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James DeCaro interviews with TRIPOD program founders and parents

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITDSA-0132

Scope and Contents

  • Dr. James DeCaro interviews Mark Freund & Trice Koopman, April 2013
  • TRIPOD Legacy Archive - TRIPOD founders, Dr. James DeCaro interviews Barbara & Chris Montan, April 2013
  • TRIPOD Legacy Archive - TRIPOD founders, Dr. James DeCaro interviews Michael Shamberg & Megan Williams, Oct. 2012
  • Version 2 with Shamberg, Feb. 21, 2013 (new transcript)
  • Shamberg, July, 2013 YouTube files
  • Unedited Barb & Chris, Trice & Mark
  • Shamberg - RADSCC, Jan. 3, 2013
  • Proof check Shamberg, Feb. 5, 1012
  • Dates

    • Creation: 2012-2013


    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open to researchers.

    Biographical / Historical

    The TRIPOD Educational Model School was formed in 1982 by Megan Williams, Michael Shamberg, Herb Larson, and Carl Kirchner. The TRIPOD program-- an acronym for Toward Rehabilitation Involvement by Parents of the Deaf--was a nonprofit organization run by Executive Director Kirchner and its board of directors. The programs emphasis was on helping families who have both deaf and hearing members raise and educate their deaf and hearing impaired children by learning side-by side with hearing students. TRIPOD used what is called a total communication approach, which combines techniques to acquire language: listening, reading, sign language, lip reading, speech, gesture and mime. The Tripod program in cooperation with the Burbank Unified School District enrolled deaf and hearing students together, providing a model for "co-enrollment."

    Among the positive statistics of the school program was that the longer students were co-enrolled at TRIPOD, the better they did compared to national averages of students who are deaf. Students with hearing loss were achieving at an academic level that would allow them to enter a four-year college program with comparable SAT scores. TRIPOD also provided a co-enrolled Montessori parent-infant/toddler and pre-school/kindergarten program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families who live in the regional program service area.

    The RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive acquired the TRIPOD Archive in 2011. This archive, consisting of videos, parenting materials, curricula, academic presentations, fundraising documents, governance guidelines, and more is housed at the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive on the 3rd floor of the Wallace Center.

    Biographical Information on James DeCaro

    James DeCaro was born in 1947 and spent his childhood in Poughkeepsie, NY. In 1971, he moved to Rochester and worked for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology (NTID/RIT) for 47 years. He passed away on October 23, 2019 at the age of 71. DeCaro is survived by his wife Patricia, his children, and grandchildren.

    DeCaro received his “bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in instructional technology from Syracuse University.” Throughout his career at RIT, his positions included Dean of NTID, Interim Director, and Interim President. During his time with the University, he created the Civil Engineering Department, NTID Center on Access Technology and had a strong impact on the NTID community through his work to improve educational opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

    DeCaro worked in various countries around the globe for research, education, and as a professor. In 2001, one of his greatest achievements was the Postsecondary Education Network - International (PEN-International), a network that would support postsecondary education for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. In 2008, he earned the “Contribution to Society Award from Japan’s Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution for his service to humanity.” The year after, RIT named DeCaro dean emeritus of RIT and included him in the 2010 inaugural class of RIT’s Innovation Hall of Fame.



    .5 Linear Feet (8 DVDs in 1 folder in 1 legal size document box)




    The TRIPOD Educational Model School (TRIPOD) program was started in 1982 as a method of teaching both deaf and hearing students together in a classroom using both sign language and voice. Eight DVDs contain Dr. James DeCaro's interviews with the founders of the TRIPOD program and parents of children who attended.


    Eight DVDs in numbered order.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The DVDs were deposited to the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive in January 2015. Accession number(s): 2015:023

    Processing Information

    Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in February 2015.

    James DeCaro interviews with TRIPOD program founders and parents
    RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
    Jody Sidlauskas
    23 February 2015
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Code for undetermined script
    Language of description note

    Repository Details

    Part of the RIT Archives Repository

    Rochester NY 14623 USA