Updated: August 23, 2021 07:58 PM
Created: August 23, 2021 06:15 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — It is a fresh new school year for 1,100 students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), and with a new year, brings new announcements.
Rochester is home to one of the largest deaf and hard-of-hearing populations in the country. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited the NTID at Rochester Insitute of Technology (RIT) Monday to call on her recommendation for $89.7 million in funding for the college in Fiscal Year 2022, an additional $8.2 million increase from Fiscal Year 2021.
NTID provides a college education to deaf and hard-of-hearing students and gives them the skills and training they need to find jobs and advance their careers. The senator's announcement brought lots of excitement, smiles, and signs of happiness to RIT's campus.
“We have 1,152 [students] as of 8 a.m. this morning,” Gerard Buckley, president of NTID said. “Enrollment is up 7% this year from last year."
The New York senator is calling for nearly $90 million in funding which would help a growing student body at the school.
“I’m proud to lead the fight for federal funding for NTID every single year, and this year is no exception,” Gillibrand said. “That funding will help NTID expand the reach of existing programs and start new ones creating more opportunities that help deaf and hard-of-hearing students prepare for the careers of today and tomorrow."
The additional funding would go to new technical programs that offer specialized training for employment in science, biomedical research, and high-tech industries such as the newly created cyber-security center.
“We have one of the highest deaf and hard-of-hearing populations per capita in the country,”Sarah Clark, Assemblymember for the 136th District, said. “Because of this, when COVID first hit it was constituents here that raised the issue that there was no interpreter during some of the governor’s initial speeches when he was giving updates every day. It’s because of Rochester; it's because of the constituents here. Because we have such a vibrant deaf and hard of community that everything has become more inclusive."
Leaders and institutions like Gillibrand and RIT recognize this and want to keep the momentum going.
“Deaf and hard-of-hearing students deserve equal access to education and opportunities. NTID provides that and much more,” Gillibrand said.
Last year, Gillibrand, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, helped $81.5 million in funding for NTID in the Fiscal Year 2021 bipartisan appropriations package.
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