Center on Access Technology

Center on Access Technology (CAT)

CAT technology in the classroomThe NTID Center on Access Technology will investigate, evaluate, and report on the most effective and efficient use of access technologies and train individuals in their use in order to accelerate the widespread implementation of best practices within deaf education at the postsecondary level. This Center will create a collaborative network of individuals from RIT and other universities, as well as from industry and professional organizations, to promote research and development of access technologies that will positively impact postsecondary educational experiences for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

Despite recent improvements in the ability of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to access information through the use or adaptation of technologies-the Internet, instant messaging, cellular phones, text messaging, video phones - these individuals still do not yet enjoy full "access to information" in postsecondary education that is equal to that of their hearing peers. Many existing and developing technologies have significant potential to serve as effective "access technologies" for deaf people. To address the unique challenges of utilizing or adapting new technologies for use in postsecondary educational settings, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) through its National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) established the Center on Access Technology for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, in March 2006.

The Center is charged to investigate, evaluate, and report on the most effective and efficient use of access technologies and train individuals in their use in order to accelerate the widespread implementation of best practices within deaf education at the postsecondary level. The Center is focusing its efforts on technologies that have a high likelihood of improving access to postsecondary educational opportunities for deaf students within the next several years. Based on research conducted in 2005, four areas of focus were identified. These strands include:

  • Classroom Access Technologies   
  • Mobile Technologies
  • Audio and Sound Technologies of Interest to Hard-of-Hearing Persons
  • Training and Evaluation Services

The Center seeks projects that fall within the following parameters:

  • Those that can adapt/adopt existing technologies
  • Those that utilize existing professional networks
  • Those that involve education and training