Would you like to analyse and improve the possibilities of deafblind people? Then this is the programme for you.
The Master's degree in Deafblindness (formerly: Communication
and Deafblindness) is a unique programme during which you acquire
theoretical and methodological skills. These skills will enable you
to analyse the impact of combined visual and hearing impairments
(“deafblindness”) on development, daily functioning and
quality of life. You will learn to apply this knowledge in the
contexts of research, assessment and intervention. The programme is
especially interesting for those who are already working as
professionals and who would like to expand their basic knowledge
and research skills.
The programme starts with the course Introduction to people with Deafblindness. In this course, you will learn about fundamental developmental processes, including topics like early symbolic communication embodied cognition, and the acquisition of sign language.
After the introductory course, students receive coaching in methodology. You will also perform a practical training and write a learner's report. In addition, you will carry out research and write a Master's thesis.
Joao Canossa - Director of Rehabilliation Services at ARCIL, Portugal / Language Therapist
I am the Director of Rehabilitation Services at ARCIL, Portugal. At this same organization, I also work as a Speech and Language Therapist, mostly with children with developmental disorders and/or disability at the Early Intervention level. As a Speech and Language Therapist, I mostly work with individuals with complex communication support needs, in many cases due to disability.
Having experience with children and young people with multiple disability, autism spectrum disorder and severe intellectual disability amongst others, I started searching for training that would enhance my skills in this field. I intended to specialize in communication and in providing the appropriate support for individuals with more complex communication support needs.
When I studied at the RUG I continued to work as a Speech and Language therapist and the expertise gained in the Master Communication and Deafblindness turned out to be very helpful. As a director, the knowledge, attitudes and skills related to Education and Social Sciences are also useful, enhancing my ability to analyse and reflect my options.
The research component of the Master was very interesting and useful, especially because it motivates us to use Qualitative Methods and study a specific subject in depth. This way, I became more critical and demanding with quality in research and capable of developing good research projects, academically and in my work place. I am also more aware of diverse methodologies for research and how to use them in my daily work.
You learn how to analyse communication in complex situations and how to stimulate progress.
My name is Caroline Lindstrom. I am from Sweden and I work in special education for a Swedish organization that provides services for people with congenital deafblindness. Some of my Nordic colleagues completed the Master's programme in Communication and Deafblindness in Groningen. This is how I heard about the programme. It is the only programme in the world which focuses on deafblindness, and is a truly international programme with lecturers and students from all over the world.
I stayed in the Netherlands for only a month, and subsequently followed the programme from a distance. After a month-long intensive study programme, the students leave Groningen and write their reports and theses from their home countries. You have regular contact with your supervisor and classmates online. Every year in March you meet with supervisors and fellow students again. I believe this set-up works very well and is beneficial to international students, since they are able to return to their daily activities quickly. Many of the students combine work and studies, and that means that you have to be strict in order to stay focused on the programme. I recommend setting a schedule which gives you time both to write the thesis and to focus on your profession.
I was very happy to find that there is a Master’s track wholly focused on communication and deafblindness. What I value most is the strong link between the practical field on the one hand and the literature and theory on the other. Most of the students have practical experience. This results in an interesting mix of perspectives which enrich the learning environment. The programme improved my understanding of methodological skills and different interventions which aim to improve communication.
The programme is interesting and useful for everyone interested in communication. You learn how to analyse communication in complex situations and how to stimulate progress. The programme is especially interesting for people who are already professionals.