Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Rochester, New York has been associated with deafness since at least 1876. That’s when what is now the Rochester School for the Deaf opened. In the 1800s, people were discouraged from talking in sign language on street corners. That’s when The Rochester Method of sign language developed where each word is fingerspelled. The practice continued until the 1940s. The city is now home to what is probably the nation's largest deaf population per capita. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf was established in 1965 in Rochester. Three years later, the facility accepted its first class of 71 students. Most of NTID’s funding comes from the federal government. Congress gave it more than $55 million last year. That’s about three-fourths of the Institute’s entire budget. It serves some 1200 deaf students.