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International expert on deafblindness presents new perspectives at farewell symposium

16 June 2022
prof. Marleen Janssen
prof. Marleen Janssen

After many years of loyal service, Prof. Marleen Janssen is retiring from the University of Groningen. To mark this occasion a farewell symposium will be held on 21 June with a focus on new perspectives on deafblindness.

Marleen Janssen has been a professor at the University of Groningen since 2008, but since 1976 she has devoted herself continuously to research, particularly in education and in the support of people with deafblindness. For a long time, she was the only professor in the world in this field. With her expertise, she has been able to give deafblind people perspective in life again, by reducing social isolation. This has had an incomparable positive impact on the lives of many of them. With this, she has made an important contribution to the recognition of the scientific field of deafblindness.

New perspectives

During the farewell symposium on 21 June, new perspectives on deafblindness will be presented.

A film will be shown in which a deafblind person expresses himself and there will be various international guest speakers who will highlight the subject from the perspective of parents of children with deafblindness.


In addition, Oxford University Press recently accepted two proposals for academic books on communication and on the lifelong learning of people with deafblindness, bringing together three originally different subgroups.

Each volume deals with both people who are deafblind from birth, before language is developed, and people who have acquired both sensory impairments: as a child, during adolescence, as a young adult, but also due to aging.

Both handbooks contain 33 chapters, written by many different authors from all over the world. Marleen Janssen has brought these authors together in an editorial team that she directs with Prof. Timothy Hartshorne from the USA and Prof. Walter Wittich from Canada.

Registration for the symposium is no longer possible.

Last modified:16 June 2022 4.31 p.m.
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