Commission 1: Sign Language and Deaf Studies

Dr Robert Adam (UK)

International President of the Commission on Sign Language and Deaf Studies 


Robert Adam is Director of Continuing Professional Development/Teaching Fellow at the UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL). Prior to that he worked as a Research Associate at DCAL and undertook research into sign language in the everyday lives of Deaf people. Examples of his research include: Deaf people who are bilingual in two sign languages, Deaf people who work as interpreters or translators in the Deaf Community and other sociolinguistic research into sign languages. He is currently a Board member of the British Deaf Association and Chair of the governing body at Frank Barnes School for Deaf children. 


His doctoral research examined unimodal bilingualism (between dialects of British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language in Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland) where language contact exists between different sign languages. He also received funding from the Endangered Languages Documentation Project at SOAS to document Australian Irish Sign Language (AISL) in 2016. 

He comes from Melbourne, Australia and was previously President of the Australian Association of the Deaf (Deaf Australia). In Australia, he worked as a lecturer in Auslan at the National Institute of Deaf Studies, La Trobe University and then was research associate with the Auslan Lexicography Project at Renwick College, the University of Newcastle. 

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