UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre


Dr. Kate Rowley


With more than 20 years working in sign language teaching, deaf education, sign linguistics and psychology, I am involved in research that benefits deaf children and their parents/guardians and the deaf community.

While defending my PhD in 2018 on visual word recognition and reading processes in deaf and hearing adults using eye-tracking technology, I explored the interplay between orthographic, semantic and phonological information in deaf readers. That was followed by me doing UCL’s Language Attitudes project as their postdoc (for which I was the co-investigator). I carried out post-doctoral research work at City, University of London on their integrated phonics and language intervention programme for reception aged deaf and hearing children. Before joining DCAL in 2021 as their Lecturer in Deafness, Cognition and Language, I was a Lecturer at Wolverhampton, teaching Deaf Studies and Interpreting.

At DCAL, I am involved in teaching our students, the deaf community and the professionals working with deaf children and people. I partake in research projects including deaf children’s language acquisition and deaf literacy skills development. After being awarded £230,000 from the ESRC, as the principal investigator, for my research project on deaf children's language comprehension with Dr Patrick Rosenberg as my postdoc. Because of my strong interest in bilingualism, especially the parts where deaf children become successful bilinguals, I continue developing and writing on effective bilingualism for deaf children in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Regarding the 2020-2021 pandemic, with Dr Eva Gutierrez at University of Essex, I am one of the co-investigators for the research project on the impact on the deaf community which is funded by the British Academy (£10,000).

As a deaf psycholinguist, growing up in Cornwall’s deaf community, I am active in the deaf community as I want to give back what I was taught to my community as it is part of my social justice & community responsibility. As a mother of two children, one being deaf, I want to see a better world for deaf children and deaf people.

You can access my personal website here to find out more about me.

Direct contact: Dr. Kate Rowley