Intellectual Merit: Project Fast Forward is providing a pathway for deaf and hard-of-hearing (deaf/hh) students to transition from high school to post-secondary education in the area of Information Technology. Deaf/hh students at five partner high schools across the country are piloting this project, which offers: (1) IT-related dual-credit courses that provide deaf/hh students with credit toward both their high school diploma and college credit toward an associate degree at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) (2) IT-related professional development activities for high school technology teachers; (3) workshops for high school technology teachers and guidance counselors on IT opportunities for deaf/hh students; and (4) training on best teaching practices and universal design for hearing faculty teaching in mainstreamed classrooms. By providing deaf/hh students with access to the same post-secondary opportunities as their hearing peers, Project Fast Forward is reducing the barriers that these students face and easing their transition from high school to college.
Broader Impact: With an estimated potential audience of more than 70,700 school age children with severe to profound hearing loss across the country, this project is building a framework that can grow into a national dual-credit program. This pathways project is transitioning deaf/hh students into post-secondary technical education, and ultimately, into the technician workforce where they are currently underrepresented.