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Schumer Announces $200,000 In Research Money For Rochester Institute Of Technology

Federal Funds will be used for Research and Development of Media Services for Students with Disabilities

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced $200,000 for the Rochester Institute of Technology as part of the U.S. Department of Education, Steppingstones of Technology Innovation Program. The federal funds will be used to develop the tablet Personal Computer as a new means of academic support for deaf and hardofhearing middle and high school students integrated in mainstream classes.

Educating our children must be a top priority, says Senator Schumer. The Rochester Institute of Technology is on the cuttingedge of research, and this money for developing educational tools will ensure this critical work continues. Not only will this solidify the research status of the University, but it will also allow deaf and hardofhearing students to fully participate in mainstream learning classrooms.

The federal funds will be used to conduct inclassroom trials of the tablet PC, adapted for deaf and hardofhearing students, enabling the use of speechtotext software and networking the students PC to professional or peer note takers. Adaptation of the tablet will allow deaf and hardofhearing students to participate in classroom lectures by reading along with realtime captions and notes, and will facilitate student participation in collaborative work with their peers. The research grant will also be used for the development of training materials for students and support staff using the tablet. The Rochester Institute of Technology will use focus groups to receive feedback from students, parents and support staff, to study the effectiveness of the newlyadapted tablet PCs in the classroom.

The Department of Education, Steppingstones for Technology Innovation Program grants are issued to projects which use an innovative technologybased approach to improve educational, assessment or intervention results for children with disabilities. Chosen projects demonstrate, through rigorous scientific study, potential effectiveness in improving academic, behavioral, or social outcomes for students with disabilities.