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September 29, 2005

Max Factor Gives NTID $100K For Specialized Tech Training

From: NTID - Sep 29, 2005

Contact: Karen E. M. Black
585-475-6840 voice/TTY


ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 27—The Max Factor Family Foundation has awarded $100,000 to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology for an information technology training and career development workshop series for deaf and hard-of-hearing Latino American adults in the greater Los Angeles region.

"This gift will allow us to combine our expertise in education and technology with the foundation's strong presence and community influence in the Los Angeles area to improve this population's career preparation and successful integration into the workplace," said Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, vice president of RIT and dean for NTID.

NTID professors will customize and deliver their established Deaf Initiative in Information Technology program, where more than 300 deaf professionals nationwide who work in business, government, and non-profit organizations have successfully completed a variety of skill-enhancing workshops presented in sign language. Some of these include HTML, JavaScript, Macromedia Director, Photonics, fiber optics, wireless, XML, among many others. DIIT is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

NTID developed the workshop series because deaf people often feel isolated when they are the only deaf person in a hearing class. For example, they may take several minutes to look down to read the course materials. During that time, a hearing participant may ask a question. The deaf person will completely miss the question (and answer), because he didn't hear it, and wasn't watching the interpreter. He may ask that same question, or more likely, not ask, fearing he may have already missed the information.

"We provide an instructor familiar with deafness for the workshops so the students can see what the instructor is signing and also have ample time to view the examples," said Hurwitz. "Communicating in sign language allows people to participate fully in the workshop through group discussions, problem solving and networking with other attendees."

"NTID's successful track record is a perfect match for our philanthropic focus," said Max Factor III, attorney and foundation trustee, "which, in part, is to encourage human development among needy populations in the Greater Los Angeles area."

In addition, NTID will deliver its widely known Working Together workshop to Los Angeles employers, which teaches ways to integrate a deaf worker into a predominately hearing workplace. Types of hearing loss, deaf culture, communication needs and challenges are some of the topics addressed.

The Max Factor Family Foundation has a long and generous history with RIT, having established an endowed scholarship at NTID in 1991 that has served 88 students from the Greater Los Angeles area. In 1996, The Foundation provided funding to purchase computer equipment for a network linking NTID to key organizations allied to deafness.

NTID is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. One of eight colleges of RIT, NTID offers educational programs and access and support services to the 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students from around the world who study, live, and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT's Rochester, N.Y., campus. Web address:

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