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April 2, 2007

Usher Syndrome Documentary Wins International Award

From: NTID - Apr 2, 2007

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


ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 2—Silence with a Touch, a video documentary about Usher Syndrome produced by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, has won the Award of Excellence from The Communicator Awards, an international program that recognizes creative excellence in the communication field.

Silence offers a snapshot of individuals of different ages who have Usher Syndrome, a genetic disease that combines retinitis pigmentosa, which causes progressive vision loss, with congenital hearing loss. It was co-produced by David Conyer, executive producer in NTID’s Educational Design Resources Department; and Josara Wallber, an NTID audiologist on temporary assignment as an associate clinical professor at Idaho State University. Other NTID contributors were Donald Feigel, videographer/editor and Alan Cutcliffe, graphic designer.

Conyer and Wallber interviewed roughly a dozen people who have Usher Syndrome, including teenagers, college students, and adults. For Wallber, who has interacted with many deaf students diagnosed with Usher during their college years, the project “fulfilled a dream to tell the story of my friends with Usher Syndrome.”

The New York State Technical Assistance Project Serving Children and Youth Who Are Deafblind, which provided financial and technical support for the documentary, is disseminating the film for $20, which includes shipping and handling. Those interested can call (212) 678-8188 or email

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 its 1,100 students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y., campus.
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