Selasa, 25 September 2012

Rochester's Deaf Population Among Largest Per Capita in U.S.

ROCHESTER, NY. - Rochester has more Deaf and Hard of Hearing residents per capita than the national average and a larger Deaf population than many other similarly sized cities, a new report out of Rochester Institute of Technology has found.

Rochester’s sizable Deaf community has often been assumed but was never quantified until the report, written by Gerard Walter and Richard Dirmyer from RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

The study found other cities have more total Deaf residents per capita, but among college and working aged people, Rochester has one of the largest populations in the country. In particular, the study found Rochester has far and away the highest percentage of Deaf residents enrolled in secondary education, likely driven by NTID.

“Often times it’s difficult to understand how many people are really in the community,” said Thomas Pearson, director of the National Center for Deaf Health Research at the University of Rochester. “This has been a real challenge for anyone interested in the field.”

Using American Community Survey data, Walter and Dirmyer found there are 43,000 Deaf or Hard of Hearing residents in the Rochester metro area, about 3.7 percent of the population. That’s higher than the national average, which is 3.5 percent.

Rochester doesn’t have the highest population per capita as is often suggested, however. The report only looked at a handful of cities, but found 3.9 percent of Pittsburgh’s population is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The authors of the report attribute that to more elderly residents living in Pittsburgh than in Rochester, and the onset of age-related deafness.

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