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Twenty-eight million Americans with severe hearing loss do not have full access to information about political candidates and election issues.  Through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WXXI and its partners are experimenting with ways to overcome 21st Century barriers to civic participation.» more

Our Partners:

National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology

Under the direction of Dr. Peter Lalley, three NTID students are leading our research:

David Miller is a Research Assistant within the National Technical Institute for the Deaf's Department of Research and Teacher Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Professional and Technical Communications from RIT.

J.S. Ost is a Marketing Communications Specialist with Harris RF Communications. She earned bachelor’s degrees in Professional and Technical Communications and Psychology from RIT, where she was a member of the Honors Program.

James Rowe is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology at RIT, with a concentration in Database and Web Development and double minors in Political Science and Finance.

Center for Disability Rights

Rochester Hearing and Speech Center

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Civic Sense Blog
An open, ongoing conversation about the accessibility of political and news media Web sites.
Visit the Blog
Meet the Bloggers
Recently on the Civic Sense Blog :

WXXI Captioned Election Content Now Available

WXXI's Election '08 website now has a section for our captioned content. This section will grow between now and the Election.

Civic Sense Laboratory

Follow our progress as we experiment with techniques to improve online accessibility — and let us know what's working. Visit the Lab!

Take Our Survey

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please take a few minutes to fill out our online survey.  It will help us find ways to give people with hearing loss better access to information about political candidates and issues on the internet. Take the Survey!

Focus Groups Forming Now

We are looking for volunteers to help test our solutions.  If you are interested, please e-mail  You must live near Rochester, New York to participate.

U.S. Congressional Representative Forum
  Coming in September 2008

Overcoming Barriers is inviting candidates for U.S. Congress in New York State’s 25th, 26th, 28th and 29th Congressional Districts to participate in a televised forum with a deaf and hard-of-hearing audience.  Several of these races are expected to attract national attention.  For information, contact