Skip to content

Connected Gallaudet Update

September 16, 2021


Gallaudet Technology Services (GTS) is changing how it distributes technology tools to its community at Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center. Each community member will receive a device, such as an iPad, laptop, or smartphone (determined as the best fit for their roles on campus), that they can use for their academic studies or work-related activities. The backpack kits will replace most desktop and laptop computers in offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, etc. 

More about Connected Gallaudet

This concept has been in the works for a while and has several benefits. Pre-pandemic, there were more computers on campus than students and staff. Computers in classrooms, for example, were only used for a few hours per day but still required labor-intensive management of updates. This approach will reduce the excess equipment. 

Another significant benefit is to ensure that everyone has the same standard of access to technology. The inequities in technology access became glaringly evident as we switched to remote learning at the start of the COVID pandemic. This change also makes our workforce more agile and better able to transition between on-campus and remote work, teaching, and learning. 

In 2020, Gallaudet partnered with Apple to provide students and faculty with iPad Pro devices during the 2020-2021 academic year. This summer, Gallaudet Technology Services (GTS) has been expanding the distribution to include staff and other employees.  

The first phase included giving devices to new students and new employees. This phase is complete. The next step is for current students to trade in their older iPads for the latest iPad Pros or MacBook Pro laptops. Students were able to choose which device they preferred as part of registration this year. Students will keep their devices as long as they remain enrolled at Gallaudet. Graduating students will have the option of purchasing their devices at a prorated fee. Students will receive email notifications when their device is available for pick-up. 

More information about student devices, guidelines, and responsibilities 

Clerc Center students also have access to iPad devices for educational use. Their agreements vary based on grade level and other school policies. 

Faculty and staff distribution will begin with employees who have older devices slated for replacement. Employees will receive email notifications when they can trade in their old equipment.  

GTS is now responsible for the lifecycle of the backpack equipment. As the equipment ages out of warranty coverage, employees will receive updated devices.  

Employees will receive standard equipment based on the type of work they do. There are three tiers. 

  • Tier 1: Full-time faculty, teachers, or staff are eligible for the Standard Kit 
  • Tier 2: Roaming employees are eligible for iPad/mobile devices only. 
  • Tier 3: Temporary/adjuncts are eligible for used devices/kits (less than three years old and in good working condition). 

More information about employee equipment, guidelines, and responsibilities

Note: Due to pandemic demand and shortages, some of the equipment included in the kits may not be available immediately. 

Older computers and other equipment, still in good working order, will be given to adjunct faculty and other temporary employees or used as loaner equipment as needed. GTS has partnered with a third-party company that will buy its surplus used stock. They will recycle and responsibly dispose of the equipment. The proceeds from this arrangement will help to offset the start-up expenses of the Backpack effort.

16 September 2021


About the Author

Gallaudet's Bison mascot pointing at you.
Chapel Hall:102E
202-250-2411 VideoPhone

Recent Posts

Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...

Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...

James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...

About the Author

Robert Weinstock

Published Articles: 110

Recent Posts
Deaf hotelier Roberto Wirth passes away
Alumnus Timel Benton to play professional football
Alumni, faculty featured in The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate