Opening the Pathway Conference

Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 9:00am to Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 3:30pm

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in collaboration with BioQUEST, a collaborative community empowering Life Science educators to drive innovation in STEM education, has received a National Science Foundation grant to host a two-and-a-half-day conference titled, “Opening the Pathway to Technician Careers: A Conference for Biology Teachers of Deaf Students.” This conference will bring together high school teachers, community college faculty, and ASL interpreters to improve biology education for Deaf and hard-of-hearing secondary and postsecondary students. The primary languages at this conference will be ASL and English.

In technician education, biology serves as a gateway course for students interested in technical fields such as agricultural technology, biotechnology, and environmental sciences where the deaf and hard-of-hearing (deaf/hh) population is underrepresented. Improving biology education practices for deaf/hh students has the potential to increase their participation by engaging them at the introductory biology level and lowering barriers to technician career education tracks.

This conference will offer a focused, immersive professional development experience for high school teachers, community college faculty, and interpreters involved in teaching biology to deaf/hh students. We will focus on using case studies, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, and teaching in ASL to enhance student success in biology.

Participants will:

  • Promote student literacy skills
  • Learn how to design and implement case studies in their classrooms
  • Explore UDL practices for the biology classroom
  • Strengthen their biology content knowledge
  • Learn from students and biologists who are deaf/hh about their educational pathways
  • Learn from industry about the opportunities for students in biology technician careers
  • Join a community of peers from around the country interested in biology education for students who are deaf or hard of hearing

Who should attend? Biology teachers at high schools and two year colleges who teach students who are deaf/hh and interpreters who work in biology classes and settings.

Conference registration is free and all travel expenses will be covered by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program. You must apply and
be accepted to attend the conference. Conference applications are due on or before Friday, September 6th. Accepted applicants will be notified by Friday, September 13th.

More information about the conference and the application process can be found at:


This conference is supported by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Program under Award Numbers 1834905 and 1834913.

RIT Lombozzo Alumni House
116 Lomb Memorial Dr
USC 03401
Rochester, NY 14623
United States