Research group Deaf Studies

The Deaf Studies research group carries out research in three main areas:
• Deaf culture
• Pedagogy of Sign Language of the Netherlands NGT)
• Aspects of interpreting

The aim of the research work carried out by the Research Unit is to contribute to improving quality of life and opening up our society for everyone, but specifically for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Applied research

The research conducted by the Deaf Studies research group has an important link to professional practice, both in teaching and other professions. Its work is designed to lead to new insights, which in turn lead to changes in teaching sign language in society. One of the goals is to develop best practices in the field of communication among the deaf and hard-of-hearing for all kinds of professionals - in healthcare, education and elsewhere. After all, anyone can come into contact with deafness.

Deaf culture

Diversity is a buzz word these days. It enriches our society if we help people to see that everyone is different. One way to do this is through research. The contribution that deaf people and sign language can offer our society has received little attention to date, but 'Deaf Gain' studies strives to make this more visible.

(Pedagogy of) Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT)

Dutch Sign Language has been studied as a language since the 1980s but only taught since the late 1990s. There remains much to learn about this language and how people learn it as a first, second or foreign language. The knowledge that there is today, needs to be gathered together so that a database of best practices can be created to professionalize teaching staff and those working in the field.

Aspects of interpreting

Sign language interpreters usually work simultaneously in two languages; Dutch and NGT, and sometimes also in a third language such as English. A great deal of practical knowledge has been gathered in the Netherlands, but structured research into the issues that affect the interpreting process is urgently needed. The results of this study contribute to professional practice, to the professionalization of teachers and to the development of theory.


In the Netherlands, the research group collaborates with the University of Amsterdam, the Department of Linguistics and Sign Language Studies. It also has close contacts with Radboud University Nijmegen, specifically the Departments of Sign Language (Language Science) and Special Education. It also has many international contacts, including Belgium, Germany, England, Estonia, Ireland, Portugal, Scandinavia, Spain, Suriname, the United States.

Professor Van den Bogaerde is a board member of Anela, and member of the editorial board of  Language, Interaction, Acquisition and of DuJAL. She is also Professor of NGT at the University of Amsterdam. 



Visiting adress:
Padualaan 101
3584 CH Utrecht
Postal adress:
Postbus 85397
3508 AJ Utrecht
088 481 21 32