Charlene Purchas of Parish Attends National Career Exploration Camp

ROCHESTER, NY – A local high school student is back home after participating in a national career exploration camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Rochester Institute of Technology.

More than 200 students from as far away as Hawaii participated.

Charlene Purchas, of Parish, will be a 11th grade student at Mexico High School this fall.

She recently attended Explore Your Future, a six-day career exploration camp at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on the RIT campus in Rochester.

Campers got a taste of possible careers in computer art design, lab science technology, business, computing and engineering.

New this year was a course involving heath care careers.

Taught by a deaf physician, the students used computers to look up the doctor’s “symptoms” and attempted to diagnose his ailment. The health care class was added after a national Task Force on Health Care Careers for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community released a report calling for barriers preventing more deaf and hard-of-hearing students from entering health care careers.

Fewer than 6 percent of deaf people in the labor force are employed in the health care industry, compared with nearly 10 percent of their hearing peers.

To see a video about the camp, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT_Hu_enCN4.

RIT is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, sustainability and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

RIT enrolls 17,000 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

NTID, one of nine colleges of RIT, was established by Congress in 1965 to provide college opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who were underemployed in technical fields.

Today, a record 1,547 students attend NTID; more than 1,350 are deaf or hard of hearing.

Others are hearing students enrolled in interpreting or deaf education programs. NTID’s Center on Employment assists NTID students with finding co-op and permanent jobs.

NTID has consistently placed 90% of its graduates. More than 100 interpreters, tutors, and notetakers support students in and out of the classroom. Visit: www.rit.edu/NTID.