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October 26, 2006

NTID draws award from Labor

From: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester,NY,USA - Oct 26, 2006

Greg Livadas
Staff writer

(October 26, 2006) — The National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, today was honored by the Department of Labor for improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Alan Hurwitz, NTID’s CEO and dean, accepted the New Freedom Initiative Award at a luncheon in Washington. NTID is one of four non-profits to receive the award this year.

The award recognizes exemplary and innovative efforts to recruit, hire and promote people with disabilities and to incorporate into workplaces the principles of President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative, introduced in 2001 to give people with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of community life, including employment.

Before 1965, nearly 85 percent of deaf adults worked in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, because few higher education opportunities existed for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Since NTID, mostly funded by Congress, was established some 40 years ago, that trend has reversed, as 92 percent of NTID graduates who choose to enter the labor force find employment in business, industry, government, education and other fields that are commensurate with the level of their education and training.

“Education and technology have allowed people with disabilities more opportunities as well as a smoother transition into the workforce,” Hurwitz said. “The benefits of hiring people with disabilities are universal.”

© 2006, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle