and hard-of-hearing students from across the county.”
“I applaud Senator Gillibrand for her commitment to Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technology Institute for the Deaf (NTID),” said Assemblymember Harry Bronson. With close to $90 million in appropriations funding for FY22, this continued funding will ensure that our NTID students will be able to pursue an outstanding education, experience cutting edge technology and achieve training for employment in high-tech businesses.”
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 $8.2 million in increased funding, NTID will have the resources needed to provide aid grants for students, reduce the costs of receiving a degree, and propose new technical programs that offer specialized training for employment in high-tech industries.
Senator Gillibrand has long fought for funding increases for NTID. In 2021, Gillibrand, along with Senate Majority Leader Schumer, helped secure $81.5 million in funding for NTID in the FY 2021 bipartisan appropriations package. In 2018, the senators helped secure $77.5 million for NTID as part of the FY 2019 education appropriations bill and $73 million for NTID as part of the FY 2018 omnibus bill.