Center on Access Technology (CAT)

The Center on Access Technology is located in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of the eight colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). NTID provides technical and professional programs for approximately 800 deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in associate degree programs. NTID also provides extensive educational access services, including interpreting, real-time captioning, tutoring, and notetaking, to nearly 500 deaf and hard-of-hearing students enrolled in baccalaureate programs in the other seven RIT colleges. Ninety-two percent of NTID graduates secure positions that commensurate with their training immediately upon graduation. Additionally, over 100 interpreting students and teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students are enrolled in programs at NTID.

Established by an Act of Congress in 1965, NTID is a model provider of technical curricula and access and support services for students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. NTID trains its faculty and staff, as well as the faculty and staff of the other seven colleges of RIT, in how to best work with deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The college is experienced in providing practical strategies that produce changes in pedagogy, curriculum and the use of support and access services to increase deaf and hard-of-hearing students' opportunities for success.

Founded in 1829, RIT is the 11th largest private university in the nation and a world-class institute of technology. More than 1,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students study, live, work and socialize daily with over 15,000 hearing peers.

The RIT campus is the logical location for the Center on Access Technology. Here, the Center's personnel will be in close proximity to more than 1,200 mainstreamed deaf students and over 100 deaf faculty and staff. This places the Center in a unique position to study first-hand the access technology uses, challenges and needs of deaf students, both in and out of the classroom.

Personnel

James J. DeCaro - In addition to his new responsibilities as Director of the Center on Access Technology, Dr. DeCaro is currently Director of PEN-International at NTID/RIT. PEN-International is a multinational collaborative network of colleges and universities serving to improve and expand education and career opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students around the world. PEN-International is funded by The Nippon Foundation of Japan. Prior to holding this post, Dr. DeCaro served as Dean for NTID for 14 academic years, two of those as Interim Director and CEO. He holds BS and MS degrees in civil engineering and a Ph.D. in instructional technology.

E. William Clymer - Mr. Clymer, an Associate Professor at NTID/RIT, is Associate Director of the Center on Access Technology and also currently serves as the Associate Director of PEN-International. He holds a MBA and a BS and MS in technology. His primary focus is on the application of technology in deaf education. Mr. Clymer has served as the chair of the NTID International Symposium on Technology and Education of the Deaf, and recently organized the NSF - sponsored <a href="../summit">Summit to Create a Cyber-Community to Advance the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals in STEM</a>, held at NTID June 25-27, 2008.

Gary Behm - Mr. Behm is a graduate of NTID/RIT with his BS and MS degrees in engineering. He is a loaned executive to NTID from IBM for the 2008-2009 Academic Years and part of the 2009-2010 Academic year. At IBM, Behm is a delivery project manager in the Rapid Application Development Engineering System. Behm has four patent disclosures under review, seven disclosures filed, and three patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. He will be working on a variety of access technologies for deaf and hard-of-hearing people while at NTID, where he currently teaches in the Engineering Studies Program, and devotes 25% of his plan of work to the Center on Access Technology.