Dr Maartje De Meulder (Belgium)


Plenary Presenter
Commission on Sign Language and Deaf Studies (Commission 1)

Presentation title:
Sign Language Rights for All, and For Ever?

Date : Thursday 25 July 2019


Dr Maartje De Meulder (Belgium)


Maartje De Meulder is a postdoctoral research fellow at the research group on multilingualism of the University of Namur in Belgium. Her current research focuses on the language practices, motivations and ideologies of deaf and hearing signers in Flanders, Belgium, and how this is linked to sociolinguistic vitality of Flemish Sign Language.

She has a Master’s degrees in Pedagogical Sciences/Disability Studies (Ghent University, Belgium) and in Deaf Studies (University of Bristol). She obtained her PhD in 2016 at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. Prior to her PhD studies she did advocacy work for the Flemish Deaf Association for five years.

Maartje De Meulder’s current work and research interests are in different strands. The main one is sign language policy, specifically sign language rights and sign language vitality and revitalisation. Another one focuses on discourses around the implementation of ‘educational inclusion’ as per Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A third is in signed language interpreting as a social institution, and how this is linked to deaf people’s language choices and multilingual practices.

Maartje De Meulder has co-edited two edited volumes, Innovations in Deaf Studies and the forthcoming book Recognizing Sign Languages, and has publications in journals including Language Policy, Language Problems and Language Planning, Current Issues in Language Planning, Human Rights Quarterly and Sign Language Studies, and a range of book chapters in various books.

Maartje De Meulder’s academic work is informed by her position as an engaged scholar.