The Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf has received a $2.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health.
The five year award will go towards a large scale study of language outcomes in young, deaf adults. The first of its kind.
RIT/NTID researcher Matt Dye says plenty of research has been done in deaf children, but nobody has systematically looked at outcomes once they've reached young adulthood.
"Lots of these deaf kids get their implants very early in life. But even in that group you see lots of variability in terms of their language and their cognition when they reach college age."
Dye says they will study kids using cochlear implants, sign language, both and none of the above.
They're hoping to get information that will break down the myth that the options are an "either/or" proposition.
Half of the money will also go to the University of Colorado, who will be studying hearing students to provide benchmarks of what hearing should be at a college aged level.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, two to three out of every 1,000 children born in the United States are deaf or hard of hearing.