Monday, 10 January 2011 12:37


Published in Jan as Author
Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:39

Assessment expertise

The van Dijk Approach to assessing children or adults with multiple disabilities is unique, but it can be successfully implemented after a relatively short period of training.

Please direct requests for training to me. Materials can be obtained in the Webshop.

Published in Rokstories
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 13:51

NY Times

New York Times

In the following article, published June 19th, 2010, in the Education section of the New York Times, the reporter describes a young man with severe multiple disabilities who is being taught in an inclusive setting.

Donovan is in a regular classroom, and his educational program follows the same curriculum as his non-disabled classmates. Donovan is a typical example of this web site’s target population, and of my work. I read here for the first time that there are 132,000 students like Donovan in the United States. These are people who, in the past, would have lived their entire lives in institutions.

Published in Jan's blog
Sunday, 09 May 2010 18:30

Sam on Dutch TV

Sam Galesloot

On April 26, 2010, a documentary was shown on Dutch national television about Sam, a 25-year-old young man who is deafblind, and severely physically impaired because of a progressive muscular disease.  Sam acquired his sensory losses after he had learned to speak and to read. I know Sam rather well. He was a student in the Deafblind Department of Viataal (Sint-Michielsgestel, Netherlands), when I worked there as head of the Diagnostic Center.

This documentary attracted over 1,000,000 viewers. Sam later appeared on a popular talk show, which launched a campaign to raise money for a publication about the communication system he uses, an adapted deafblind manual alphabet, which he receives on his cheek instead of on his hand.

One video clip in the documentary caused nationwide discussion. It was taken from an earlier film, made by the same journalist, about Sam’s life when he was a young boy. In the clip, a doctor asked Sam’s parents whether a machine should be installed to provide Sam with oxygen if he became too weak to breath. The doctor argued that combined hearing and visual impairments, plus severe breathing problems, reduced Sam’s Quality of Life to virtually zero. The doctor suggested that Sam’s parents give permission to refrain from providing oxygen, so Sam could die. The parents never gave this permission. They did everything in their power to educate their son, and to teach him the real values of life. They saw Sam develop into a mature, very knowledgeable young man, whose life is a pleasure to himself and those around him.
Published in Jan's blog
Sunday, 25 April 2010 10:20

A platform to exchange knowledge

A person needs nearly a lifetime to develop a true understanding of all the scientific and practical challenges associated with deafblindness. Thanks to good health, job opportunities, and many great friends in this field, I have been fortunate to acquire broad general knowledge in many areas of deafblindness.

Together with my Expert Team, I want to help you find solutions to the challenges you are facing.

Published in Rokstories
Sunday, 25 April 2010 08:53

Deafblindness: a 50-year journey

My career parallels the evolution of the field of deafblindness. Over many years, as both a practitioner and a researcher, I have been actively engaged in addressing the numerous challenges experienced by people with deafblindness.

I initially worked with children who were deafblind due to Congenital Rubella Syndrome. On the basis of my experience and research data, I developed The van Dijk Curriculum.

Published in Rokstories
Monday, 19 April 2010 11:41


An example of a communication assessment will be shown in the next video clip.

Iris is a student with CHARGE Syndrome. Her mother conducts the assessment at home. In this clip, mother makes it clear to Iris that her little sister, Laura, must go to bed. With careful observation, you can see that Iris and her mother look at Laura simultaneously. The subject of conversation is on both their minds. This is called joint attention.

Iris then takes the conversational initiative, by climbing onto mother’s lap and kissing her. She’s communicating to mother that she should also give Laura a kiss. At this stage of development, Iris has no formal system (e.g. speech or signs) for communicating her intentions.

Published in Jan as Assessor
Monday, 19 April 2010 11:40

Social Interaction

Published in Jan as Assessor
Monday, 19 April 2010 08:49

The Theory of Social Education

We can see how, from the beginning of life, the neonate is attracted to another human’s moving face. At 3 weeks-of-age, the baby monitors his mouth movements according to a model (see photo below).

Published in Jan as Author
Page 1 of 2