The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute is dedicated to increasing educational and occupational opportunities for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Directed by Dr. Stephanie W. Cawthon, this institute takes a systemic approach to its work. Researchers address contextual barriers that prevent individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing from reaching their full potential. The institute seeks to identify and foster factors that promote resilience as individuals work toward academic, professional, and personal goals.
Funded through the Office of Special Education Programs, this center will support postsecondary outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Its mission is to provide strategic, innovative, research-based technical assistance to individuals, institutions, communities, states, and the nation to transform systems and increase the postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion rates for a diverse deaf population. This project is a collaboration with partners across the country, including (1) the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology; (2) the National Center on Education Outcomes at the University of Minnesota; (3) the Deaf Empowerment Awareness Foundation, a community-based organization in St. Louis, Missouri; (4) the Center on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kansas; (5) Communication Services for the Deaf; (6) WestEd; and (7) American Institutes for Research, the external evaluator. The project will launch January 1, 2017. More information, including a new website, will be forthcoming.